Levin College of Law

Mary Adkins

Master Legal Skills Professor

Phone:
(352) 273-0880

About

Mary Adkins is a Master Legal Skills Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Adkins teaches legal writing. In addition, she is faculty liaison to the First District Appellate American Inn of Court, and has presented nationally matters related to legal writing. She is Immediate Past Chair of the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Legal Writing Directors.

Professor Adkins has researched the history of the 1968 Florida Constitution and its revisions and has presented dozens of times on Florida constitutional history. She has published two books: Making Modern Florida: How the Spirit of Reform Shaped a New Constitution, in 2016, and Chesterfield Smith, America’s Lawyer, in 2020, which won the 2020 Rembert Patrick Award, presented by the Florida Historical Society for best scholarly work on a topic of Florida history. Her co-authored casebook on Florida Constitutional Law will be published this year. She has also published several articles on Florida constitutional history and constitution revision and has served as an expert witness regarding the history of the Florida Constitution. She has conducted numerous oral history interviews of Florida legal, political and historical figures and is an executive board member of the Florida Supreme Court Historical Society. Prior to joining UF Law Adkins worked in private practice. She earned her B.S.J., M.A., and J.D. from the University of Florida.

Education

J.D., University of Florida

M.A., University of Florida

B.S.J., University of Florida

Teaching & Scholarship

Legal Research and Writing, Appellate Advocacy

Professional Activities

University of Florida: Joined law faculty as adjunct lecturer, 2005. Named Legal Skills Professor, 2006; Senior Legal Skills Professor, 2009; Master Legal Skills Professor, 2012. M.A., 2017; J.D., 1991; Senior Executive Editor, Florida Law Review, 1991.

Private Practice: Holland & Knight, 1992 – 1994. Jones, Carter & Drylie, P.A., 1994 – 1998.
Solo practice, 1999 – 2001. Cameron, Hodges, Coleman, LaPointe, & Wright, 2001 – 2004. Professional Affiliations: The Florida Bar; United States District Court, Middle District of Florida; Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association; Trustee, Florida Supreme Court Historical Society

Professional Affiliations: The Florida Bar; United States District Court, Middle District of Florida; Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association; Florida Historical Society; Florida Supreme Court Historical Society

Courses

Legal Writing - LAW 5792
  • First half of a two-part course, both required for graduation. Includes emphasis on written legal analysis and preparation of predictive legal memoranda.
Legal Writing II – Persuasive Writing - TBA
  • Legal Writing II: Persuasive Writing continues the first year legal writing curriculum by focusing on various forms of persuasive writing, including trial briefs, motions and appellate briefs. Students will also have an opportunity to prepare and deliver an oral argument.
Introduction to Lawyering and the Legal Profession - LAW 5755
  • This course acquaints students with the defining attributes of the legal profession including a code of ethics and assumption of duties to clients, the justice system, and society. Focuses on the evolving nature of legal services, types of law practices, and demographics of the legal profession and the skills required for law practice.

Publications

Books

  • Florida Constitutional Law: Cases in Context,” co-authored with Jon L. Mills and Timothy E. McLendon (Carolina Academic Press 2021). [Link]
  • Chesterfield Smith, America’s Lawyer (University Press of Florida, 2020) [Link]
  • Making Modern Florida: How the Spirit of Reform Shaped a New State Constitution (University Press of Florida, 2016) [Link] [Chapter Two SSRN]

Articles

  • What Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission Can Teach Those of Other States, 71 Rutgers U. L. Rev. 1177 (2019) [SSRN]
  • The Same River Twice: A Brief History of How the 1968 Florida Constitution Came to Be and What It Has Become, 18 Fla. Coastal L. Rev. 5 (2016) [SSRN]
  • Persuasive Analytical Legal Writing,  Bahçeşehir Űniversitesi Hűkűk Fakultesi (Bahçeşehir University Law Faculty) Kazanci 125 (2011). [SSRN]
  • The Unblinking Eye Turns to Appellate Law: Cameras in Trial Courtrooms and Their Effect on Appellate Law, 15 J. Tech. L. & Pol’y 65 (2010) [SSRN]