Altheimer Distinguished Professor of Law
BA, 1973, JD, 1988, UALR
The novelist E.L. Doctorow once said, “Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.” It is much the same for legal writers, whether we are novices or judges. The process of writing a legal analysis forces us to confront and revise our thoughts and theories until we can clearly communicate them to others. Professor Coleen Barger teaches RWA, the first-year course in legal writing, as well as upper-level courses such as Advanced Legal Writing and Advanced Legal Research. As faculty advisor to the Bowen Moot Court Board, she not only assists that organization with its activities, but she also coaches teams who represent the law school in national appellate competitions.
In her role as Developments Editor of UALR’s Journal of Appellate Practice and Process, Professor Barger contributes to current scholarship on issues facing federal and state appellate courts.
In addition to her articles on appellate courts’ use (and misuse) of Internet resources, Professor Barger is recognized nationally as an expert on legal citation. She is the author of the ALWD Guide to Legal Citation (Wolters Kluwer 2014) and co-author of the ALWD Companion: A Citation Practice Book (Aspen Publishers 2010). Her scholarship also benefits lawyers in the state of Arkansas. She wrote the first edition of Arkansas Legal Research (Carolina Academic Press 2007) and is the lead author of that book’s second edition, published in 2016. She is a contributing author to the Arkansas Bar Association’s Handling Appeals in Arkansas handbook.
Professor Barger has won numerous awards in recognition of her work as an educator. She is the 2016 recipient of the Thomas F. Blackwell Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Legal Writing, jointly awarded by the Association of Legal Writing Directors and the Legal Writing Institute. Professor Barger is a three-time winner of Bowen’s Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching and a winner of Bowen’s Faculty Excellence Award in Service. She has twice won the Arkansas Bar Foundation Writing Excellence Award for her articles in the Arkansas Lawyer.
Professor Barger also serves the national legal writing community. She is a member of the Legal Writing eJournal Advisory Board for the SSRN Legal Scholarship network, and she is an editor emeritus of the Legal Writing Prof Blog. She has served on the Boards of Directors for the Association of Legal Writing Directors and for the Legal Writing Institute.
Professor Barger and her husband, Gary Barger, like to boat a little bit. On their motoryacht, Calypso Poet, they have cruised the Arkansas River, the Chicago River, the Cumberland River, the Hudson River, the Illinois River, the Mobile River, the Ohio River, the St. Croix River, the Tennessee River, the Tombigbee River, the length of the Mississippi River, the intercoastal waterway of the Gulf Coast, the intercoastal waterway of the East Coast, Chesapeake Bay, Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Ontario, Lake Pontchartrain, the Erie Canal, the Okeechobee canal, the Oswego canal, and the Trent-Severn waterway in Canada. So far, neither has tossed the other into the water.