Susan Duncan

Interim Dean and Professor of Law

Susan Duncan's picture

Susan Hanley Duncan received a B.A. from Miami University and a J.D. from the University of Louisville. She joined the Brandeis School of Law faculty as an adjunct in 1997 and full time in 2000. She is serving as dean from 2012-2017.

Dean Duncan's teaching and research interests are in lawyering skills, education law and restorative practices. Her scholarship has focused primarily on the issues surrounding children, including the need for anti-bullying laws and laws protecting children from pornography on the Internet. Her recent scholarship focuses on use of restorative practices in schools, universities and in the workplace.

Dean Duncan is past chair of U of L's Commission on the Status of Women and is a member of multiple university committees. Nationally, she served in leadership positions on several boards that focus on the development of new legal writing professors. The Louisville Bar Association awarded the 2010 Distinguished Service Award to Dean Duncan for chairing numerous LBA committees. Business First recently named Dean Duncan as one of the top twenty people to know in the field of education.  She frequently presents on legal writing and education law topics.Dean Duncan has been a visiting professor at the University of Montpellier, France, University KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, Johannes Gutenberg University, in Mainz Germany, at the University of Leeds, England, and the University of Turku, Finland.

Courses Taught

Basic Legal Skills

Transactional Drafting On-Line

Administrative Law

Negotiable Instruments

Criminal Law

Education Law

Restorative Justice

Juvenile Justice


Peer-Reviewed and Student-Edited Journals

Susan Hanley Duncan and Ida Dickie, Family Group Conferencing: A Pilot Project within the Juvenile Court System in Louisville, Kentucky, 20(1) The Prevention Researcher XX (February 2013).

Susan Hanley Duncan, Workplace Bullying and the Role Restorative Practices Can Play in Preventing and Addressing the Problem, 32 Industrial Law Journal 2331 (October 2011).

Susan Hanley Duncan, Preparing Students to Practice Law in 2010 and Beyond:  The Call for Skills Training in the United States and Germany, "Brandeis meets Gutenberg" - German-American Legal Discussions in the series Öffentliches und Internationales Recht, Lang publishers (Editors Prof. Dr. Udo Fink, Prof. Dr. Dieter Dörr, Prof. Dr. Rolf Schwartmann)(solicited article).

Susan Hanley Duncan, Bullying and Restorative Justice:  A Missing Solution in the Anti-Bullying Laws, XX THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL ON CRIMINAL AND CIVIL CONFINEMENT XX (2011) (in press)(solicited article).

Susan Hanley Duncan, A Legal Response is Necessary for Self Produced Child Pornography: A Legislator's Checklist for Drafting the Bill, 89 OREGON LAW REVIEW 645 (2011).

Susan Hanley Duncan, The New Accreditation Standards Are Coming to a Law School Near You, What You Need to Know About Outcomes and Assessments, 16 JOURNAL OF THE LEGAL WRITING INSTITUTE 605 (2010) (solicited article).

Susan Hanley Duncan, College Bullies - Precursors to Campus Violence What Should Universities and College Administrators Know About the Law?, 55(2) VILLANOVA LAW REVIEW 269 (2010).

Susan Hanley Duncan, Solicited article for 31st Annual Law Review Symposium Pretrial Publicity in High Profile Trials: An Integrated Approach to Protecting the Right to a Fair Trial and the Right to Privacy, 34 OHIO NORTHERN UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 755 (2008) (solicited article).

Susan Hanley Duncan, My Space Is Also Their Space: Ideas for Keeping Children Safe from Sexual Predators on Social Networking Sites, 96 KENTUCKY LAW JOURNAL 527 (Spring 2008).

Susan Hanley Kosse Race, Riches & Reporters - Do Race and Class Impact Media Rape Narratives? An Analysis of the Duke Lacrosse Case, 31 SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY LAW JOURNAL 243 (Winter 2007).

Bar Journal and Newsletter Articles

Susan Hanley Duncan, Best Dressed Briefs - Why Appearance Matters, KENTUCKY BENECH AND BAR 32 (January 2011).

Susan Hanley Duncan, Is Legal Education About to Change?,10 (8) LOUISVILLE BAR ASSOCIATION BAR BRIEFS 1 (August 2010).

Susan Hanley Kosse, Crafting Analogies and Distinctions That Work, KENTUCKY BENCH AND BAR 32 (November 2008).

Susan Hanley Kosse, From Armbands to MySpace to Cell Phones: Interesting School Laws Cases From Across the Country, KENTUCKY BENCH AND BAR 20 (November 2008)


Scholarly Presentations
"Making It Better: Restorative Justice and Bullying," Chapman University's symposium, "Making It Better: Naming and Resisting Bullying in Families, Schools, and Communities" (September 28, 2012).

"Restorative Justice and Juvenile Court: Reforming the Experience One Child at a Time," U of L International Day of Peace Commemoration: "Where Do We Go from Here?" (September 21, 2012).

"Restorative Justice: The Missing Part in the Anti-Bullying Statutes," IIRP/NSRJ-CURA Restorative Practices Conference (June 16, 2011).

"New Ways to Teach Drafting and Drafting Ethics," Transactional Education: What's Next?, Emory Law (June 5, 2010).

Visiting Lecturer, University of Montpellier, Montpellier, France (March 29-31, 2010).

"Law Review Symposium: Program Design Panel," Mercer University (November 5, 2009).

Visiting Lecturer, University KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (April 7-April 18, 2008).

"Selective Use of Sub Judice: Do We Need It in the United States?," Ohio Northern University 31st Annual Law Review Symposium, Ohio Northern School of Law (March 17, 2008).

"Media In High Profile Trials," Second regional junior faculty works-in-progress workshop at Washington University School of Law (February 29, 2008).

"My Space Is Also Their Space: Ideas for Keeping Children Safe from Sexual Predators on Social Networking Sites," "Jurisgenesis 2007: New Voices on the Law" Conference, St. Louis School of Law & Washington University School of Law (June 18 & 19, 2007).

"My Space Is Also Their Space: Ideas for Keeping Children Safe from Sexual Predators on Social Networking Sites," University of Louisville Faculty Workshop (June 5, 2007).

Continuing Legal Education and Service Presentations


"ABA Accreditation Standards Review Special Report," Legal Writing Institute Conference, Marco Island, Florida (June 30, 2010).

"Legal Writing," Administrative Hearings Before State Boards and Agencies: A Training Course for Hearing Officers and Participants in Administrative Hearings, Office of the Attorney General (June 25, 2010).

"Creating Dialogue Through Literature: An Ethics Roundtable," for 2.0 CLE Hours, including 2.0 Ethics Hours (Speakers: Kevin & Susan Duncan) (June 16, 2010)

"Legal Analysis and Writing," LBA Summer Law Institute (June 10, 2010).

"A Women's Nation: Localizing the Shriver Report," WFPL State of Affairs (February 18, 2010).

"Preparing for Law School Skills Workshop," Harlan Scholars (November 19, 2009)

"Pretrial Publicity: How Much Is Too Much?" LBA Presidential Series programs, (October 15, 2009).

"Professor Duncan's (aka Emily's Mom) Top Ten Writing Tips," St. Agnes School,
(September 10, 2009).

"Creating Dialogue Through Literature: An Ethics Roundtable," for 2.0 CLE Hours, including 2.0 Ethics Hours (Speakers: Kevin & Susan Duncan) (May 8, 2009)

"Law School Transition Workshop," Miami University (April 25, 2009).

Mock Law Class, Law School Preview Event (April 15, 2009).

"Nothing But The Truth (novel read by 7th grade) and Student First Amendment Rights," St. Agnes School (March 26, 2009).

"Regulating 'Hate Speech' & Holocaust Denial," 2d Annual University of Louisville Law Review Symposium University of Louisville (Moderator) (February 20, 2009).

"Professor Duncan's (aka Emily's Mom) Top Ten Writing Tips," St. Agnes School, (December 3, 2008).

"Demystifying the SSRN Process: How To Make It Work For You," Touro University (November 12, 2008).

"Leadership Through Service," 2008 Louisville Bar Association Leadership Academy Program (August 15, 2008).

University and Community Service



Legal Writing Institute (LWI)(President, 2006-208), LWI is a national organization that has close to 2200 members. It hosts a list-serv and a biennial conference (attended by over 600 members) and publishes a twice-yearly newsletter, The Second Draft, and an annual journal, Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute.

AALS Section on Legal Research, Writing and Analysis, (Chair 2007)

Association of Legal Writing Directors, ALWD Representative to ABA Council for the Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar & Standards Review Committee

Journal of Law & Education, Associate Executive Editor, 2006-2011

Miami University Pre-Law Advisory Committee, Inaugural Member, 2008-2011

State and Local Leadership

Kentucky Bar Association Diversity in the Profession Committee, 2012-present

Kentucky Bar Association Annual Convention Planning Committee, 2012 

Kentucky Bar Foundation, 2012

Louisville Bar Association Board of Directors, 2012

Louisville Bar Foundation, 2012

Louis D. Brandeis Inn of Court, 2012

Governor Scholars Program Council of Scholars, Inaugural Member, 2008-present


Law School (last 5 years)

Governance, 2009-2010

Self Study, 2009-2011

Student Welfare, 2010-2011

Technology, 2010-2011

Community Relations, 2007, 2008

Academic Outreach, 2007

Strategic Planning Committee, 2006-2008

Dean's Advisory Committee, 2005-2006; 2006-2007, 2009-2011


Chair of Commission on the Status of Women, 2009-2011, member of President Ramsey's Executive Cabinet. Attend multiple university events. Develop and pursue goals of the commission including implementing the 2009 Task Force Update recommendations.

Member of Search Committee for Associate VP for Human Resources, 2009

Vice-Chair Commission on the Status of Women 2007-2009, assisted the chair in developing the agendas and attended meetings with university and community officials.

COSW representative on Human Resources Advisory Committee (HRAC), 2007-2009, attended monthly meeting of HR committee that reviews all policies.

Chair Provost's Advisory Committee on Child Care Development Center, 2007

Member of the University Administration, Finance Outreach Committee, 2009-2012

Member of the University Community Engagement Committee, 2009-2011

Member of the University Great Places to Work Advisory Committee, 2009-2011

Co-Chair and Member of the Great Places to Work Family Friendly Committee, 2009-2011

Member of working group which developed the Legal Studies Certificate Proposal for A & S, 2009-2010

Kentucky (1991)
Tennessee (1993)


American Bar Association, Kentucky Bar Association, The Association of American Law Schools, Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD), The Legal Writing Institute (LWI), Louisville Bar Association, Jefferson County Women Lawyers' Association.


Co-chair of Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together (CLOUT) Healthcare Research Planning Committee (2007-2008) which addressed children's healthcare issues including 1) the problem of thousands of children in Louisville lacking healthcare insurance due to poor enrollment and retention practices by Medicaid and KCHIP and 2) the city's decision to close five pools in disadvantaged neighborhoods. CLOUT is a group of religious congregations and groups that are working together to strengthen ourselves internally and to empower our mission in the community. CLOUT is a grassroots, direct action, multi-issue organization, which has come together in the belief that united, we can become a powerful voice to work for a greater degree of justice in our community.

Jefferson County Restorative Justice/Family Group Conferencing Pilot Project (2010-present). The pilot project will include use of a Family Group Conference (FGC) process in lieu of formal Juvenile Court proceedings for cases meeting the eligibility requirement.

St. Agnes Catholic Church and School (multiple activities)

Kentucky Refugee Ministries Tutor (2010)

Habitat for Humanity - Worker on Women's House, July 2001

Law School Class of 1991 Reunion Committee

Healing Place

Sacred Heart Academy - Class Rep for 1984; Parent Association Board


2011 Jonathan L. Helfat Award for Legal Scholarship

2010 Louisville Bar Association, Distinguished Service Award
2009 Association of Legal Writing Directors Summer Teaching Grant for On-line course
2008 Community Engagement Award Nominee
2005 University of Louisville Presidential Distinguished Service Award
2005 Sacred Heart Academy Alumna of the Year
2004 Business First Forty under 40 Award
2003 University of Louisville's Faculty Community Service Award