Christopher R. Trudeau

Christopher R. Trudeau, ProfessorProfessor

B.A. Michigan State University
J.D., summa cum laude, Thomas M. Cooley Law School

[email protected]

SSRN Publications

Christopher Trudeau joined WMU-Cooley's full-time faculty in 2005. He teaches all forms of legal research, analysis, & writing, but he particularly enjoys teaching legal drafting.

Professor Trudeau is a zealous advocate for plain language. He has focused much of his recent research on combating archaic, traditional language in law, health care, government, and business.

He's published novel empirical research on the public’s preference for plain language – The Public Speaks: An Empirical Study of Legal Communication – in volume 14 of The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing (2012). Because it is the first U.S. study of its kind, Professor Trudeau received a prestigious grant from Lexis/Nexis to conduct this research.

In addition to his research on plain language, Trudeau is active in the Legal Writing Institute (LWI), Scribes (the American Society for Writers on Legal Subjects), and Clarity International (an international plain language organization). He has presented at numerous conferences for these organizations, and he has spoken on clear legal communication for the Institute of Healthcare Advancement, the FDA, the Institute of Medicine, and many other organizations.

Professor Trudeau is also dedicated to public service. In 2007, he won the Capital Area United Way Volunteer of the Year Award for his pro bono service at Cristo Rey Community Center in Lansing, Michigan. Through this program, he frequently represents the less fortunate in family law, immigration, and many other poverty matters.

Before coming to WMU-Cooley, Professor Trudeau was a labor and employment attorney at Plunkett & Cooney, P.C., in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. A large part of his practice was focused on assisting institutional clients in defending against employment discrimination claims, as well as issues associated with the American with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act.


Books and Chapters in Books

  • Trudeau, Christopher R., "Establishing Harmony Between the Rules and Health Literacy."  In Informed Consent and Health Literacy: Workshop Summary, Rapporteur, Joe Alper, 61-74.  Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press, 2015.


  • Trudeau, Christopher, Charles Cercone, Nelson P. Miller, eds., Teaching Law Practice: Preparing the Next Generation of Lawyers, Vandeplas (2013).
  • Trudeau, Christopher, Charles Cercone, Nelson P. Miller, eds., A Problem-Solving Approach to Legal Analysis Developed through Legal Writing Courses in Teaching Law Practice: Preparing the Next Generation of Lawyers, Vandeplas (2013).
  • Trudeau, Christopher, The Public Speaks: An Empirical Study of Legal Communication, 14 Scribes J. Legal Writing, 121 (2012).
  • Trudeau, Christopher, Achieving Clarity: Eight Data-Driven Tips for Legal Communication, 91 Mich. B.J., no. 9, p. 50 (Sept. 2012).
  • Trudeau, Christopher, A Report on Michigan Laws Regulating Burials, Cremation, and Cemeteries, commissioned by the Michigan Law Revision Commission in January 2007, available at SSRN:
  • Trudeau, Christopher, The Aftermath Of BE&K v NLRB: When May An Employer Challenge The Legality Of Union Practices?  Laches Magazine, Oakland County Bar Association (Aug. 2003), available at SSRN:


  • Trudeau, Christopher, Presentation, Establishing Harmony between the Law and Health Literacy, Institute of Medicine’s Informed Consent & Health Literacy Workshop, July 2014 (forthcoming).
  • Trudeau, Christopher, Presentation, Persuasive Evidence for Using Plain Language in the FDA, U.S. Food & Drug Administration, July 2014 (forthcoming).
  • Trudeau, Christopher, Presentation, Creating Clear, User-Friendly Documents, 16th Biennial Legal Writing Institute, Philadelphia, PA, June 2014.
  • Trudeau, Christopher, Presentation, United. We Write: A Toolkit for Clear Writing, United Health Group (webinar), May 2014.
  • Trudeau, Christopher, Presentation, Eight Simple Rules for Clear Drafting, Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference, Las Vegas, NV, March 2014.
  • Trudeau, Christopher, Presentation, Working with Lawyers to Create Clear Insurance Documents, United Health Group (webinar), October 2013.
  • Trudeau, Christopher, Presentation, Selling Plain Language, Plain Language International Conference, Vancouver, BC, CAN, October 2013.
  • Trudeau, Christopher, Presentation, Challenging Traditional Legal Communications: A Drafting Toolkit for Non-Lawyers, Institute for Healthcare Advancement, Irvine, CA, May 2013.
  • Trudeau, Christopher, Presentation, Swimming with the Sharks: Strategies for Convincing Lawyers (and Other Guilty Parties) to Use Plain Language, Arlington, VA, September 2013 (and 2012).
  • Trudeau, Christopher, Presentation, The Public Speaks: An Empirical Study of Legal Communication, 15th Biennial Legal Writing Institute, Palm Springs, CA, May 2012.
  • Trudeau, Christopher, Presentation, The Public Speaks: An Empirical Study of Legal Communication, Clarity International Conference, Washington, D.C., May 2012.
  • Trudeau, Christopher, Presentation, Using Student-Driven Research Walkthroughs To Teach Legal Research, 2009 Central States Legal Writing Conference, Milwaukee, WI, October 2009.
  • Trudeau, Christopher, Presentation, Mind the Gaps: Teaching Students to Recognize and Address Flaws in Their Analysis, 13th Biennial Legal Writing Institute, Indianapolis, IN, July 2008.
  • Trudeau, Christopher, Presentation, Employees or Independent Contractors? Combating Employers’ Efforts to Hire Immigrant Workers as Independent Contractors, Law, Poverty, and Economic Inequality Conference at Valparaiso Law School, Valparaiso, IN, April 2008.
  • Trudeau, Christopher, Presentation, Using Portfolios to Enhance Writing Skills, Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference, Las Vegas, NV, March 2007.


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