Distinguished Visiting Professor and Scholar
David Cleveland is a classically trained educator who has taught at the high school, college, and law school levels. He is also an experienced litigator and accomplished scholar, specializing in legal writing, legal ethics, and federal court reform issues. He has been teaching legal research, writing, and analysis in law schools since 2005.
David’s teaching has included in-person, online, and hybrid instruction. He has taught a variety of J.D. courses including first-year legal writing, upper-level appellate advocacy, legal ethics, administrative law research, and gaming law seminars. He has also taught masters of law courses on federalism issues and business organizations. David is first and foremost an energetic and innovative teacher. David is also a nationally recognized expert in federal court structure and reform and a leader in the legal writing community. His widely cited scholarship includes works on federal court reform, legal writing pedagogy and history, and discrimination law. He has served in a variety of leadership roles in the legal writing community, including as a member of the board of the Association of Legal Writing Directors.
David has a history of service and leadership in the law school setting, having previously been a dean, associate dean, and legal writing director. In 2017, David was awarded the Jack A. Hiller Distinguished Faculty Award for excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service and in 2020 he was selected for the Legal Writing Institute’s rarely given Terri LeClercq Courage Award.
“I am passionate about both teaching and law, and teaching future lawyers is the perfect opportunity for me to combine these passions. As a trained educator and experienced litigator, I can prepare my students to practice with skill, confidence, and professionalism. I look forward each year to teaching students what I believe are fundamental subjects for lawyers: legal writing and legal ethics.”
B.A., magna cum laude, 1998, Western Michigan University
J.D., 2002, Georgetown University Law Center
Mitchell Hamline School of Law, distinguished visiting professor/scholar in legal writing, 2021–
Valparaiso University Law School, professor of law, 2015–; Dean, 2018–; associate dean for academic affairs, 2016–18; legal writing director, 2016–20; associate professor of law, 2012–15
University of Denver Sturm College of Law, visiting professor, 2020–21
Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center, professor of law, 2011–12; associate professor of law, 2009–11; assistant professor of law, 2005–09
Kalamazoo Central High School, intern teacher, 1998
Western Michigan University, instructor, English, 1997
U.S. Supreme Court, 2009
Sixth Circuit, 2004
Leadership and service
Legal Writing Institute’s Terri LeClercq Courage Award, 2020, Legal Writing Institute’s rarely awarded recognition of personal, moral, and civic courage;
Jack A. Hiller Distinguished Faculty Award, 2017, Valparaiso University Law School’s professor of the year award for teaching,
scholarship, and service;
Knaus-Burnham Award, 1998, Western Michigan University History Department’s award for excellence in scholarship, research, and writing;
Margaret Macmillan Writing Award, 1997, Western Michigan University History Department’s highest award for undergraduate research and writing;
Association of Legal Writing Directors, board member 2013–18, 2020–; voting delegate 2008–20; board diversity committee member 2017–18; conference committee chair 2011–16; scholarship committee chair 2010–12; scholarship grant mentor 2016–17
Legal Writing Institute, member, 2005–
American Bar Association, member, 2002–
Valparaiso University, University Council of Deans 2018–20; University Provost’s Council 2018–20; University Undergraduate Honor Code Administrator 2020; University Academic Affairs Scenario Planning Working Group 2020; University Academic Affairs Restructuring Working Group 2020; University Taskforce on Integration of the Law School, chair 2016–17.