Kamela Bridges

Director & Lecturer

Kamela Bridges directs the David J. Beck Center for Legal Research, Writing, and Appellate Advocacy.  She teaches legal writing, appellate advocacy, and litigation writing.  Before joining the faculty in 2000, Ms. Bridges was a partner at Locke Liddell & Sapp LLP (now known as Locke Lord).  Her practice focused on civil litigation and appellate law.  Ms. Bridges co-authored Writing for Litigation, a text designed to help students and new lawyers learn to write documents typically used in civil litigation.

Lori Mason


Shannon Peris


Shannon Peris teaches legal writing and research.  She received her undergraduate degree in economics from Cornell University and her law degree from Cornell Law School.  After law school she began her commercial litigation practice in the New York office of Mayer Brown.  She eventually relocated to Texas where she continued her practice and also began teaching as an adjunct professor.  She joined the full-time faculty in 2018.

Sean Petrie


Sean Petrie started his legal career as judicial clerk (U.S. Dist. Judge Sam Sparks) and an IP litigation attorney (Wilson Sonsini; Susman Godfrey; and Conley Rose & Tayon). Then, in 2005, he was asked to teach as an adjunct at UT Law. He loved it, was fortunate enough to get a full-time position in 2007, and hasn't looked back.

Sean currently focuses on legal writing and research, teaching the first-year required course, as well as upper-division electives on litigation writing and preparing for judicial clerkships. He also serves as the faculty advisor for the law school's McCormick Society.


Nelia Robbi


Amanda M. Schaeffer


Amanda Schaeffer teaches legal writing. Ms. Schaeffer received her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law (J.D., with high honors, Order of the Coif, 2008), and her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University (B.A., with highest honors, English, 2003). Prior to joining the faculty in 2015, Ms. Schaeffer was an associate in the Austin office of Locke Lord, LLP, where she focused her practice on civil litigation. Ms. Schaeffer clerked for the Hon. Wallace B. Jefferson, former Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court.

Wayne Schiess

Senior Lecturer

Mr. Schiess teaches legal writing, legal drafting, and plain English and speaks frequently on those subjects. He has also written dozens of articles and four books on practical legal-writing skills. He graduated from Cornell Law School, practiced law for three years at the Texas firm of Baker Botts, and in 1992 joined the faculty at Texas. He blogs about legal writing at LEGIBLE.

Elizabeth Youngdale


Ms. Youngdale is a graduate of The University of Texas School of Law, where she was a Teaching Quizmaster. Prior to joining the faculty at the law school, she was Head of Student Services at Tarlton Law Library. Before coming to the law library, she was an assistant professor and reference librarian at Baylor Law School. She teaches Legal Research and Writing and TQ Seminar.