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Kathryn Fehrman

Legal Writing Professor

J.D. University of Detroit School of Law
B.A. Trinity College, Hartford, CT
Introduction to Legal Skills Legal Skills I & II, Internship Seminar, STEPPS, The International Trafficking in Humans, Legal Skills for Foreign LLM Students

Professor Fehrman was Deputy Director of the State of Michigan's Department of Human Services, and served as Director of the Bay County Michigan Public Defender's Office. She is an Editorial Board Member of the Michigan Child Welfare Law Journal, and is former Chair of the State Bar of Michigan Children's Law Section. Her publications and presentation topics include Juvenile Justice, Foster Care, International Treatment of Children, Human Trafficking, Peacemaking, and various aspects of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

After many years in theater and music, Professor Fehrman began her legal career as an officer in the US Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAG). She moved from there to civil litigation and appeals, representing businesses in real estate, energy, and contract cases at Luce Forward in San Diego. She was an arbitrator for the San Diego Board of Realtors, and wrote legal columns for their magazine.

Following a move to Michigan, Professor Fehrman continued to practice business, real estate, and government law. She heard cases as a hearing referee for the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, served as a prosecutor, taught as an adjunct faculty member at universities and law schools, and became deeply involved in children's law and policy. Before Governor Jennifer Granholm appointed her to the Michigan Department of Human Services, she was a member of the Public Safety, and Children & Families gubernatorial transition teams. Professor Fehrman has served on various task forces and work groups of the Michigan Supreme Court Administrator's Office, including the Chief Justice's Adoptions Committee, the Attorney ad hoc Committee of the Foster Care Review Board, and the Permanency Planning Mediation Project. Professor Fehrman was also a member of the Governor's Task Force on Children's Justice, and the Governor's Finance Committee. She is a board member of San Diego Writer's Ink.


  • Timothy Casey & Kathryn Fehrman, Making Lawyers Out of Law Students: Shifting the Locus of Authority, 20 Perspectives: Teaching Legal Res. & Writing 96 (2012). 
  • Roberta K. Thyfault & Kathryn Fehrman, Interactive Group Learning in the Legal Writing Classroom: An International Primer on Student Collaboration and Cooperation in Large Classrooms, 3 J. Marshall L. Rev. 135 (2009).

San Diego Daily Transcript (Op Eds)

Selected Presentations

Teaching Personal and Professional Values to Law Students, Legal Writing Institute Regional 1-Day Workshop, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, CA; December 2013

Human Communication For Law Students, Legal Writing Institute 1-Day Workshop, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA; December 2012

Using Media Training to Get to the Point, The International Conference on Arts in Society, John Moore University, Liverpool, England July 2012 (With Prof. Kathryn Mercer, Ph.D, J.D., and Ann Convery, Media Trainer)

Using Media Training to Teach Precision and Concision to Law Students, Legal Writing Institute Biennial Conference, Palm Desert, CA; June 2012 (with Prof. Kathryn Mercer, Ph.D, J.D., and Ann Convery, Media Trainer)

Using Indigenous Ritual to Make Peace, Global Legal Skills Conference, Chicago, IL; May 2011 (With Prof. Kathryn Mercer, Ph.D, J.D.)

Disney, The Boss, and Mozart for Legal Writers (Using the Arts to Teach Legal Writing); Rocky Mountain Regional Legal Writing Conference, Las Vegas, NV; March 2011 (With Professors Lisa Black and Ruth Hargrove)

International Human Rights Law Update (Year in Review), Panel Member; American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Annual Meeting; San Francisco, CA; January 2011

Peacemaking Using Ritual and Theater Art, The International Conference on Arts in Society, (Common Ground Publishers), Sydney Australia; July 2010

Using Indigenous Ritual to Make Peace, ABA, Dispute Resolution (National) Section Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA; April 2010 (With Mark Mills, J.D., M.D. and Barbara Filner, M.S.)

Making Connections - Elevating the Level of Communication in Undergraduate and Graduate Classrooms; The International Conference on Arts in Society, Venice Italy; July 2009 (With Professor Janet Rubin, Ph.D.)

Collaborative and Cooperative Learning (Small Group Teaching and Learning) in the Large International Classroom; APPEAL (Academics Promoting the Pedagogy of Effective Advocacy in Law) Conference at the University of Pretoria Law School, Pretoria, South Africa; June 2009 (With Professor Roberta Thyfault)

Experiential Teaching and Learning in the Classroom; the International Improving University Teaching Conference at Strathclyde University, Glasgow, Scotland; July 2008 (With Professor Janet Rubin, Ph.D.)

International Law Affecting Child Trafficking; State Bar of Michigan Children�s Law Section, State Bar Annual Conference; Lansing MI; September 2006