University of Pittsburgh

Nancy M. Burkoff

Associate Professor of Legal Writing

Nancy Burkoff teaches Legal Writing to first year students, and Legal Writing and Analysis to international students in the Master of Laws Program for Foreign Law Graduates. Professor Burkoff joined the law faculty full time in 2008, after teaching advanced legal writing courses and legal writing and analysis for LL.M. students, at the School of Law as an adjunct faculty member for many years.
A former free-lance writer and television production assistant prior to earning her law degree, Professor Burkoff served as Senior Career Law Clerk to the Honorable Maurice B. Cohill, Jr., United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania for fourteen years. She has extensive experience in drafting judicial opinions, including numerous published decisions, in a wide variety of civil and criminal areas, including constitutional law, civil procedure, and employment discrimination.
Professor Burkoff is co-author of the leading national treatise on the subject of ineffective assistance of counsel. She has also published articles on state constitutional law, federal jurisdiction, and criminal procedure. She has taught in the CLEO Summer Institute at the Law School, and has a strong interest in international legal education.


  • JD, University of Pittsburgh
  • AB, University of Michigan
  • Currently Teaching

    Courses Previously Taught

    • LL.M. Legal Analysis


    • Legal Writing
    • U.S. Legal Reasoning
    • Comparative Legal Methods

    Selected Publications


    • Nancy M. Burkoff & John M. Burkoff, Ineffective Assistance of Counsel, (West, 2002-2009).
    • Exam Pro Objective on Criminal Law (with Burkoff, J.M., West, 2012).


    • Ineffective Assistance of Counsel (with Burkoff, J.M., West, 2012, updated annually).
    • Comparative Civil Law & Common Law Analysis: An Introductory Framework, Bahcesehir Universitesi Hukuk Fakultesi Kazanci, (Aug. 2011).
    • State Action and the Declaration of RightsThe Pennsylvania Constitution: A Treatise on the Rights and Liberties, (Ken Gormley ed., Bisel 2002, updated annually).


    • Presenter, “Common Law Legal Reasoning and Research” Lecture in Univ. of Navarra Program in American Law, Univ. of Navarra, (Mar. 2012).
    • Presenter, “Comparative Civil Law & Common Law Analysis,” 5 Hour Short Course on American Legal Reasoning, Bahcesehir Univ. Faculty of Law, (May 2012).
    • Presenter, “Structure of the U.S. Legal System,” Mellon Orientation Lecture, Univ. of Pittsburgh School of Law, (Aug. 2011).
    • Copresenter, “Teaching U.S. Legal Writing in LL.M. Programs,” AALS, (Jan. 2012).

      SSRN Author Page

      Selected Professional Activities

      • Fellow, Allegheny County Bar Foundation Fellows Program.
      • Member, Allegheny County Bar Association.
      • Member, Women’s Bar Association.
      • Member, Legal Writing Institute.
      • Member, LWI Global Legal Writing Skills Committee.
      • Externship Program, Faculty Coordinator.          
      • Law Faculty representative to the Faculty Assembly. 



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