Cynthia M. Adams

Clinical Professor of Law

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
Lawrence W. Inlow Hall, Room 210E
530 W. New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202-3225

Phone: (317) 274-4909
Fax: (317) 278-3326


B.A., 1977, Kentucky Wesleyan College
J.D., 1983, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law


Contract drafting, negotiations, legal analysis and communication, integrated contracts, civil procedure, trusts and estates, and legal process


Before joining the law school faculty, Professor Adams practiced law with an Indianapolis firm, specializing in general corporate law, acquisitions and mergers, commercial loans, and trusts and estates. She is the coauthor of two books, Drafting Contracts in Legal English: Cross-border Agreements Governed by U.S. Law (Aspen 2013) and The International Lawyer's Guide to Legal Analysis and Communication in the United States (Aspen 2008).  Professor Adams has served as a clinical consultant to the Kenya Law School and has made numerous presentations nationally and internationally on transactional issues and related ADR issues.  She is a certified mediator focusing on transactional issues.

Professor Adams was one of the first faculty members to receive Indiana University's Trustee's Teaching Award in recognition of teaching excellence and is a three-time recipient of the law school’s Teaching Excellence Recognition Award.


Books and Chapters

  • Drafting Contracts in Legal English: Cross-border Agreements Governed by U.S. Law, coauthored (Aspen Publishers, Inc. 2013).
  • The International Lawyer's Guide to Legal Analysis and Communication in the United States, coauthored (Aspen Publishing, Inc. 2008; 2d ed. forthcoming 2015).

Other Publications

  • Indiana Pleading and Practice (updates and revisions 2002-2007), a treatise on Indiana Rules of Civil Procedure, Matthew-Bender


  • "Teaching the Contract Narrative," Applied Legal Narrative Conference, City Law School, London, July 23, 2013.
  • "Nuts and Bolts of Starting a Contract Drafting Program," American Association of Legal Writing Directors, Biennial Conference, Marquette School of Law, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 2013.
  • "The Art of Communicating in Transactional Negotiations," Northwestern University LWI Workshop, Chicago, Illinois, November 30, 2012.
  • "Teaching the U.S. Contract Narrative to Nonnative English Speakers," Third Biennial Conference on Transactional Education, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, November 3, 2012.
  • "Teaching the Contract Narrative," Western Regional Legal Writing Conference, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, August 11, 2012.
  • "The Art of Drafting Contracts in Legal English (for the Nonnative English-Speaking Lawyer)," Global Legal Skills Conference, San Jose, Costa Rica, March 2012.
  • Conducted a Faculty Workshop on "Methodology of Clinical Instruction," Kenya Law School, Nairobi, Kenya, January 30-February 3, 2012.
  • "Getting to Therefore and Beyond: Academic Writing Strategies," APPEAL Conference, University of Zululand, Mtunzini, South Africa, December 8, 2011.
  • Presentation on clinical skills curriculum development at the Kenya Law School's Midterm Review, held in Nairobi, Kenya, in September 2011.
  • Presented “Applying Creative, Critical Pedagogy in the Global Classroom," at the Applied Legal Storytelling Conference at the Sturm College of Law, University of Denver, in Colorado, July 2011. The conference was sponsored by the Clinical Legal Education Association and the Legal Writing Institute.
  • Co-presented with Professor Carrie Hagan, "Course Collaboration for a Richer Learning Experience and Institutional Change," Poster Presentation at the Mid-Year Meeting of the American Association of Law School’s Conference on Clinical Legal Education, in Seattle, Washington, June 2011.
  • "The Use of Corpora in a Multi-Modal Approach to Teaching Legal English Writing," Co-Presenter, International Conference on Academic Writing, Tel Aviv, Israel, August 2010.
  • "Contract Drafting for ESL Students: A Blended Learning Approach to Developing Drafting and Linguistic Skills," Co-Presenter, Plenary Session, Global Legal Skills Conference V, Monterrey, Mexico, February 2010.
  • "Bringing the Law School Curriculum into the New Global Reality," Panel Presentation, Southeastern Association of Law Schools' Annual Meeting, Palm Beach, August 2009.
  • "The Pedagogy and Methodology of Incorporating Lawyering Skills into a Contracts Course," University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa, July 2009.
  • "Prometheus Unbound: Using Myths, Folktales, and Legends to Convey Legal Concepts in the Global Classroom," Global Skills Conference, Georgetown University, May 2009.
  • "Challenges in Negotiating and Drafting International Dispute Resolution Provisions in Commercial Contracts," Bahcesehir University, Istanbul, Turkey, August 2008.
  • "Beyond a Discussion of Cabbages and Kings: Designing a Relevant U.S. Contracts Course for International Students," Emory Law Conference on Teaching Drafting and Transactional Skills, May 31, 2008.
  • "International Arbitration and Mediation: Negotiating and Drafting Terms for Resolving Disputes," Facultad Libre de Derecho de Monterrey, Mexico, Global Legal Skills Conference, February 2008.
  • "Mainstreaming Study Abroad in Legal Education," Co-Presenter, American Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, New York, 2008.
  • “Challenges of the Multi-Cultural Classroom,” Co-Presenter, Global Legal Skills Conference II, Chicago, Illinois, 2007.
  • "Integrating International Law Issues into Non-International Law Courses," Participant, Round Table, American Society of International Law (ASIL) Interest Group on Teaching International Law, Washington, D.C., 2007.
  • "Going Global: Contract Drafting Issues and International Law Students," Twelfth Biennial Conference of The Legal Writing Institute, Atlanta, Georgia, 2006.
  • "Teaching Contract Drafting to ESL Law Students," Global Legal Skills Conference, Chicago, Illinois, 2005.
  • "Strategies for Teaching Writing and Analysis to International Students," Eleventh Biennial Conference of The Legal Writing Institute, Seattle, Washington, 2004.

Other Activities

  • Member of the American Association of Law School’s newly created Section on Transactional Law and Skills. Editor for that Section’s semi-annual newsletter.
  • Consultant to the Kenya Law School on clinical skills curriculum development in its Advocate Training Programme.
  • Participated in a cultural exchange program to Turkey where, as the guest of the Niagara Foundation, Professor Adams met with Turkish leaders in academia, business, and government.
  • Professor in Residence, Shanghai International Studies University. Taught course in Drafting International Contracts in Legal English, April-May 2011
  • Professor in Residence, Guanghua Law School, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China May-June 2010.