Molly Bishop Shadel studied English and theater at Harvard University and directed plays professionally before entering law school. She earned her law degree at Columbia University, where she was a Notes Editor for the Columbia Law Review. She clerked for the Honorable Eugene Nickerson, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, and practiced law at Covington & Burling and the United States Department of Justice. She is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law, where she has taught oral advocacy since 2004. She is also the author of Finding Your Voice in Law School: Mastering Classroom Cold Calls, Job Interviews, and Other Verbal Challenges (Carolina Academic Press, 2013).
Robert N. Sayler studied rhetoric and trial practice at Stanford University and at Harvard Law School. He was a partner at the law firm of Covington & Burling, LLP, in Washington, D.C., specializing in complex cases, including product liability, antitrust, intellectual property and insurance coverage lawsuits seeking coverage for mass liabilities arising from asbestos, breast implants, Exxon-Valdez, Superfund, and other environmental clean-up costs. He is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, past Chair of the ABA Litigation Section, and was named “the father” of insurance coverage litigation by Chambers International. He has been listed by the National Law Journal one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers, one of the Top Ten D.C. Litigators by American Lawyer, and Commercial Prosecutor of the Year by the International Commercial Journal. In 1995, he was appointed the John Ewald Chair at the University of Virginia School of Law, where he teaches trial, rhetoric and oral communications.