Associate Director of Legal Rhetoric
Legal Rhetoric Instructor
Office: Room Y364K
Paul Figley joined the faculty of the Washington College of Law in the Fall of 2006. He is the Associate Director of the Legal Writing and Rhetoric Program. Professor Figley has taught Legal Rhetoric, first year Torts, and upper level Advanced Lawyering Skills: Tort Litigation. He serves on the Advisory Boards of the ADMINISTRATIVE LAW REVIEW and the AMERICAN UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW. The Student Bar Association voted him Washington College of Law Professor of the Year for 2012-13 and Faculty Member of the Year for 2014-15.
Professor Figley has presented at scholarly symposia and conferences and taught writing workshops to national organizations and government agencies. He has written for national legal writing publications. He has also published articles in scholarly journals and a book, A Guide to the Federal Tort Claims Act (ABA, 2012). In 2017, he won Washington College of Law’s Emalee C. Godsey Scholar Award.
Professor Figley was a U.S. Department of Justice litigator for three decades. During his last fifteen years he served as Deputy Director in the Torts Branch of the Civil Division. At Justice, Professor Figley represented the United States and its agencies in appellate and district court litigation involving torts, national security, and information law.
Professor Figley is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College and Southern Methodist University School of Law, where he was Leading Articles Editor for the Journal of Air Law & Commerce.
Areas of Specialization
- Legal Writing, Reasoning and Research
- Litigation Against the Federal Government
- Torts and Compensation Systems
Degrees & Universities
- J.D., Southern Methodist University School of Law
- B.A., Franklin & Marshall College
- Paul Figley, The Judgment Fund: America’s Deepest Pocket & its Susceptibility to Executive Branch Misuse, 18 U. Pa. J. Const. L. 145 (2015). SSRN Link
- Paul Figley, A Guide To The Federal Torts Claim Act (ABA 2013).
- Paul Figley, Using Problems to Teach Quantitative Damages in a First Year Torts Class, 63 J. Leg. Educ. 113 (2013). SSRN Link
- Paul Figley, Teaching Rule Synthesis with Real Cases, 61 J. Leg. Educ. 245 (2011). SSRN Link
- Paul Figley, In Defense of Feres: An Unfairly Maligned Opinion, 60 Am. U. L. Rev. 393 (2011). SSRN Link
- Paul Figley, Ethical Intersections & the Federal Tort Claims Act: An Approach for Government Attorneys, 8 St. Thomas U. L.J. 347 (2011). SSRN Link
- Paul Figley & Jay Tidmarsh, The Appropriations Power and Sovereign Immunity, 107 Mich. L. Rev. 1207 (2009). SSRN Link
- Paul Figley, Understanding the Federal Tort Claims Act: A Different Metaphor, 44 Tort Tr. & Ins. Prac. L.J. 1105 (2009). SSRN Link
- Paul Figley, Teaching Novice Legal Writers to Complete Their Arguments; A Useful Metaphor, The Second Draft: Bulletin of the Legal Writing Institute (Fall 2007).
Selected Honors & Awards
- Faculty Member of the Year 2014-15 (American University Washington College of Law ).
- Professor of the Year 2012-13 (American University Washington College of Law ).
- Civil Division Award for Dedicated Service (U.S. Dept. of J., 2005) (One of six to receive this award from among 700 Civil Division Attorneys).