Tessa L. Dysart

Assistant Director of Legal Writing & Clinical Professor of Law
Tribal Affiliation
Muscogee (Creek) Nation

Tessa L. Dysart is the Assistant Director of Legal Writing and Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law. She also serves as the Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Appellate Practice & Process, which was acquired by the University of Arizona Law in June 2020.

Professor Dysart writes and speaks nationally on appellate advocacy issues. With the Hon. Leslie H. Southwick of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, she co-authored the third edition of Winning on Appeal: Better Briefs and Oral Arguments . She manages the Appellate Advocacy Blog, which was added to the ABA’s list of best law blogs in 2018. Professor Dysart has also written  on human trafficking and constitutional law and lectured nationally on developing effective state anti-trafficking laws.

Professor Dysart is a graduate of Willamette University and Harvard Law School. She clerked for the Hon. Dennis W. Shedd of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Her practice experience includes working for the United States Department of Justice Office of Legal Policy and the Senate Judiciary Committee. Prior to joining the College of Law faculty she taught appellate advocacy and constitutional law courses at Regent University School of Law, where she coached award-winning moot court teams and advised the program to a national ranking.

Representative Publications

  • Winning on Appeal:  Better Briefs and Oral Argument (3d ed., forthcoming 2017) (co-author, with Ruggerio J. Aldisert & Leslie H. Southwick).
  • In Search of Sound Judg(e?)ment, 21 Green Bag 2d 195 (2018).
  • The Origination Clause, the Affordable Care Act, and Indirect Constitutional Violations, 24 Cornell J. L. & Pub. Pol'y 451 (2015).
  • Child, Victim, or Prostitute? Justice Through Immunity for Prostituted Children, 21 Duke J. Gender L. & Pol'y 255 (2014).
  • The Protected Innocence Initiative:  Building Protective State Law Regimes for America's Sex-Trafficked Children, 44 Colum. Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 619 (2013).
  • Complete list of publications


  • J.D. Harvard Law School


    Co-managing Editor (2004 - 2005), Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy

  • Fullbright ScholarshipMoscow Institute for Advanced Studies, Moscow, Russia

    2001 - 2002

  • B.A. Willamette University, Salem, Oregon


    Graduated magna cum laude

Work Experience

  • Assistant Director of Legal Writing & Associate Clinical Professor of Law

    James E Rogers College of Law

    2017 - present

  • Adjunct & Assistant Professor of Law

    Regent University School of Law, Virginia Beach, Virginia

    2011; 2012 - 2017

  • Associate Counsel, American Center for Law & Justice

    Washington, D.C.; Virginia Beach, Virginia

    2009 - 2012

  • Counsel, United States Senate Judiciary Committee

    Washington, D.C.

    2008 - 2009

  • Counsel, Office of Legal Policy

    United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.

    2006 - 2008

  • Judicial Clerk

    Hon. Dennis W. Shedd, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Columbia, South Carolina

    2005 - 2006


  • JD