Faculty Directory
Faculty Directory

Sharon Reich Paulsen

  • Associate Dean

Yale University, B.A.
Stanford University, J.D.

Office: 420
Mondale Hall, 229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Sharon Reich Paulsen, earned her B.A., summa cum laude, from Yale University, where she received the William M. Massee Award for her senior economics thesis and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She received her J.D. from Stanford Law School, where she was Note Editor of the Stanford Law Review and received the Board of Editors Award for her editorial contributions. After clerking for the Honorable Harlington Wood Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, she joined the U.S. Department of Justice through the Civil Division Honors Program and served as a trial attorney, primarily engaged in constitutional litigation. She later joined the Business Litigation Department of Faegre & Benson in Minneapolis, and in 1991 she became Associate Dean at the Law School.

From 2004-11 Dean Paulsen took a leave from the Law School and served as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief of Staff to the Provost of the University of Minnesota. As chief advisor to the Provost, she was the liaison with senior campus academic and administrative leaders, ensured effective implementation of academic initiatives, handled grievances and legal issues, prepared and implemented the annual work plan for the Provost’s Office, and supervised all professional and support staff as well as daily management and operations in the Provost’s Office. She played a leading role in overseeing and then implementing the academic side of the University’s strategic positioning effort.

Dean Paulsen was appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court to the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board in 1995 and served until 2001 as a hearing panel chair and on the Board’s Opinion Committee. In 2003 she received the President’s Award as a member of the Task Force on the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. She has participated on a variety of task forces and committees of the Minnesota State Bar Association, including service as co-chair of the Women in the Legal Profession Committee, and has served on the Association of American Law Schools’ Committee on Bar Admissions and Lawyer Performance. She was a founding member of the Association of Legal Writing Directors and has served on the Board of the Loan Repayment Assistance Program-Minnesota. She was also a member of the Board of Directors of the MacPhail School of Music from 2004-10.

Dean Paulsen has lectured inside and outside the University community on evidence, ethics, litigation, conflict of laws, comparative law, and legal education issues. In 2014 and 2015 she was invited to lead workshops in Uzbekistan on trial practice and the value of an adversarial legal system and on legal ethics. During spring semester 2012, Dean Paulsen served as a visiting professor at the Uppsala University Faculty of Law; while there, she also was invited to give the keynote speech at the annual meeting of the Comparative Law Research Society of Sweden. She was a visiting scholar at Vermont Law School during the fall 2012 semester, and she taught a six-week course in China during the summer of 2007.

Dean Paulsen’s teaching and research interests focus on litigation strategy and procedure, including trial practice, case development and discovery, depositions, and appellate advocacy. In addition to her teaching responsibilities and her writing, Dean Paulsen designed and serves as faculty adviser for the Civil Litigation Concentration for J.D. students, directs the Trial Practice Program, initiated and oversees the Master of Science in Patent Law Program, and advises the dean on innovation, strategic planning, and experiential learning.


Judicial Externship

Conflict of Laws



  • Successful First Depositions (West Group, 1st ed., 2001; Thomson West, 2d ed., 2005; 3d ed., 2011) (with teacher’s manuals) Brad Clary, Sharon Reich Paulsen and Michael Vanselow
  • Advocacy on Appeal (West, 1st ed., 2001; Thomson West, 2d ed., 2004; 3d ed., 2008) (with teacher’s manuals) Brad Clary, Sharon Reich Paulsen and Michael Vanselow

Book Chapters

  • A Final Note, in An Unmarked Trail: The Odyssey of a Federal Judge (Harlington Wood, Jr., H.C. Johnson Press, 2008) (epilogue) Sharon Reich Paulsen
  • The Woman as Employer, in Women’s Legal Guide (Barbara R. Hauser & Julie A. Tigges, eds., Fulcrum Pub., 1996) Sharon Reich Paulsen
  • State of Minnesota, in State Antitrust Practice and Statutes (Section of Antitrust Law, American Bar Association, 1990) Sharon Reich Paulsen and John D. French

Journal Articles

  • The Role of Practitioners in Experiential Education: Report of the Working Group on Integration With the Profession, 7 Elon Law Review 89 (2015) Sharon Reich Paulsen and Margaret Martin Barry
    | SSRN
  • AALS Survey of Law Schools on Programs and Courses Designed to Enhance Bar Examination Performance, 52 Journal of Legal Education 453 (2002) (with members of the AALS Committee on Bar Admissions and Lawyer Performance) Sharon Reich Paulsen

CLE Materials

  • Musings in the Aftermath of the Tobacco Litigation: Is There an Ethical Limitation on the Reasonableness of Attorney Fees?, in Ethical Issues and Elimination of Bias (Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, 2000) Sharon Reich Paulsen
  • LPRB Opinion 19: Technology and Lawyer Communications, in Ethical Issues and Elimination of Bias (Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, 1999) Sharon Reich Paulsen
  • Securities, Antitrust, Franchise Act and Common Law Fraud Limitations Periods, in Statutes of Limitations (Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, 1990) Sharon Reich Paulsen and Jeannine L. Lee

Other Publications

  • Legal Writing Taught by Supervised Adjuncts, in The Politics of Legal Writing: Proceedings of a Conference for Legal Research and Writing Program Directors, July 28-29, 1995 (Jan Levine, Rebecca Cochran & Steve Johansen, eds., West Publishing, 1995) Sharon Reich Paulsen and Eric Easton


  • CiteStation (West, 2d ed., 2010) (series of interactive, computer-based exercises for use in legal writing and appellate advocacy courses) Sharon Reich Paulsen, Brad Clary and Pamela Lysaght
  • CiteStation (West, 1st ed., 2004) (series of interactive, computer-based exercises for use in legal writing and appellate advocacy courses) Sharon Reich Paulsen, Brad Clary, Danielle Istl and Pamela Lysaght
  • Sharon Reich Paulsen In the news

  • Prof. Reich Paulsen Leads Trial Workshop in Uzbekistan

Contact Information

University of Minnesota Law School

Walter F. Mondale Hall | 229 19th Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-625-1000

Email Us

Connect on Social Media