David Spratt

Legal Rhetoric Instructor

Office: Room 129C
Phone: 202-274-4059
E-mail: vCard


Professor David H. Spratt received a B.A. degree in Government and Psychology from The College of William and Mary and graduated summa cum laude from The American University, Washington College of Law. Prior to teaching Legal Rhetoric, Professor Spratt taught Legal Writing and Research at the George Washington University School of Law, Legal Analysis and Writing at Concord School of Law, and Legal Methods at the Washington College of Law. Professor Spratt is a member of the Virginia and District of Columbia bars, and he is an active participant in state, local, and national bar associations and organizations. He is the immediate past chair of the Virginia Bar Association, Domestic Relations Section and the Northern Virginia Regional Advisory Committee. In the past, he has moderated and/or presented continuing legal education programs on attorney impairment, vocational rehabilitation experts, defined duration support, imputation of income, amendments to the Virginia child support statute, legal ethics, research and citation, the use of electronic evidence in litigation and family law cases, and child custody evaluations. In 2001, Professor Spratt was a founding partner of Schwartz & Spratt, PLC, a family law firm in Fairfax, Virginia. Previously, Professor Spratt has worked as an associate at the Law Office of Betty A. Thompson, Ltd., and at The Lewis Law Firm, in Washington, D.C. In May 2006, Professor Spratt and his family received the Volunteers of the Year Award from Celebrate Fairfax, Inc., where he serves as a member of the Leadership Team.



Currently Teaching

  • LAW-517-009 Lgl Rhtrc: Wrtng & Rsrch II
  • LAW-517-010 Lgl Rhtrc: Wrtng & Rsrch II


Degrees & Universities

  • J.D., American University Washington College of Law 1994
  • B.A., The College of William and Mary 1991

  • Selected Publications

    • + More Publications...

  • + Selected Presentations

    • Heather Ridenour & David Spratt, Presentation, Finding Your Advocacy Voice: Teaching Persuasive Fact Statements and Oral Advocacy (The Thirteenth Annual Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference, Colorado Law, Boulder, Colo., Mar. 23, 2013).
    • Heather Ridenour & David Spratt, Presentation, There’s More to Commenting than a Red Pen: Maximizing the Utility of Instructor Feedback (The Third Annual Capital Regional Legal Writing Conference, Washington College of Law, D.C., Mar. 3, 2013).
    • David Spratt & Heather Ridenour, Presentation, Much Ado about Bluebooking: A Paralegal’s Guide to Legal Citation (Lorman Education Services, National Teleconference, Jan. 29, 2013).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, Writing Like a Contemporary Lawyer (Lawyer Re-Entry Program, American University Washington College of Law, D.C., Oct. 5, 2012).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, ’Write’ Back into Shape (Legal Analysis Program, Washington College of Law, D.C., Aug. 8. 2012).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, Introducing the Bluebook! (Legal Analysis Program, Washington College of Law, D.C., Aug. 4, 2012).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, Public Speaking Workshop (Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Washington College of Law, Apr. 20, 2012).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, Tips and Techniques for Writing Effective Legal Briefs (Lorman Education Services, National Teleconference, Mar. 20, 2012).
    • David Spratt & Heather Ridenour, Presentation, Providing Useful Feedback in Student Conferences and Instructor Comments (Capital Area Legal Writing Conference, George Washington University Law School, Mar. 9. 2012).
    • David Spratt & Heather Ridenour, Presentation, Me ayduan! Aiutimi! Aidez-moi!: Teaching Strategies and Techniques (Inside and Outside of the Classroom) to Help Multilingual Students (APPEAL Conference: Helping Students Develop Their Ability to Read and Write in English, Mtunzini, S. Afr., Dec. 9, 2011).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, ’Write’ Back into the Legal Profession (Lawyer Re-Entry Program, American University Washington College of Law, D.C., Oct. 28, 2011).
    • David Spratt & Heather Ridenour, Presentation, Putting the Finishing Touches on Legal Writing: Editing, Polishing, and Proofreading Essentials (Lorman Education Services, National Teleconference, Oct. 25, 2011).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, Introduction to the Bluebook (Legal Analysis Program, Washington College of Law, D.C., Aug. 8, 2011).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, Getting it ’Write’ the First Time (Legal Analysis Program, Washington College of Law, D.C., Aug. 5, 2011).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, Workshop on Teaching Techniques: Teaching Skills to First-Year Law Students (Southeastern Association of Law Schools, Hilton Head, South Carolina, Jul. 24, 2011).
    • David Spratt & Heather Ridenour, Presentation, Effective Email and Memo Writing for Paralegals: Tips, Techniques, and Pointers (Lorman Education Services, National Teleconference, June 9, 2011).
    • David Spratt & Heather Ridenour, Presentation, Legal Writing: Editing and Proofreading Essentials (Lorman Education Services, National Teleconference, Apr. 19 & 27, 2011).
    • David Spratt & Heather Ridenour, Presentation, Getting Closer to Perfect: Tips to Help Paralegals Write Effective Emails and Memos (Lorman Education Services, National Teleconference, Feb. 28, 2012).
    • David Spratt & Heather Ridenour, Presentation, The Heretofore Silent Minority: Reaching the Bottom of the 1L Class (The Capital Area Legal Writing Conference, The George Washington University College of Law, Wash., D.C., Feb. 26, 2011).
    • David Spratt & Heather Ridenour, Presentation, Email and Memo Writing Techniques for Paralegals (Lorman Education Services, National Teleconference, Dec. 2, 2010).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, Department of Justice: Striving to do the “Write” Thing (Board of Immigration Appeals, Falls Church, Va., Nov. 9, 2010).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, ’Write’ on Track for Re-Entry (Lawyer Re-Entry Program, Washington College of Law, D.C., Oct. 8, 2010).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, ’Write’ Back Where You Started (Legal Analysis Program, Washington College of Law, D.C., Aug. 6, 2010).
    • David Spratt & Heather Ridenour, Presentation, The ABCs of Teaching and Reaching A, B, and C Students (14th Biennial Conf. Leg. Writing Inst., Marco Island, Fla., Jun 29, 2010).
    • David Spratt & Paul Figley, Presentation, Clear, Concise, and Correct: Effective Writing in Administrative Law (F.D.A., Silver Spring, Md., Feb. 22, 2010).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, "Write” Back into Shape (Lawyer Re-Entry Program, Am. U. Wash. C. L., Oct. 16, 2009).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, Write off the Bat (Legal Analysis Program, Am. U. Wash. C. L., Aug. 7, 2009).
    • David Spratt & Heather Ridenour, Presentation, Filling in the Gaps: The Intersection of First-Year Legal Writing and Academic Support (Ninth Annual Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference at Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Tempe, Ariz., Mar. 14, 2009).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, Facing a ‘Client’ in the First Year of Law School: Facebook as a Tool to Engage Students (Ninth Annual Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference at Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Tempe, Ariz., Mar. 14, 2009).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, Using Social Networks in Teaching and Maintaining Contact (Ann Ferren Teaching Conference, American University Washington College of Law, Wash., D.C., Jan. 9, 2009).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, Professionalism and Civility II (Virginia Bar Association Professionalism Task Force and McLean Bar Association, Oct. 21, 2008).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, Selecting, Representing, and Terminating the Relationship with Family Law Clients: Ethical Issues and Practical Advice (Virginia CLE/Virginia Bar Association, Fairfax, Va., Aug. 13, 2008).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, Write from the Get-Go (Legal Analysis Program, American University Washington College of Law, Wash., D.C., Aug. 11, 2008).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, All the ‘Write’ Moves: How to Write Like a Modern Lawyer (Troutman Sanders, Advanced Attorney Interdisciplinary College, Richmond, Va.; Raleigh, N.C.; McLean, Va., June 2008).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, Using Everyday Life and Familiar Experience to Introduce Legal Writing and Analysis Concepts (Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, Mar. 22, 2008).
    • Paul Figley & David Spratt, Presentation, Effective Use of Language in Administrative Decisions (FDA, Rockville, Md., Feb. 15, 2008).
    • David Spratt & Justice Lawrence Koontz, Presentation, The ‘Write’ Stuff: Teaching Old and New Dogs New Tricks (Virginia Bar Association, Williamsburg, Va., Jan. 19, 2008).
    • David Spratt, Moderator, How Legal Rhetoric Shapes the Law (Archetype Panel, American University Washington College of Law, Nov. 2, 2007).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, Professionalism and Civility (Virginia Bar Association Professionalism Task Force and McLean Bar Association, Oct. 17, 2007).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, Citation: Learning to Sing the “Blues" (LL.M. Program in Law and Government, American University Washington College of Law, Wash., D.C., Sept 4 & 6, 2007).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, The Challenging Pedagogy of the First Assignment: What Do Students Need to Learn and How Can We Do It? (Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nev., Mar. 2007).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, The Wisdom of Solomon Revisited: Dividing Time With the Babies (Virginia CLE, Fairfax, Va., Aug. 2006).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, Introduction to Legal Research, Writing and Citation (Northern Virginia Legal Secretaries Association, Va., Mar. 2006).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, Introduction to Legal Research, Writing and Citation (Freddie Mac, Mar. 2006).
    • David Spratt, Presentation, Take Your Job Suggestion and Shove It! Imputation of Income, Defined Duration and Vocational Rehabilitation Experts in Support Cases (Virginia CLE Sponsored by The Virginia ADR Joint Committee and the VBA Domestic Relations Section, Fairfax, Va., Aug. 18, 2005).
  • + Selected Media Appearances

    • Virginia Lawyers Weekly, "Virginia House Bill 84, New Bill Favors Joint Physical Custody" (The Dolan Company Dec. 30, 2011) (Interview).
    • Virginia Court of Appeals Case Stroud v. Stroud, and Its Implications for Same-sex Couples in Virginia (Associated Press Feb. 27, 2007) (Interview).