Michael H. Frost
Professor of Legal Analysis, Writing and Skills
B.A., English, 1967, University of California, Davis; M.A., English, 1974, California State University, Sacramento; Ph.D., English, 1984, State University of New York at Binghamton
Phone: (213) 738-6791
Michael Frost is fascinated by the use of language and is especially interested in the study of legal discourse. He has written extensively on the rhetorical works of Aristotle, Cicero and Quintilian. In his view, Greco-Roman rhetorical treatises contain the most comprehensive, adaptable and practical analysis of legal discourse ever devised. Professor Frost is also the author of a book and several articles on modern judicial rhetoric. SCRIBES, a national organization of legal writers and educators, has honored him for his excellence and high attainments in meritorious writing.
"Writing is not the only way of discovering what it is you think...but it is the best way of discovering how to say what it is you think."
Professor Frost joined the Southwestern faculty in 1979 after teaching at the State University of New York for several years. As a teacher of legal writing and as an advisor to the Southwestern Law Review, Professor Frost emphasizes the close relationship between writing style and legal analysis. He points out, "Writing is not the only way of discovering what it is you think...but it is the best way of discovering how to say what it is you think." In 2006, he was named as Southwestern's Irwin R. Buchalter Professor.
Professor Frost has served as a legal writing consultant for over 18 years for the National Judicial College, where he teaches judicial opinion writing. He has also taught opinion writing to judges in Arkansas, California, Idaho, Massachusetts, Oregon, Nevada, Washington, and West Virginia. He has been a featured speaker at the Legal Writing Institute, the annual Conference of the Modern Language Association and the Conference on College Composition and Communication.
Books and Chapters
WRITING DESKBOOK FOR ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGES: AN INTRODUCTION (with P. Bateman; Carolina Academic Press, 2010)
INTRODUCTION TO CLASSICAL LEGAL RHETORIC: A LOST HERITAGE (Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2005)
Greco-Roman Rhetoric: The Canon and Its History in CICERO AND MODERN LAW (Ashgate Publishing, 2009)
Context, Organization and Style in Administrative Law Decisions in NJC DESKBOOK ON EVIDENCE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGES (National Judicial College Press, 2006)
Ethos, Pathos and Legal Audience in ARISTOTLE AND MODERN LAW 583 (Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2003)
With Amici Like These: Cicero, Quintilian and the Importance of Stylistic Demeanor, 3 JOURNAL OF THE ASSOCIATION OF LEGAL WRITING DIRECTORS 5 (2006)
Rhetorical Question: What Would Aristotle Make of Scalia? in LEGAL AFFAIRS (A Magazine of the Yale Law School, November/December 2003)
Justice Scalia's Rhetoric of Dissent: A Greco-Roman Analysis of Scalia's Advocacy in the VMI Case, 91 KENTUCKY LAW JOURNAL 167 (2002-2003)
Introduction to Classical Legal Rhetoric: A Lost Heritage, 8 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA INTERDISCIPLINARY LAW JOURNAL 613 (1999)
The Unseen Hand in Administrative Law Decisions: Organizing Principles for Findings of Fact & Conclusions of Law, 17 JOURNAL OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGES 151 (1997)
Greco-Roman Analysis of Metaphoric Reasoning, 2 JOURNAL OF LEGAL WRITING: THE JOURNAL OF THE LEGAL WRITING INSTITUTE 113 (1996)
Ethos, Pathos, and Legal Audience, 99 DICKINSON LAW REVIEW 85 (1994)
Greco-Roman Legal Analysis: The Topics of Invention, 66 ST. JOHN'S LAW REVIEW 107 (1992)
Brief Rhetoric - A Note on Classical and Modern Theories of Forensic Discourse, 38 UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS LAW REVIEW 411 (1990)
Issues of Audience in Legal Writing, 31 PROCEEDINGS OF THE AMERICAN BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION 315 (1984)
Narrative Devices in Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, 14 THOTH 29 (1974)
Book Review, Legal Writing: Sense And Nonsense, 5 JOURNAL OF ADVANCED COMPOSITION 219 (1984)