Associate Professor, Department of Political Science
Office: UAC 327
B.A., J.D., University of Houston
LL.M., New York University
Walter A. Wright is an associate professor in the Legal Studies Program of the Department of Political Science at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. He is also an adjunct professor of mediation at the University of Texas School of Law and an adjunct professor of collaborative law for the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares in Spain. He teaches courses in law and alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and his primary research interest is mediation. He has published over 100 articles and book chapters in the United States, Spain, and several Latin American countries. He received B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Houston and an LL.M. in International Legal Studies from New York University.
Professor Wright has been an attorney since 1977 and a mediator since 1986. As an attorney, he has practiced in the areas of domestic and international commercial transactions, commercial litigation, real estate, and business organizations. As a mediator, he has practiced in the areas of employment, commercial, family, and community disputes. While English is his native language, he is fluent in written and spoken Spanish, and he often mediates disputes in which the parties speak Spanish.
Professor Wright has received an Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching from the College of Liberal Arts and a Presidential Distinction Award for Excellence in Teaching from Texas State University, and he has received recognition as a Favorite Professor from the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society every year since 2010. He has mentored over 500 Applied Research Projects and eighty student publications. Professional organizations, universities and judicial agencies in the United States, Spain, and Latin America often ask him to speak and conduct workshops on legal and ADR topics.
Professor Wright has a strong record of service to the ADR profession. Currently, he is a co-director of El Acuerdo, an ADR newsletter published in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and he conducts basic training courses in mediation for the Austin Dispute Resolution Center and the Dispute Resolution Center of Montgomery County, Inc. He was one of the founders of the Central Texas Dispute Resolution Center in San Marcos, Texas. He is former president of the Texas Association of Mediators and the Association of Attorney-Mediators, as well as former Chair of the International Section of the Association for Conflict Resolution. For six years, he was Chair of the Newsletter Editorial Board of Alternative Resolutions, the newsletter of the ADR Section of the State Bar of Texas. He has received several awards for service, including the Steve Brutsché Award from the Association of Attorney-Mediators, the Frank G. Evans Award from the ADR Section of the State Bar of Texas, and the Susanne C. Adams Award from the Texas Association of Mediators. Texas State University has also awarded him two Golden Apple awards for his service to the university, the ADR and legal professions, and the community.
PA 5340 Introduction to Public Law
This course examines the regulatory environment, legal requirements, and constraints that public officials face when carrying out their duties. The use of online research tools to find administrative materials and analyze public law issues is emphasized.
LS 5359 Alternative Dispute Resolution
This course will be offered every third semester and is an in-depth study of procedural and substantive legal principles of alternative dispute resolution. Emphasis will be placed on procedures and practical applications of negotiation, mediation, arbitration,
and alternative adjudicative processes with integration of ethical and policy issues.
LS 5363 Social Legislation
Study of Texas and federal laws established by statute to remedy various social problems including worker’s compensation, unemployment compensation, bankruptcy, and commercial transactions. Course will include a study of statutory and case law development.
LS 5350 Legal Drafting
Study of legal drafting styles, forms and techniques, including legal document drafting, objective, informative document drafting, and persuasive-style drafting of trial and appellate briefs.
LS 5370 Advanced Legal Research & Writing
This course will be offered once a year and has three related components: (1) Refinement of skills in computer-assisted and manual legal research; (2) Legal analysis, legal writing, and organizing complex legal documents; (3) Techniques of persuasive argument; and (4) Applied research project, persuasive brief and oral examination of course work.
LS 5330 Legal Theories And Analysis
Study of statutory and case law development of basic legal theory including tort theory, contract theory, and evidence theory. Course is intended to assist the student in gaining knowledge of fundamental legal theory, reasoning, and analysis.
LS 5320 Legal Research
A study of the American and Texas legal system including the courts and legislature; primary and secondary sources of the law including finding tools; judicial reports including court, federal and state reports and citation forms, case finding including federal, state, and supreme court digests and encyclopedias; citations, such as Shepard Citations, and digests; annotated
law reports; legal periodicals, including periodical indexes and research procedure; the nature, function, and characteristics of treatises; research procedures; state and federal administrative law; federal, state, and local court rules; English legal research of great Britain and Canada; research aid.
POSI 5396 Law Office Management
Course will cover management concepts, with emphasis on time keeping, minimum fee schedules, billing, library and retrieval systems, ethics, and other management practices applicable to utilization of Legal Paraprofessionals in law-related positions.
POSI 7310 Resolution of Disputes Involving Aquatic Resources
Analysis of historically significant environmental disputes affecting aquatic resources and establishing precedents for resolution of subsequent disputes. Techniques for resolving environmental disputes (e.g., litigation, arbitration, mediation, negotiation) and how science and scientists are used in each procedure. Design of systems for using dispute resolution procedures in appropriate sequence.