Jill Barton

Director of the Legal Communication and Research Skills (LComm) Program and Professor of Legal Writing & Lecturer in Law

J.D., University of Missouri-Kansas City
M.S., University of Kansas
B.J. and B.A., University of Missouri

Phone: (305)284-1873
Office: C418

Jill Barton is the Director of the Legal Communication and Research Skills (LComm) Program. She is a former appellate judicial clerk and an award-winning journalist. She earned her bachelor of journalism magna cum laude from the University of Missouri and also studied at Oxford University's Keble College, where she founded and co-edited Ox-Tales, a compilation of students' short stories. Professor Barton worked as a journalist for more than a decade, mostly for the Associated Press (AP) and other news organizations in Florida. As an AP correspondent, she regularly published news stories in The New York TimesThe Washington Post, and The Miami Herald. She later received her M.S. in journalism from the University of Kansas, where she taught advanced reporting, and her J.D. summa cum laude from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

In law school, Professor Barton received the West Publishing Award for Outstanding Scholarly Accomplishment and won the National Association of Women Lawyers student writing competition. She also served as managing editor of the UMKC Law Review and as a teaching assistant for the school's legal writing program. Prior to joining the Miami Law faculty, Professor Barton clerked for Judge Leslie B. Rothenberg at Florida's Third District Court of Appeal.

She is the author of So Ordered: The Writer’s Guide, and the co-author with Rachel H. Smith of The Handbook for the New Legal Writer, a comprehensive legal writing textbook for first-year law students.


The Handbook for the New Legal Writer, 2nd ed. (2019).

So Ordered: The Writer's Guide for Aspiring Judges, Judicial Clerks, and Interns, Aspen/Wolters Kluwer, 202 (2017).

Supreme Court Splits . . . On Grammar and Writing Style, 17 The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing (2017).

Turning Student Opinions into Compelling Narratives, 28 Second Draft (2015).

Oral Advocacy in 90 Seconds, 22 Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing (2014).

The Handbook for the New Legal Writer (2014).

A "Show, Don’t Tell" Lesson on Plain Language, 70 Clarity J. 41 (2013).

The Harsh Reality of Choosing between Safety and Housing: Solutions for Victims of Domestic Violence, 93 WOMEN LAWYERS JOURNAL (2008).

Runaway Grand Jury: Activists Attempt to Redefine Obscenity Law in Kansas, 77 UMKC Law Review (2008).

Case comment, EEOC v. City of Independence, 39 Urban Lawyer (2008).

Providing Public Assistance for the Sunshine Law, with Jean Maneke, 63 MISSOURI BAR JOURNAL (2007).

 Presentations & Awards

Take a Deep Breath: Using Meditation in the Legal Writing Classroom (December , 2020)

The Evolving Legal Writing Curriculum (May , 2019)

• A Cohesive Curriculum From Day One: How Legal Writing Can Help Improve Bar Passage Rates (December , 2019)

Connecting Learning with Deep Thinking: Moving Students Beyond the Shallows (August , 2018)

Phone: (305)284-1873
Office: C418
Faculty Assistant

Amador, Clarita

Phone: (305) 284-4241
Office: G287

Area of Expertise

  • First Amendment
  • Legal Writing
  • Media Law

Websites and Blogs