Fiona McKenna

Fiona McKenna

Associate Clinical Professor of Law

Professor McKenna joined the Santa Clara faculty in 2022.  From 2011 to 2016, Professor McKenna served as a professor at Golden Gate University School of Law. She directed the Legal Writing and Research program at GGU from 2016 until 2022, during which time GGU hosted the Legal Writing Institute One-Day Workshop and the Western Regional Legal Writing Conference.  During her tenure at GGU, Professor McKenna taught Legal Writing and Research, Appellate Advocacy, Intermediate Legal Writing, Practical Legal Writing, and Professional Responsibility.

Prior to entering academia, Professor McKenna practiced as a litigator at Troutman Sanders and Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch, representing clients in business disputes and employment matters. She was significantly engaged in pro bono juvenile dependency proceedings, representing foster parents.

Professor McKenna graduated from American University, Washington College of Law, where she served as a Marshall Brennan Constitutional Law Fellow and Notes and Comments Editor for the International Law Review. She received her undergraduate degree from University of California, Berkeley (Go Bears!).


  • Co-Presenter, Integrating Wellness into the Law School Curriculum, Western Regional Legal Writing Conference, Santa Clara University School of Law, September 2019
  • Panelist, Leading Unicorns: A Roundtable Discussion of Adjunct-Based Legal Writing Programs, Association of Legal Writing Directors Conference, Suffolk University School of Law, June 2019
  • Presenter, Court Rules: An In-Class Research and Writing Assignment to Help Prepare Students for the Realities of Practice, Western Regional Legal Writing Conference, University of California, Irvine, September 2018
  • Presenter, Awakening the Force: The Development of Professional Identity Through Self-Assessment and Self-Reflection in the First-Year Classroom, Western Regional Legal Writing Conference, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, August 2016
  • Presenter, Preparing Graduates for an Evolving Professional World: Integrating Employer Expectations into LWR, The Legal Writing Institute One-Day Workshop, California Western School of Law, December 2014
  • Co-Presenter, Motivating with What Matters Most to Students: Integrating Employment and Legal Writing from Day One, Western Regional Legal Writing Conference, Stanford University Law School, September 2014


J.D., American University Washington College of Law, 2005

B.A., in Sociology, with high honors, University of California, Berkeley, 1999

Affiliations and Honors

  • Association of Legal Writing Directors (“ALWD”)
    • Member, Leadership and Development Committee, 2019-present
    • Co-Chair, Leadership and Development Committee, 2020-2021
    • Chair, ALWD Leadership Academy for Innovative Program Design, 2019-2020
    • ALWD Outstanding Service Award recipient, 2020
  • Editorial Board, The Second Draft, 2017-2020

Other Links