Neil L. Sobol

Associate Professor of Law; Director of Legal Analysis, Research & Writing Program

Neil L. Sobol

“Accurate analysis, reliable research and clear communication are essential skills for successful lawyers.”

Get to Know Neil L. Sobol

What drew you to the law?

What attracted me to law was the ability to apply logical principles to help solve problems for clients. In college, I had followed the paths of my parents, who were involved in engineering, economics and statistics; however, I also became concerned with helping people. In law school, I found that the principles that I learned in college provided an excellent foundation for my success in law school and the practice of law.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

I love teaching students in class and in one-on-one conferences. I teach primarily legal analysis, research and writing classes, and I enjoy helping students learn and develop the skills that they will use in practice. My favorite emails are from students stating that they have received compliments from employers about their writing projects.

What do you hope students gain from your courses?

I hope that students will be confident in the critical-thinking, problem-solving and practice skills that they learn in my classes.

What did you do prior to entering academia?

I began in private practice with a large firm in Dallas and opened my law partnership in 1992. My practice consisted primarily of consumer protection and bankruptcy-related work. My clients have included Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, small businesses and individuals.

What are you passionate about outside of the law?

My family, community and running. For over ten years, I served as marathon coach for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team-in-Training program. During that time, I trained over 1,000 athletes, who raised over $1.5 million for blood cancer research.

What are your research interests?

Building on my practice experience in consumer-protection issues, my current research focuses on issues involving abuses by debt collectors in both the civil and criminal justice arenas.

Publications

My publications are available on BePress SelectedWorks™.

Presentations

  • “Charging the Poor: Criminal Justice Debt & Modern-Day Debtors’ Prisons,”Faculty Speaker Series, Texas A&M School of Law, Fort Worth, Texas (March 18, 2015)
  • “Charging the Poor: Criminal Justice Debt & Modern-Day Debtors’ Prisons,”ClassCrits VII – “Poverty, Precarity, and Work: Struggle and Solidarity in an Era of Permanent (?) Crisis,” King Hall, U.C. Davis School of Law, Davis, California (Nov. 15, 2014)
  • “Charging the Poor: Modern-Day Debtors’ Prisons,” Central States Law Schools Association Annual Scholarship Conference, Louisiana State University Paul M. Herbert Law Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Oct. 11, 2014)
  • “Writing Persuasively for Paralegals,” 2014 National Federation of Paralegal Association’s Annual Convention, Fairmont Hotel, Dallas, Texas (Oct. 9, 2014)
  • “Legal Research – Then and Now,”32nd Annual Texas Forum, Cityplace Conference Center, Dallas, Texas (Feb. 28, 2014)
  • “Protecting Consumers from Zombie-Debt Collectors,” St. Mary’s School of Law, San Antonio, Texas (Feb. 18, 2014)
  • “Critical Reading & Writing Skills: Undergraduate Work and the LSAT Exam,” Council on Legal Education Opportunity: Road to Law School, Texas A&M University School of Law, Fort Worth, Texas (Sept. 28, 2013)
  • “Mock Admissions Panel,” Council on Legal Education Opportunity: Road to Law School, Texas A&M University School of Law, Fort Worth, Texas (Sept. 28, 2013)
  • “Attacking Zombie Debts,” Legal Writing Institute’s Writer’s Workshop, Delavan, Wisconsin (June 30, 2013)
  • “Attacking Zombie Debts,” Eighth International Conference on Contracts, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, Fort Worth, Texas (Feb. 22, 2013)
  • Featured speaker, “Persuasive Writing: What to Do If You Represent Charlie Sheen,” Texas Advanced Paralegal Seminar Program, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Addison, Texas (Oct. 5, 2012)
  • “Clicker”training, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law Faculty, Fort Worth, Texas (Aug. 13, 2012)
  • “Legal Research: A Review for the CLA Exam,” Fort Worth Paralegal Association, Fort Worth, Texas (Dec. 10, 2011)
  • “Persuasive Writing: What to Do If You Represent Charlie Sheen,” Texas Advanced Paralegal Seminar Program, Marriott Hotel, Fort Worth, Texas (Oct. 5, 2011)
  • “Introduction to Legal Writing,” Diversity University, Dallas Area Paralegal Association and North Texas Paralegal Association, Belo Mansion, Dallas, Texas (May 6, 2011)
  • “Legal Research: A Review for the CLA Exam,”Fort Worth Paralegal Association, Fort Worth, Texas (Dec. 18, 2010)
  • “Introduction to Logical Reasoning and Critical Thinking,”Council on Legal Education Opportunity: Road to Law School, Texas Wesleyan Law School, Fort Worth, Texas (Sept. 25, 2010)
  • “Legal Research: A Review of Bluebook Citations, including an Introduction to the 19th Edition Changes,”Paralegal Division of the Texas State Bar, Fort Worth, Texas (Aug. 6, 2010)
  • “Persuasive Writing,” Diversity University, Dallas Area Paralegal Association and North Texas Paralegal Association, Belo Mansion, Dallas, Texas (May 14, 2010)
  • “Persuasive Writing,”Fort Worth Paralegal Association, Petroleum Club, Fort Worth, Texas (May 24, 2007)

Expertise

  • Bankruptcy law
  • Consumer protection
  • Legal research
  • Legal writing

Courses

  • Elements of Legal Studies
  • Legal Analysis, Research & Writing
  • Legislation & Regulation

Academic Experience

  • Associate Professor of Law
    Director of Legal Analysis, Research & Writing Program
    Texas A&M University School of Law (2013-present)
  • Associate Professor of Law
    Director of Legal Analysis, Research & Writing Program
    Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (2011- 2013)
  • Legal Analysis, Research & Writing Professor
    Director of Legal Analysis, Research & Writing Program
    Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (2010-11)
  • Legal Analysis, Research & Writing Professor
    Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (2003-2010)
  • Adjunct Professor, Legal Analysis, Research & Writing
    Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (1997-2002)

Education

  • J.D., Southern Methodist University School of Law, cum laude
    • Southwestern Law Review (now known as SMU Law Review)
    • Order of the Coif
  • M.S. in Statistics, Stanford University
  • B.A. in Economics, Stanford University
    • With Distinction
    • Omicron Delta Epsilon, Economics Honor Society

Awards

  • Voted Outstanding 1L Writing Prof. (School year: 2009-2010)
  • Voted Outstanding 1L Writing Prof. (School year: 2008-2009)
  • Voted Prof. of Year, Legal Writing (School year: 2006-2007)
  • Voted Prof. of Year, Legal Writing (School year: 2005-2006)
  • Voted Outstanding 1L Night Writing Prof. (School year: 2003-2004)
  • Voted Outstanding 1L Night Writing Prof. (School year: 2001-2002)

Other Professional Activities

  • American Association of Law Schools:
    • Media Committee for AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research (2012)
  • Association of Legal Writing Directors (2010-present)
  • Legal Writing Institute (2003-present)
    • Website and Social Media Committee, Co-Chair (2014-2016)
    • Website Redesign Committee (2014-2016)
    • Website Committee (2012-2014)
    • Operations Subcommittee of the Website Committee (2010-2012)
    • Long-Term Planning Subcommittee of the Website and Communications Committee (2008-2010)