Mark Edwin Burge

Associate Professor of Law

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“Becoming a lawyer is not enough. In this age of artificial intelligence, you must become a lawyer beyond automation — one whose skills and abilities add value to every client undertaking.”

Get to Know Mark Edwin Burge

What drew you to the law?

I can’t say it was “in my blood,” as to this day I don’t know of any other lawyers to whom I’m related. That may be why I didn’t seriously consider law school while I was an undergraduate. About a year after graduating from college, however, I looked back at the activities and courses I enjoyed, and I realized that lawyers were the people doing the work I liked the most. From there, I charged full speed ahead into law school and never looked back. That turned out to be the best career move I ever made.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

Interaction with my students is what makes teaching a joy. Teaching law in particular is fantastic because our courses provide opportunities for the stimulation of classroom discussion along with a setting to get to know students one-on-one. Law school is challenging, but back when I was a student I also thought law school was interesting and even fun. I still think that today. My hope is that I can instill some of that enthusiasm in the students I teach.

What do you hope students gain from your courses?

I want my students to embrace the fact that being a great lawyer requires committing yourself to lifelong learning. You’ll never know everything there is to know about the law, but you can acquire valuable skills and habits that will enable you to handle legal issues beyond your existing knowledge. That constant newness is part of what makes law an exciting career.

What did you do prior to entering academia?

I spent eight years in private practice in settings ranging from a large national firm to partnership in a specialized boutique firm. My most substantial experience was in business and commercial litigation and related transactions, including representation of financial institutions victimized by kiting and other negotiable instrument fraud schemes. My practice sometimes involved advocacy for plaintiffs and creditors in complex and multi-district litigation. My time in practice is what stimulated my ongoing interest in contract and commercial law — both in avoiding disputes and in ways of effectively handling them.

What are you passionate about outside of the law?

Definitely family, as my wife and our three children are blessings that mean the world to me. As for hobbies, people are sometimes surprised to learn that one favorite of mine is video games, and I’m a huge fan of most things Nintendo. So when I get to share Mario and Zelda experiences with my kids, recreation time is fantastic.

What are your research interests?

Technology has brought both substantial benefits and substantial disruption to much of traditional law practice, and today’s law students need to prepare to both co-opt and surpass technology in delivering value to their clients. My research currently involves the future of law practice and legal pedagogy given these changes, especially in the area of contracts and commercial law.

Publications

My publications are available on BePress SelectedWorks™.

Presentations

  • “Thinking Outside the Four Corners of Contract Doctrine,” Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) 2015 Conference, organizer and speaker on a panel (Aug. 1, 2015)
  • “Thinking Outside the Four Corners of Contract Doctrine in the Legal Education Crisis” (part of a panel entitled “Sacred Cows,” Tenth International Conference on Contracts, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law (Feb. 27, 2015)
  • “Thinking Outside the Four Corners of Contract Doctrine in the Legal Education Crisis,” Gonzaga University School of Law, South Central Association of Law Schools (SCALS) Faculty Exchange Program (Jan. 29, 2015)
  • “Without Precedent: Legal Analysis in the Age of Non-Judicial Dispute Resolution,” University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, South Central Association of Law Schools (SCALS) Faculty Exchange Program (Nov. 1, 2013)
  • “Getting on Track, Staying on Track,” University of Texas School of Law, Invited Faculty Development Speaker for the Legal Writing Program (Feb. 28, 2013)
  • “Doctrine? What Doctrine? Contracts in the Age of Withering Stare Decisis,” Eighth International Conference on Contracts, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (part of the panel “Frontiers of Doctrine” (Feb. 22, 2013)
  • “Statutory Interpretation and Stare Decisis in an Age of Outsourcing: Are Our Students Ready to Play Judge Yet?” Legal Writing Institute Regional Conference, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (Dec. 7, 2012)
  • “Reforming and Renewing the Education of the Professions: An Interactive Vision of Professionalism,” University of North Texas Health Science Center (Sept. 21, 2012); facilitator: “Finding Common Ground: A Guided Discussion Among the Professions”
  • “Too Clever by Half: A Cautionary Tale in Socio-Legal Legitimacy Starring the Uniform Commercial Code,” Seventh International Conference on Contracts, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California (March 3, 2012)
  • “We the Muggles: On Wizardry and Legislative Process,” 14th Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and Humanities, University of Nevada-Las Vegas (part of the panel “Law, Literature, and the Arts on Both Sides of the Big Pond” with Professor Stephen Alton) (March 12, 2011)

Expertise

  • Uniform Commercial Code
  • Payment systems
  • Contract drafting
  • Future of legal practice skills
  • Legal pedagogy
  • Legal analysis and writing

Courses

  • Contract Drafting
  • Payment Systems
  • Sales & Leases
  • Legal Analysis, Research & Writing

Academic Experience

  • Associate Professor of Law
    Texas A&M University School of Law (2013-present)
    Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (2011-2013)
  • Legal Writing Professor
    Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (2005-2011)

Education

  • J.D. with honors, The University of Texas School of Law
    Associate Editor, Texas Law Review
    Coordinator of the Teaching Quizmaster Program
  • B.A. in history, University of Houston, summa cum laude with honors in major

Other Professional Activities

Professional Memberships and Licenses

  • American Bar Association (including sections on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Business Law and Litigation)
  • Legal Writing Institute
  • State Bar of Texas (including Business Law, Appellate and Litigation sections)
  • Practice Licenses (federal court licenses may be inactive):
    • All Texas State Courts
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
    • United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
    • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
    • United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Published Cases as Counsel of Record

  • NP Anderson Cotton Exchange, L.P. v. Potter, 230 S.W.3d 457 (Tex. App. – Fort Worth 2007, no pet.)
  • FFP Mktg., Inc. v. Long Lane Master Trust IV, 169 S.W.3d 402 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2005, no pet.).
  • Vespa v. National Health Ins. Co., 98 S.W.3d 749 (Tex. App. – Fort Worth 2003, no pet.)
  • Armstrong v. Steppes Apartments, Ltd., 57 S.W.3d 37 (Tex. App. – Fort Worth 2001, pet. denied), cert. denied, 536 U.S. 951 (2002)
  • Maddox v. American Airlines, Inc., 298 F.3d 694 (8th Cir. 2002)
  • In re Air Disaster at Little Rock, Arkansas on June 1, 1999, 125 F. Supp. 2d 357 (E.D. Ark. 2000)