Kathleen S. Bean

Professor of Law

Kathleen S. Bean's picture

Before joining the faculty in 1983, Professor Bean clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, served as staff attorney for the Legal Services Corporation of Iowa, and was director of a student legal services clinic at Drake University School of Law. Her work at Legal Services emphasized domestic and child custody work; the clinic she directed served low-income clients.

After coming to Louisville, Professor Bean has remained active in work involving women, children, and the poor. She has served as the Law School's Brandeis Fellow, spending a semester volunteering at the Louisville Legal Aid Society. Professor Bean has also served as a board member for the Louisville Legal Aid Society and for the National Consumer Law Center in Boston; she was a member of the Kentucky Supreme Court Gender Bias Task Force; and she has volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Jefferson County and for Habitat for Humanity.

Professor Bean's teaching is focused primarily on legal writing and analysis. She makes frequent CLE presentations on legal writing to various state, regional, and national organizations. In 2000 and 2009, she was awarded the Brandeis Alumni Excellence in Teaching Award; in 2001, she was awarded the University's Distinguished Teaching Professor Award. She also currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Delphi Center, which supports and encourages excellence in teaching. Professor Bean’s scholarship focuses on children’s issues, and she has also done extensive research on Kentucky's early women lawyers.

Professor Bean graduated with Honors from Drake University School of Law where she served as Editor in Chief of the Drake Law Review. She is a member of COIF and is an honorary member of the School of Law's Brandeis Honor Society.

Courses Taught

Basic Legal Skills

Juvenile Justice Seminar


Family Law

Professional Responsibility

Criminal Law

Legal Problems of the Poor

Advanced Appellate Advocacy


Aggravated Circumstances, Reasonable Efforts, and ASFA, 29 B.C. Third World J. 1 (2009) 

Reasonable Efforts: What State Courts Think, 36 Toledo L. Rev. 321 (2005)

Changing the Rules: Public Access to Dependency Court, 79 Denver L. Rev. 1 (2002)

The Changing Face of the Legal Profession: Past Progress and Future Challenges, Bench and Bar 26 (KBA, May 1999) (with Linda Sorenson Ewald)

A Place at the Bar, Kentucky Humanities 11 (Ky. Humanities 1998)

Connecting With Our Legacy: Kentucky's Early Women Lawyers, A Multimedia Tribute (1998) (included photography exhibit and web exhibit) (curator: Robin R. Harris; research by Kathleen S. Bean)

Kentucky Oral History Commission Grant (conducted taped interviews with over twenty women who graduated from law school in 1920s-1950s) (Spring 1993)

A Conversation with Laura Miller Derry, University Archives and Records Center, Kentucky Humanities Council Grant (1992) (taped interview with Ms Derry, who practiced law from 1930-1960)

Women Teaching in Law School Classes, The Louisville Lawyer (Fall 1989)

Gender Gap in the Classroom - Beyond Survival, 14 Vt. L. Rev. 23 (1989)

A Proposal for the Moral Practice of Law, 12 J. Legal Prof. 49 (1987)

A Radical Feminist View of Pornography, 1 J. Contemp. Legal Issues 19 (1987)

The Use of Writing Assignments in Law School, 37 J. Legal Educ. 276 (1987)

Grandparent Visitation: Can the Parent Refuse?, 4 J. Fam. L. 393 (1985)

Preindictment Delay in the Eighth Circuit, 27 Drake L. Rev. 110 (1978)

Casenote, 26 Drake L. Rev. 199 (1977) (GTE Sylvania Inc. v. Continental T.V.)

University and Community Service

Brandeis Fellow Fall 2008 (in residence volunteer, Louisville Legal Aid Society)

Participant in the University/Community Partnership Initiative "Every 1 Reads" Program, tutoring weekly at a local elementary school

Member, The Producers (non-profit organization supporting Jefferson County Public Schools' Youth Performing Arts School); Chair, Scholarship Committee, 2003 to 2006; Board Representative, Piano Department, 2003-2005

Member, Community Accountability Team (focus on improving middle schools in Jefferson County Public Schools) (2000-2002)

Member, Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership, Jefferson County Middle Schools (1999-2000)

Volunteer tutoring (usually writing), Jefferson County Public Schools (1996-2002)

Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) (advocate for children in dependency court) (1993-1995)

Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, Louisville (1996-2002)

Member, Board of Directors, National Consumer Law Center, Inc., Boston, Mass. (1989-1995)

Member, Board of Directors, Louisville Legal Aid Society, 1987-1993