News - Capital University Law School

Incoming 1Ls, Meet Your Professors: Peggy Cordray

6/1/2020  - 

Professor Peggy Cordray loves teaching and particularly enjoys helping first-year law students learn how to learn the law. She has taught at Capital since 1992 and chairs the Law School’s Student Faculty Relations Committee. 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 Contracts, which is a year-long course for first-year students, and Evidence, which is a required course for second-year students. I also occasionally teach a course about the United States Supreme Court.

What legal issue fascinates you?
Oddly enough, I’m interested in how the Supreme Court decides which cases to hear. Virtually no one has a right to have the Supreme Court review their case, so the Court gets to choose which cases it takes up. Using a very secretive process, the Justices grant review on only about 75 cases each year. With thousands to choose from, how do they decide on those 75? And how can lawyers improve their chances of having the Justices select their case?

When you were in Law School…

Where did you go to law school?
I received my J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, and I later received an advanced degree in law (called a B.C.L.) from Oxford University in England.

What was your fondest memory of being a 1L?
Receiving my grades at the end of the first semester and realizing that I could do it.

What was your scariest 1L memory?
Sitting in class the first day, wondering if I belonged there.

Your advice to incoming law students…  

What should student do to prepare the summer before law school?
Spend lots of time with friends and family and get the other aspects of your life organized so that you’ll be able to focus on school when it starts in late August. Law school is tremendously time consuming.

Your best piece of advice to prepare for first year?
You might want to read a short book about how to “do” law school. There are several good ones available, such as Succeeding in Law School by Herbert Ramy and Expert Learning for Law Students by Michael Hunter Schwartz. Just read one, and don’t get bogged down in it. 

Your Favorites…

What’s your favorite book?

I love To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

What’s your favorite TV show?
The Good Wife. It’s a legal drama that is full of twists and turns. I use courtroom scenes from it (and lots of other TV shows and movies) in my Evidence class.

What’s your favorite local restaurant?
Lindey’s in German Village. And in the summer, it is lovely to eat outside on the beautiful patio at Barcelona.

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