Tom Cobb

  • Associate Teaching Professor


Phone: (206) 543-6136

Tom Cobb


B.A. 1991, University of Alabama M.A. 1993, Reed College M.A. 1997, University of Chicago J.D. 2001, University of Minnesota

Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Expertise

Legal Research and Writing

Recent Courses

LAW A 506 Legal Analysis, Research and Writing

Selected Publications

See the full list under the Publications tab below.

Professor Thomas Cobb joined the UW law school faculty in 2004. Before joining the faculty, Professor Cobb clerked for Justice Susan M. Leeson at the Oregon Supreme Court and was an Assistant Attorney General in the Appellate Division at the Oregon Department of Justice.

Professor Cobb graduated from the University of Alabama magna cum laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. After completing his master's degree in literature, rhetoric, and translation theory, he taught and studied in Colmar, France under an IIE-Fulbright Grant. He then received a University of Chicago Fellowship to study literature and art history and concentrated his studies on rhetoric and visual culture, earning an M.A. in comparative literature.

At the University of Minnesota Law School, he was a student director of the Legal Assistance to Minnesota Prisoners clinic and was involved in the redesign, expansion, and translation of the University of Minnesota Human Rights Library. He graduated magna cum laude and is a member of Order of the Coif.

Professor Cobb's current research interests include legal rhetoric, statutory interpretation, immigration law, and evidence. He is an assistant editor of the Journal of the Association of Legal Writing Directors, and is a member of the Rhetoric Society of America, the American Society for the History of Rhetoric, and the National Council of Teachers of English.

  • "Judges’ Brief-Writing Advice and the Caseload Crisis of the 1970s", Annual Conference, and Suffolk University Law School, Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities (April 3, 2009)
  • "Judges and the Rhetoric of Reading", Visiting Scholar Series, Mercer University School of Law (March 31, 2009)
  • Discussant, "First-Year Reforms Supplementing the Cognitive, Skills and Professional Formation Apprenticeships", Legal Education at the Crossroads: Ideas to Accomplishments, University of Washington School of Law (September 6, 2008)
  • "Re-imagining Collaborative Learning: New Technologies and Possibilities", with Theodore Myhre, Biennial National Conference, Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis and the Legal Writing Institute (July 17, 2008)
  • "Chaim Perelman's Presence in Legal Education", The Promise of Reason: The New Rhetoric after 50 Years, University of Oregon (May 18, 2008)
  • "Compulsive Hoarding and Cluttering", Columbia Legal Services and Washington State Housing Task Force (October 22, 2007)
  • "Introduction to Case Analysis / Statutory Interpretation", Summer Institute in Transnational Law, University of Washington School of Law (September 10, 2007)
  • "Incorporating Real Legal Work into the Legal Writing Classroom", with Helen Anderson and Theodore Myhre, Northwest Regional Conference for Teachers of Legal Method, Writing, and Research, Gonzaga University School of Law (August 1, 2007)
  • "Introduction to the U.S. Legal System: Jaramillo v. Ford, a Case Study in Product Liability Litigation", Summer Institute on English, Business, and Law, University of Washington and UW Educational Outreach (August 1, 2007)
  • "Neuroimaging Evidence and the Juvenile Death Penalty", History and Philosophy of Biology Program, The Evergreen State College (May 22, 2007)
  • "The Legal and Historical Context of TVA v. Hill", Visualizing Ecology Program, The Evergreen State College (March 13, 2007)
  • Moderator, "Graphic and Visual Representations of Evidence and Inference in Legal Settings", Yeshiva University, Cardozo Law School (January 1, 2007)
  • "Reverse Course: Should We Teach Persuasive Writing First?", with Beth Cook, Biennial National Conference, Georgia State University College of Law and the Legal Writing Institute (June 1, 2006)
  • "Collaboration Among Law School Programs: Legal Writing and Clinical Law", with Debbie Maranville and Jackie McMurtrie, Clinical Legal Education, Association of American Law Schools (May 1, 2006)
  • "How Common Law Lawyers Argue: Categories and Cases II", Summer Institute in Transnational Law, University of Washington School of Law (September 13, 2005)