Master Legal Skills Professor
UF Law is deeply saddened to report that Professor Deb Cupples passed away October 4, 2020. You may learn more about her legacy at UF Law, including tributes from colleagues, students and friends by visiting her In Memoriam page.
Deborah Cupples is a Master Legal Skills Professor at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law, where she teaches legal drafting. She has also taught courses in statutory interpretation and drafting, constitutional interpretation and revision (Florida), and art law. Her expertise lies in legal-document drafting (primarily contracts and legislation) and contract negotiation.
She has co-authored two books: one on legal drafting and one on grammar and style for lawyers. Prior to joining the UF Law faculty in 2008, Cupples worked as an attorney in private practice. She served on the board of the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association from 2008 to 2012. She continues to do pro-bono work through the Southern Legal Counsel and to work as a legal consultant.
She earned her B.A., M.A., and J.D. degrees all from the University of Florida, where she served as Managing Editor of the Florida Law Review.
J.D., University of Florida
M.A., University of Florida
B.A., University of Florida
Teaching and Scholarship
Legal document drafting (litigation documents, contracts, and legislation); contract negotiation; Florida constitutional interpretation; legislative interpretation; and art law.
- University of Florida Levin College of Law: began teaching Legal Drafting as an adjunct (2006), joined faculty as Legal Skills Professor (2008); promoted to Senior Legal Skills Professor (2011); promoted to Master Legal Skills Professor (2016).
- Legal Practice: Rural Health Partnership of North Central Florida, Legal Consultant (2009-pres.); Southern Legal Counsel, pro-bono (2009-2014); F. Parker Lawrence, P.A., Attorney (2006-08).
- Memberships: Florida Bar (2006-pres.); Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association, Member (2007-pres.) and Board Member (2007-2011); Legal Writing Institute, Member (2013-pres.).
- The required course must be taken in the second year and be completed with a passing grade. The class focuses on principals and practice of drafting contracts and other enforceable documents; the interpretation of enforceable documents; and the reinforcement of professional writing skills. Sections may focus on general contract drafting skills, or focus on drafting for specific practice areas.
- This course is a seminar on the law specially concerning art and cultural property. The focus is broad and international. The topic crosses all fields of law, criminal and civil, domestic and international, contemporary and historical, commercial, administrative, private and public.
- This asynchronous online course focuses on grammar, punctuation, and style (using law-related materials). The objective is to give students the opportunity to learn to generate text, identify problems in their writing, and to evaluate and edit their writing.
- Deborah Cupples, A Short and Happy Guide to Civics (West Academic Publishing, 2020)
- Deborah Cupples, It Is About You: How American Government Works and How to Help Fix It (Deflinium, 2017)
- Deborah Cupples and Margaret Temple-Smith, Grammar, Punctuation, & Style: A Quick Guide for Lawyers and Other Writers (West, 2013)
- Margaret Temple-Smith and Deborah Cupples, Legal Drafting: Litigation Documents, Contracts, Legislation, and Wills (West, 2012)