Carol L. Wallinger joined the Rutgers-Camden Law faculty in 2001, and since then has taught legal writing to both first-year and upper-level law students. She also has taught Workers' Compensation Law. Before joining the faculty, she taught Legal Writing at Temple University.
Professor Wallinger earned a B.S. in Nursing from Rutgers-Newark, cum laude, and a J.D. and Estate Planning Certificate from Temple University School of Law. Between 1989 and 2001, Professor Wallinger practiced law, representing both employees and employers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey workers' compensation and insurance defense matters. She also practiced Social Security, Estate Planning and Elder Law.
Professor Wallinger’s research focuses on applying self-determination theory, an empirically-validated psychology theory, to reimagine the law school curriculum. Self-determination theory has proven that in order for humans to be motivated, and be successful, they should regularly experience autonomy, competence and relatedness to others. Preliminary research by Sheldon and Krieger has shown that providing law students with autonomy support increases their adoption of professional values, and their academic performance, including performance on the bar exam. However, few law schools have implemented this research. Professor Wallinger’s work concentrates on disseminating information about self-determination theory, and on developing autonomy support techniques specifically designed for the law school curriculum. In 2007, her research won a competitive scholarship from the Association of Legal Writing Directors.
On the national level, in 2007 Professor Wallinger was a founding member of the board of directors of the American Association of Law Schools' new "Balance in Legal Education" section. She also is the national chairperson of the Idea Bank Committee for the Legal Writing Institute, an organization whose members include law professors, judges and practitioners. Rutgers-Camden is now the home of this national teaching database.