Mary Barnard Ray

Senior Lecturer - Emerita ; Individualized Writing Instruction Service

Ray, Mary Barnard

975 Bascom Mall


B.A., University of Illinois, 1971
M.A., University of New Mexico, 1973


Mary Barnard Ray began her work at the Law School in 1978 by creating the Individualized Instruction Service (IIS). Her work later expanded to creating the first Advanced Legal Writing course in 1980, writing a column for Wisconsin Lawyer, and authoring books and articles on legal writing. In 1984, she was voted Teacher of the Year by the Legal Education Opportunities Program.

She has been primary author on two innovative legal writing books. Getting It Right and Getting It Written was the first reference book specifically for legal writing. Beyond the Basics was the first text to present advanced writing techniques for legal writing, providing a resource that spurred the growth of advanced legal writing courses nationwide. She has also produced a videotape used in many instructor training programs and has written professional articles on various legal writing topics. She has spoken at numerous national conferences, including the Legal Writing Institute, the Conference on College Composition and Communication, and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. She has taught in five regional LEO summer programs and has consulted for businesses, government agencies, judges, professors, and practicing lawyers. She has consulted on such varied projects as a software instruction manual, an engineering research project, a Zambian law review article, and the memoirs of a Holocaust survivor.

She is married and has three children. She has been travelling throughout North America since childhood, visiting all states and Canadian provinces. Her next goal is to take the mail boat up the Labrador coast to Nain.

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