Risa Evans

Associate Professor of Legal Skills
Educational Background
  • BA, Barnard College
  • JD, Yale Law School
Courses Taught
  • Fundamentals of Law Practice
  • Legal Analysis and Writing I
  • Legal Analysis and Writing II
  • Writing for Practice
General Areas of Interest, Scholarship, Research, & Practice
  • Information gathering
  • Factual & legal analysis
  • Predictive & persuasive writing
Additional Information

Prior to teaching at UNH Law, Professor Evans was a trial lawyer at the New Hampshire Public Defender, an appellate lawyer at the Appellate Defender, and a legal consultant.


Biography

Professor Evans teaches courses that require students to think and act like lawyers.  Students engage in simulations and exercises that are designed to achieve three goals:

  • First, students develop foundational lawyering skills, such as information gathering, analysis, writing, and advocacy.
  • Second, students develop techniques that will enable them to continue refining their skills long after they’ve graduated, since lawyering is an art to which law school can provide only an introduction.
  • Finally, because lawyering skills cannot be mastered without an understanding of what it means to be a lawyer, students begin to develop a sense of professional identity.

I encourage students to bring a “growth mindset” to their work, and to apply their existing expertise in learning and self-development -- drawn from their previous experience as students -- to the new task of becoming a lawyer.

Risa Evans
Associate Professor of Legal Skills
 

While in law school, Professor Evans pursued her interest in civil liberties by clerking at the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union in Hartford, CT, and the Federal Public Defender in Albuquerque, NM. At the Federal Defender, Professor Evans worked on a suppression motion that eventually led to a client’s freedom.

Her experiences led her to seek employment as a public defender after law school. After several years as a trial attorney with the New Hampshire Public Defender -- where she represented people charged with felonies, misdemeanors and juvenile delinquency -- Professor Evans moved to the Appellate Defender Office. There, she represented criminal defendants in appeals to the New Hampshire Supreme Court. She wrote briefs and orally argued many cases, obtaining reversals for a number of clients.

Professor Evans left the Appellate Defender in 2002 to home school her daughter. Since then, she has done freelance legal research and writing, in addition to teaching at the Law School--first as an adjunct, and full-time since 2011.

Phone: 
(603) 513-5138