News - Capital University Law School

Incoming 1Ls, Meet Your Professors: Susan Gilles

6/14/2021  - 

Professor Susan Gilles is known for running a high-energy, innovative classroom. A native of Glasgow, Scotland, Prof. Gilles has taught at Capital since 1990 and is faculty advisor to the Woman’s Law Association. We asked her to share some thoughts about herself, her work and succeeding in law school.

In the Classroom… 

What courses do you teach? 
I teach Torts (which is personal injury law – everything from slip-and-fall to defective products) and Civil Procedure Rules and Jurisdiction (a pair of tough courses that focus on litigation – how to file suit and what court to select). I also occasionally teach a seminar in media law, which looks at the liability and constitutional protections of the press

What legal issue fascinates you?
What limits on specific personal jurisdiction the Supreme Court should adopt in light of its contraction of general personal jurisdiction in recent rulings.

Is there anything you implemented during the pandemic and remote learning that you will continue with in-person learning?
To help my 1L Torts students with the challenge of studying alone this past year, I co-created a series of “introductory videos” to guide students as they prepared for class.  I hope it gave them a “guide on the side” as they tackled challenging assignments.  I’m going to update and keep using these videos, even though students can now work together as they prepare for class.

When you were in Law School…

Where did you go to law school?
I went twice – to the University of Glasgow and then to Harvard Law School for my LL.M. (Master of Laws).

What was your fondest memory of being a 1L?
As an LL.M student, the first time I volunteered to answer a question in Professor Larry Tribe’s Constitutional Law Class in front of 200 plus other Harvard Law students, and got the answer right!

What was your scariest 1L memory?
Same time, same class – before I knew I got the answer right!  

Your advice to incoming law students…

What should student do to prepare the summer before law school?
Crazy as it sounds, I would say get your life in order! You will be so busy in your first year that you don’t need outside distractions. So get your car fixed, find a good grocery store – be ready!

Your best piece of advice to prepare for first year?
Law school involves a LOT of reading and writing, so take the time to brush up those basic skills. Seriously! If you’re a slow reader or bad typist – work on that now. If your spelling/grammar is challenged then find some refresher quizzes online! As a 1L, you want to be able to focus on the excitement of learning the law, and not worry about working on reading and writing!

Your Favorites…

What’s your favorite book?
Anything by Jane Austen!

What’s your favorite movie?
Anything based on a Jane Austen novel (as long as it is not a bad Hollywood version!).

What’s your favorite local restaurant?
Once we are all vaccinated and back to normal and I can’t wait to go back to the Whole Foods in Dublin. First, you can snack for free on all those samples; Second, you can sit at the counter and order a delicious and healthy meal without all the fuss (or cost) of a fancy restaurant. 

For additional professor Q&A articles, see "Meet Your 1L Professors."