Professor appreciates precision of words as law expert, poet

By Maria Lameiras | Emory Magazine | Nov. 4, 2014

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Day Job: Executive director of the Center for Transactional Law and Practice and professor in the practice of law at Emory School of Law

Secret Life: Published poet

It may seem like semantics, but according to the chronology, Sue Payne is a poet-lawyer, rather than a lawyer-poet. Encouraged by a third-grade teacher who gave the young writer “pretty pastel paper” on which to pen poems, then posted them for other students

to see, Payne has cultivated her love of writing throughout her life. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Denison University and a master’s in English language and literature from Ohio State University, planning to teach English at a college level, but chose law school over a PhD
in English when she decided—in typical Midwestern fashion— that law would be a more practical way to make a living.

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