Associate Professor of Law
- Regents' Lecturer
- B.A. 1995, Truman State University
- J.D. 1998, Northwestern University
- Member of the Illinois bar (inactive)
Scott England teaches legal writing and criminal law. Professor England began teaching at UNM as a visiting lecturer in 2013, and he joined the permanent faculty in 2014. Before arriving at UNM, Professor England spent nine years as a member of the faculty at the University of Alabama School of Law, where he taught legal writing and legislative drafting. He has been nominated multiple times for UNM’s Lecturer of the Year Award, and he was appointed as a Regents’ Lecturer in 2019.
Professor England’s recent scholarship concerns culpability requirements under the Model Penal Code. His research focuses on how state legislatures and courts have undermined the Code’s vision for criminal liability, mostly by imposing strict liability. Before he began his teaching career, Professor England helped draft a proposed criminal code for Illinois as a staff attorney for the Illinois Criminal Code Rewrite and Reform Commission. Professor England’s work included drafting official commentary for much of the proposed code, including commentary on culpability requirements; homicide offenses; assault, endangerment, and threat offenses; invasion of privacy; forgery and fraudulent practices; and perjury and other official falsification offenses. He also worked as a litigation associate at Chicago’s Hopkins & Sutter, focusing mostly on public utility law, municipal law, and insurance insolvency law. Professor England’s work included assisting dozens of Illinois municipalities with drafting and adopting electric utility tax ordinances.
Professor England earned his law degree from the Northwestern University School of Law, where he received the full-tuition John Henry Wigmore Scholarship and served on the Northwestern University Law Review. In his spare time, Professor England enjoys traveling, hiking, and listening to vinyl records.
See Professor for course description.
See Professor for course description.
Elements of Legal Argumentation I (ELA-I)
ELA-I is the foundational legal analysis and communication course. In the context of a problem solving approach to legal writing students learn how to do the information gathering, pre-thinking and argument development that are essential to good legal communication. Students learn to identify legal issues presented by specific fact situations. They are given an overview of collecting relevant information, including an introduction to legal research. Students learn how to connect this information as they analyze a legal problem in preparation for writing both predictive and persuasive documents. Students learn how to determine relevant legal rules and apply those rules to specific facts to arrive at a reasonable conclusion in a specific case. Students practice organizing the information and their analysis into a logical and coherent structured proof of their conclusion and then effectively presenting the proof in a specific written or oral format to a specific audience. Students also learn to perfect the mechanics of their documents as they learn techniques for effective revising and editing. Assignments include short in class and out of class information gathering, pre-writing, writing and oral communication exercises as well as lengthier writing assignments. In addition, students are introduced to client communications and legal drafting.
Elements of Legal Argumentation II (ELA II)
The second semester ELA-2 course continues the study and practice of legal reasoning and communication that was begun in ELA-1. Students will have the opportunity to use their basic understanding of the core concepts and tools learned in ELA-1 as they complete a variety of both oral and written presentations. Focus is on argumentation and rhetoric as the means to building strong and persuasive documents and presentations. Students continue to practice the process of legal writing as they research, analyze, organize, write and revise litigation and other practice related documents. The primary context for the work done in ELA-2 involves writing briefs to a specific court. In addition to writing complete briefs, students will complete several smaller assignments focusing on specific skills related to strong argumentation and development of legal proofs. Students will also give several oral arguments and presentations in class throughout the semester. Additionally, students will be introduced to the role of ADR in client representation and will begin to learn about court and ethical rules related to brief writing and client representation.
Elements of Legal Argumentation III (ELA III)
This course is designed to review and further develop legal analysis and communication skills introduced in ELA I and II. Students will improve their existing skills in identifying, researching, and analyzing legal issues. Students will build on their skills in explaining the governing legal rules, describing how courts have applied the rules, and then logically applying the rules to the cl ient’s situation. Students will also learn to present professional written work as they learn new techniques for effective writing, citing, revising, and editing. The course is well suited for students who would like to revisit some of the core writing and reasoning concepts from ELA I and II.
ELA I and II are prerequisites. Students are encouraged to take Legal Research before or with ELA III.
Stated Culpability Requirements, 74 Rutgers U. L. Rev. 1213 (2022).
Available at: UNM-DR
Default Culpability Requirements: The Model Penal Code and Beyond, 99 Oregon L. Rev. 43 (2020).
Available at: UNM-DR
The Mistaken Law of Mistakes of Law: Mistakes Negating Culpability under the Model Penal Code (August 5, 2023). American Criminal Law Review, Forthcoming
Available at: SSRN