Paula J. Manning

Paula J. Manning

Professor of Law
Assistant Dean, Academic Success and Bar Preparation

Paula J. Manning
Contact Info:
Campus: Riverfront Campus
Building: Dowling Hall
Room: 325A
Phone: 313-596-9445
Paula J. Manning


Paula Manning joined Detroit Mercy Law in 2021 as a Professor of Law and Assistant Dean for Academic Success. She is a nationally recognized expert on academic success, legal pedagogy, and the teaching of professional skills in law school, and is co-author of Expert Learning for Law Students, a highly regarded law school success text.

Professor Manning is an innovative teacher, who incorporates skills and practical training into her courses.  She is the author of the Torts text in the groundbreaking Context and Practice series, a law school textbook series designed to incorporate experiential learning and skills into traditional doctrinal courses.  Professor Manning’s research and other publications focus on incorporating positive psychology into the law school environment—to improve law student well-being and combat stereotype threat.

She is a leader in her field—having served as President of the Association of Academic Support Educators, on the executive board of the AALS, Academic Support Section, as an instructor and regional consultant for CLEO, and on the board of the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning.  She is frequently invited to speak to law faculty around the country about teaching and learning.  In 2021 she was awarded the AALS Academic Support Section Legacy in Leadership award for her contributions to the field of Academic Support. 


    Courses Taught


    Civil Procedure

    Critical Legal Skills


    Selected Publications

    Understanding the Impact of Inadequate Feedback:  A Means to Reduce Law Student Psychological Distress, Increase motivation and Improve Learning Outcomes, 43 Cumberland L. Rev. 225 (2012).

    Word to the Wise:  Feedback Interventions to Moderate the Effects of Stereotype Threat and Attributional Ambiguity on Law Students, 18 U. Maryland L. J. Race, Relig. Gender & Class 99 (2018).

    Expert Learning for Law Students 3rd ed. (with Michael Hunter Schwartz). Carolina Academic Press (2017)

    Torts: A Context and Practice Casebook. Carolina Academic Press (2013).

    How to Train Your Supervisor, ___ Pace L. Rev. (2021) 

    Affective, Effective Feedback, The Learning Curve (Winter 2010).

    Baby Needs a New Set of Rules: Using Adoption Doctrine to regulate Embryo Donation, 5 Georgetown J. Gender & L. 677 (2004)


    Selected Presentations

    Bringing Modern Pedagogy to the Traditional Doctrinal Classroom:  A Peaceful Resolution, Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Annual Meeting, Teaching Methods Section (2019)

    It Takes Two to Make a Thing Go Right:  Teaching Students to Seek and Find Great Supervision, AASE Annual Conference (Kris Franklin, co-presenter) (2019)

    Expert Learning and Teaching, AASE Newcomer's Conference (2019)

    Removing Institutional Barriers to Improve Bar Examination Outcomes, Invited Speaker, Access Lex Institute (2019)

    Moderating the Negative Consequences of Stereotype Threat, Improving Motivation and Fostering a Growth Mindset, Washburn School of Law, Faculty Workshop (2019)

    Autonomy Supportive Feedback: Mindset, Motivation and Mitigating Stereotype Threat, DePaul University College of Law, Faculty Workshop (2018)

    Bridging the Gap Between Expert and Novice:  Using Visual Mapping to Develop Critical Thinking and Writing Skills, New York Law School, Faculty Workshop (2018)

    Commenting on Student Work to Maximize Learning, AASE National Conference, (Rory Bahadur, Kris Franklin and Kim Hawkins, co-presenters) (2018)

    "Wise" Feedback:  Moderating the Effects of Stereotype Threat on Law Students, AASE Diversity Conference (2017)

    Feedback Interventions to Moderate the Effects of Attributional Ambiguity and Stereotype Threat on Law Students, University of Maryland Journal of Race, Gender, Religion and Law Symposium (2017)

    Bridging the Gap:  Practical Ways to Help Minority Law Students, AASE National Conference, Plenary speaker (Russell McClain and Courtney Lee, co-presenters) (2017).

    The Modern Law Student, AALS Annual Meeting, Part-Time Student section (2017).

    Expert Learning 2.0, AASE National Conference, Plenary speaker (Michael Hunter Schwartz, co-presenter) (2016).

    The Feedback Whisperer, Teaching, Reaching and Nurturing Law Students, AASE  Newcomers Pre-Conference (2016)

    Assessment and Academic Support in the Law School Classroom, Ohio Northern University, Invited Speaker (2016)

    Understanding the Impact of Inadequate Feedback, AALS Balance in Legal Education Section, Topic Call (2016)

    Raising the Bar, Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Annual Meeting (2016)

    Seeing is Believing (and Learning and Doing):  Using Visual Mapping To Bridge The Gap Between Thinking And Writing, AASE National Conference (2015)

    Academic Support in Wonderland:  Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast, Western Association of Academic Support Professionals, Invited Keynote Speaker (2015)

    Teaching in 2015:  The Integration of Skills and Social Justice for Modern Lawyering, SALT Teaching Conference (2014)

    Developing Assessment Rubrics that Foster Student Motivation, Optimism and a Growth Mindset, Western Regional Legal Writing Conference, Stanford Law School (2014)

    Helping Students “See” the Possibilities:  Using Visual Mapping to Develop Critical Thinking and Writing Skills, Marquette Law School Faculty Workshop (2014)

    “But I Understood the Material!” Helping Students Translate Critical Thinking into Legal Writing by Using Visual Thinking Paths to Model the Progression from Novice to Expert (Kris Franklin, co-presenter), LWI Biennial Conference (2014)

    Make it Work! Using Instructional Design Principles to Design Curricula and Create Effective Programs, AASE National Conference (2014)

    Teaching Millennial Law Students, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, Faculty Workshop (2013)

    Teaching and Reaching Millennial Students, University of Nebraska College of Law, Faculty Workshop (2013)

    Law School and the Millennials, Pacific Law School Advisors Annual Meeting (2013)

    Improving Mindset and Motivation through Feedback and Assessment, Institute for Law Teaching and Learning, Teaching Law by Design for Adjuncts Conference (2013)

    Getting to Know the Troops. ABA Associate Dean’s Conference, Invited Plenary Speaker (Anne Enquist and Heather Jarvis, co-presenters) (2012)

    Planning for Student Outcome Measurements: Course Design Theory, Research, and Practice, Southeastern Association of Law Schools, Annual Conference (Olympia Duhart and Michael Hunter Schwartz, co-presenters) (2012)

    Developing a Way with Words: Assessment Rubrics that Foster Student Motivation, Optimism and a Growth Mindset. Legal Writing Institute 2012 Biennial Conference, (Corie Rosen, co-presenter) (2012)

    Appreciative Inquiry, LSAC Newcomers Conference (2011)

    Focus on Feedback. Legal Writing Institute Workshop, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, Invited Speaker (2011).

    Implementing Carnegie and Best Practices: Challenging Students to Develop Practical Skills and Professional Identity, Southeastern Association of law schools, Annual Conference (Sarah Ricks, Ben Madison and David Schwartz, co-presenters) (2011)

    Almost Paradigm:  Working to Define and Categorize Modern Approaches to Teaching Law School, Institute for Law Teaching and Learning, Engaging and Assessing Our Students, New York Law School (David Groshoff, co-presenter) (2011)

    Make Someone Happy:  Developing Optimistic Learners and Learning Environments, Institute for Law Teaching and Learning, Engaging and Assessing Our Students, New York Law School (Corie Rosen and Rebecca Flanagan, co-presenters) (2011)

    In Pursuit of Happiness:  Developing Optimistic Learners and Learning Environments, AALS Annual Meeting (Rebecca Flanagan and Russell McClain, co-presenters) (2011).

    What Do Autonomy Support and Communication Styles Have To Do With Diverse Learning Communities:  Teaching and Mentoring All Law Students in an Increasingly Diverse World, Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) Teaching in a Transformative Era Conference (2010)

    Reducing Effects Of Stereotype Threat on Bar Takers, LSAC Bar Exam Conference (2010)

    They’re Just Not that Into You(r Feedback):  Educating, Encouraging and Inspiring the Millennial Generation, Legal Writing Institute, Annual Conference (2010)

    What on Earth Could They Be Thinking? Using Electronic Surveys to Find Out, Institute for Law Teaching and Learning, Washburn School of Law (2010)

    Attracting Students by Singing the Praises of Your Academic Support Program, Invited Speaker, LSAC Annual Conference for Admissions Professionals (Russell McClain, co-presenter) (2010)

    The Importance of Technology to the Millennial Learner, LSAC Teaching 21st Century Students with Technology, Plenary Speaker (2010)

    Using Technology to Assess Student Learning, LSAC Teaching 21st Century Students with Technology (2010)

    What Do Law Schools Do to Provide Academic Support? Invited Speaker, AACRAO Annual Meeting (Michael Hunter Schwartz, co-presenter) (2010)

    Improving Performance on the Bar Examination, Invited Speaker, Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law (2010)

    Designing, Implementing and Nurturing Student Assisted Programs, Invited Speaker, New England Consortium of Academic Support Professionals, Suffolk Law School (Joanne Harvest Koran, co-presenter) (2009)

    Using Feedback to Improve Outlook and Outcomes, Crossroads in Legal Education Conference, University of Denver Sturm College of Law (2009)

    Autonomy Support and Law School: Perfect Union or Irreconcilable Differences?  Institute for Law Teaching and Learning, Gonzaga Law School (2009)

    A Day in the Life of an Academic Support Professional, LSAC Academic Assistance Training Conference (Russell McClain, co-presenter) (2009)

    The What and How of Data Collection and Program Evaluation,  LSAC Bar Support, Collaboration and Programs Conference, Southwestern Law School (Emmy Reeves, co-presenter) (2008)

    Academic Support and Bar Preparation, LSAC New Professionals Workshop, Invited Speaker (2008)

    Doctrine, Skills and Practical Experiences:  Developing an Integrated Law School Curriculum, Crossroads in Legal Education Conference (Ken Agran and Andrea Funk, co-presenters) (2008)

    Preparing for the Bar Exam:  Tips and Techniques to Improve Performance,  Arizona Bar Examiners 75th Anniversary Speaker Series, Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law (2007)

    Teaching Students to Pre-Write Essays, LSAC National Academic Assistance Training Conference (2007)