Wendy Hess

Wendy Hess

Associate Professor



Phone: (605) 677-5443

Email: Wendy.Hess@usd.edu


Wendy Hess is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Fundamental Legal Skills and Legal Writing Program. Before coming to USD, she coordinated the Critical Legal Skills program at the Phoenix School of Law where she taught Academic Legal Skills, Mastering Legal Skills, and Interviewing & Counseling. Her legal practice experience includes: directing the Prison Reform Project at the Public Justice Center, a non-profit law office in Baltimore, MD, where she also worked on educational access for children in foster care and enforcement of freedom of information laws; serving as the Francis Murnaghan Appellate Advocacy Fellow where she worked on poverty law and civil rights appellate cases in state and federal courts; and provision of civil legal services to prisoners and pretrial detainees in Central Pennsylvania with the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project. She also completed two judicial clerkships, one for a judge on the Maryland Court of Appeals and the other for a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. Bar Admissions: South Dakota, Maryland, Washington DC

Teaching Interests:

Legal Skills, Interviewing & Counseling, Legal Writing, Juvenile Justice, Psychology & Law

Research Interests:

Law Teaching Methods & Practices, Legal Education Reform, Law Student & Lawyer Wellness, Juvenile Transfer, Feminist Legal Theory


  • JD, Law, University of Denver College of Law, 1998
  • BA, Psychology; Government & Politics, University of Maryland, 1995

Licensures and Certifications:

  • South Dakota Bar Membership
  • Mediation, Phoenix School of Law
  • Maryland Bar Membership (inactive), MD Bar
  • DC Bar Membership (inactive), DC Bar