Boston University


Boston University
Director, Legal Writing and Appellate Advocacy Program Associate Professor of Legal Writing

Professor Robert Volk received his B.A. from Lake Forest College in 1973 and his J.D., cum laude, from Boston University School of Law in 1978, where he was a member of the Law Review. Professor Volk has been director of the First Year Writing Program at Boston University since 1982 and has taught numerous writing courses, including the First Year Writing Program and the Advanced Writing and Editing Workshop. He also teaches Legal Writing at Boston University’s Summer Legal Institute in London as well as Legal English at Chuo University Law School in Tokyo. In addition, he has taught a seminar dealing with the legal rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered citizens since the late 1980’s. Professor Volk has spoken on LGBT and legal writing issues on many occasions, is a member of the Association of Legal Writing Directors and the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Bar Association, and serves as faculty advisor to OUTLAW, the law school’s LGBT student group.


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Experts Media Alert – SCOTUS to rule on same-sex marriage

June 5, 2015

In April, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on same-sex marriage. The case, Obergefell v Hodges, is a consolidation of earlier same-sex marriage cases and is limited by the court to two questions: 1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? and 2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment […]

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Atkins: High Court’s opt-out on gay marriage leaves issues

October 7, 2014

Boston Herald Robert Volk, School of Law The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to stay out of the legal battle over same-sex marriage will allow gay nuptials in a majority of states, but it leaves a complex patchwork of state laws that deny rights and benefits to gay couples even in states like Massachusetts, where their […]

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POV: Religion Cannot Excuse Discrimination

March 4, 2014

BU Today By Robert Volk, LAW In recent weeks, the Arizona legislature passed a bill that would allow businesses to discriminate against sexual minorities based on the business owner’s religious beliefs. Ostensibly designed to protect an individual’s religious beliefs, the law would protect a bakery, for example, that refused to bake a cake for a same-sex […]

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What Arizona’s ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill Is Really All About

February 26, 2014

WBUR “Cognoscenti” Robert Volk, School of Law Is anyone surprised by SB1062, the latest Arizona law to shock Americans-who-thought-we’d-gotten-over-all-that?… Expert quote: “In essence, the new law would not [change] much.” View full article

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Brookline resident receiving BU Law award

October 27, 2013

Brookline Tab Robert Volk, School of Law Brookline resident Robert Volk, associate professor of legal writing and director of the Legal Writing and Appellate Advocacy Program at Boston University School of Law, will receive BU Law’s Silver Shingle Award for service to the school at an Oct. 26 ceremony in Boston… View full article

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Boy Scouts’ historic vote on gays: lobbying right up to the end

May 23, 2013

Christian Science Monitor Robert Volk, School of Law Linda McClain, School of Law The Boy Scouts of America may be headed for a historic moment on Thursday… Expert quotes: Volk: “Witness the upsurge in support for same sex marriage.” McClain: “It has a special status in the nation’s history.” View full article

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Boy Scouts vote to allow gay members

May 23, 2013

USA Today Robert Volk, School of Law The Boy Scouts of America voted Thursday to allow gay youth to participate in scouting. The historic vote, with 60% in favor, signals another shift in American public opinion about homosexuality but still leaves the organization with many future hurdles… Expert quote: “It’s a chicken and egg thing. […]

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