Janssen, William M.

Professor of Law



William M. Janssen joined the Charleston School of Law faculty in 2006 after a lengthy practice with the mid-Atlantic law firm of Saul Ewing LLP, where he was a litigation partner, a member of the firm’s seven-person governing executive committee, and chair of the interdisciplinary Life Sciences Practice Group.  He concentrated his practice in pharmaceutical, medical device, and mass torts defense and risk containment.  In practice, he was involved in various high-profile drug and device cases, including the national diet drug (“fen-phen”) litigations, DES litigations, and myelographic contrast dye litigations.  Both as a practitioner and in academia, he has spoken and written frequently on pharmaceutical and medical device law.

Professor Janssen focuses his scholarship also on federal practice and procedure.  He is the author of five national texts in this discipline.  He is the sole author of Federal Civil Procedure Logic Maps (West 2d ed. 2012), a visual learning resource for federal civil procedure, and one of two authors of Mastering Multiple Choice – Federal Civil Procedure (West 3d ed. 2018), a multiple choice practice tool.  He is one of three co-authors of the Federal Civil Rules Handbook (West, annually (26th ed. 2018)), and A Student’s Guide to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (West, annually (21st ed. 2018)).  The content of the Handbook is reprinted each year as Volume 12B of the national treatise, Wright & Miller’s Federal Practice and Procedure (West 2018, annually).  He is a contributing author to the annual updating to Rice’s Attorney-Client Privilege in the United States (West 2018, annually), a leading treatise on the privilege. His sixth text, Practicing Civil Discovery (Carolina Academic Press), is due to be published in Fall 2019. In addition to these books, Professor Janssen is also the author of various journal articles, book chapters, and bar review materials on federal civil procedure, and has lectured widely on civil procedure topics.

Professor Janssen’s scholarship also includes an emphasis on constitutional religious liberty and the Religion Clauses to the United States Constitution, an area of law in which he has written, spoken, and litigated.

While a student at the American University’s Washington College of Law, Professor Janssen was the executive editor of the American University Law Review, a dean’s fellow, a moot court board member, an interschool moot court competitor, and the first-year moot court champion.  After law school, he served as a law clerk to a federal district court judge (Hon. James McGirr Kelly, E.D. Pa.) and to a federal court of appeals judge (Hon. Joseph F. Weis, Jr., 3d Cir.).

Before joining the Charleston School of Law faculty, Professor Janssen taught, while in active practice, as an adjunct instructor at Temple University School of Law for five academic terms and as an adjunct teaching business law at Saint Joseph’s University.


J.D., Washington College of Law at American University B.A., magna cum laude, Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, Pa.

Course Interests/Research/Teaching Areas

  • Civil Procedure
  • Products Liability
  • Mass Torts
  • Food and Drug Law
  • First Amendment Law (Religion Clauses)



Contact Info

Office: 385 Meeting St., 3rd Floor
Phone: 843.377.2442
Email: wjanssen@charlestonlaw.edu

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