H. Dennis Kelly

Associate Professor of Law


“Every lawyer is a professional writer. Communication is the heart of the practice of law, and most of that communication is done in writing. Good lawyering is knowing what to write and how to write it.”

Get to Know H. Dennis Kelly

What drew you to the law?

I majored in civil engineering, but upon graduation I received a commission in the U.S. Army. During my years in the Army, I encountered the law on several occasions, as an arresting officer, as a witness and as a jury member. After I got off active duty, I went to law school so I could use my education and experience as a part of the justice system.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

Nothing is more rewarding than successfully helping students attain their goals to become practicing attorneys. Teaching a class of intelligent, motivated students is fun. Even better are the opportunities to work with a student or a small group to teach them how to make the decisions that they will have to make as they practice law.

What do you hope students gain from your courses?

Legal Analysis, Research & Writing involves finding out what the law is (research), predicting how the law will be applied (analysis) and communicating that analysis (writing). This is the core of every course in law school and the essence of practicing law.

What did you do prior to entering academia?

I was an intellectual property attorney, specializing primarily in patent law and trademark law. I worked in the Fort Worth-Dallas area, almost exclusively with small IP firms. I helped individuals and companies protect their intellectual property, such as inventions and trademarks. Before that I was an officer in the U.S. Army.

What are you passionate about outside of the law?

I love my family, especially my wife, my mother and my two sons and their families, including my two grandchildren. I am on the Board of Deacons and a member of the Chancel Choir at my church. And I love Texas A&M University, especially the Aggie Band and Aggie sports.


Link to my publications.


  • Legal analysis, research and writing
  • Intellectual property, particularly patent and trademark law


  • Legal Analysis, Research &Writing I & II
  • Legal Writing for the General Practitioner
  • Texas Legal History Seminar

Academic Experience

  • Associate Professor of Law
    Texas A&M University School of Law (2013-present)
  • Associate Professor of Law
    Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (2002-2013)
  • Legal Writing Professor
    Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (1995-2002)


  • J.D., Texas Tech University, with honors, 1981
    • Texas Tech Law Review, Associate Editor
    • Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University, 1973

Awards / Honors

  • Outstanding 1L Writing Professor, 2002-2003

Other Professional Activities

  • Center for Law and Intellectual Property
    • Fellow
  • Tarrant County Bar Association
    • Assistant Editor of the Bar Bulletin
  • Texas Aggie Bar Association
  • Christian Legal Society
    • Faculty Advisor
  • Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity
    • Faculty Advisor