University of Arizona Law legal writing

L to R: New Director of Legal Writing Susan Salmon, joined by new faculty Joy Herr-Cardillo, Diana Simon, Tessa Dysart, Carolyn Williams, and Sylvia Lett. Photo: Molly Condit/University of Arizona Law.

Five New Faculty Join University of Arizona Law Legal Writing Program

New faculty hires lead to full-time program

Alejandra Cardenas Cuestas

The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law legal writing program welcomes a new assistant director and five new faculty members.

The new faculty will be led by recently appointed Director of Legal Writing Susan Salmon, who was previously assistant director of legal writing and succeeds longtime director Suzanne Rabe, who retired in May.

“This team brings years of knowledge, experience and diverse backgrounds, adding value to the legal writing program at Arizona Law,” says Salmon. “They share the same overall vision for the program and are invested in the future success of our students. I look forward to working with these talented individuals.”

Arizona Law’s expanding legal writing program offers a diverse array of courses while keeping class sizes intimate—15 students or less—to provide individualized attention and comprehensive feedback.

New Legal Writing Faculty

Tessa Dysart University of Arizona Law legal writingTessa Dysart is the new assistant director of legal writing and an associate clinical professor of law. She previously served as a moot-court coach and advised a nationally ranked moot-court program at Regent University School of Law, where she also taught appellate advocacy and Constitutional Law. Dysart clerked for the Honorable Dennis W. Shedd on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and worked at the American Center for Law and Justice, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the Department of Justice Office of Legal Policy. She has written in the areas of constitutional law and human trafficking and worked with Fifth Circuit Judge Leslie Southwick on the third edition of “Winning on Appeal.” Dysart is a graduate of Willamette University and Harvard Law School.

Joy Herr-Cardillo University of Arizona Law Legal WritingJoy E. Herr-Cardillo will teach legal writing full-time as associate professor of legal writing and assistant clinical professor after teaching as a part-time professor of practice in the program since 2002. Professor Herr-Cardillo spent 15 years as a commercial litigator in Tucson before spending the last 18 years as the staff attorney in the Tucson office of the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest, where she worked on a range of legal issues including environmental law, government accountability, public education, and direct democracy. She has written on environmental law topics. Herr-Cardillo is a graduate of University of Michigan and is an Arizona Law alumna.  

Sylvia Lett University of Arizona Law legal writingSylvia Lett joins the faculty as associate professor of legal writing and assistant clinical professor after teaching various legal writing courses as a part-time professor of practice for more than 12 years. She previously clerked for the Honorable Barry G. Silverman on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Honorable Susan A. Ehrlich on the Arizona Court of Appeals. Lett has also worked at private law firms in New York City and Phoenix and as an assistant federal public defender in the Capital Habeas Unit of the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the District of Arizona. Lett is a graduate of Harvard University and New York University Law School. 

Carolyn Williams University of Arizona Law legal writingCarolyn Williams is associate professor of legal writing and assistant clinical professor. She joins Arizona Law from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, where she taught legal writing from 2015 to 2017. Before joining that program, Williams was a litigation associate in Phoenix. Her diverse practice experience includes shareholder derivative disputes, restraint-of-trade litigation, data-breach litigation, land-use disputes, and health care litigation. Super Lawyers named her a Rising Star in 2016. Williams earned both her undergraduate and juris doctor from Arizona State University. 

Diana Simon University of Arizona Law legal writingDiana Simon has been teaching at Arizona Law for more than 20 years, much of that time in the Legal Writing Program. She is now associate professor of legal writing and assistant clinical professor. She brings with her a wealth of experience as a commercial litigator, having practiced in Atlanta, Washington D.C., Beverly Hills, and Tucson for clients ranging from individuals to Fortune 500 companies. Simon is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and Emory Law School.