THE UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH seeks an exceptional individual to become the 20th dean of its School of Law.  The next dean should be an innovative thinker and approachable leader who welcomes the opportunity to articulate a vision for the growth of the law school that builds on its long history of excellence.


The School of Law is located on the main campus of the University of Pittsburgh, one of the nation’s top public research universities, close to state and federal courts, major corporate headquarters, and local, national, and international law firms. The University is one of the anchor institutions of Pittsburgh, a city that has enjoyed a remarkable transformation and continues to reinvent itself as a world-class center of education, medicine, and technology.


Reporting to Provost Patricia Beeson and working closely with Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, the Dean is the School of Law’s chief academic, advancement, and administrative officer, with overall responsibility for its academic programs, operating budget, personnel management, strategic planning, public relations, and fundraising.  The Dean is also the School of Law’s principal representative to the University, alumni, and the legal community.


The next dean will be presented with the opportunity not only to propel Pitt Law to higher levels of prominence and distinction, but also to serve among the senior leaders of an internationally prominent research university. The Dean’s leadership skills will be essential to taking on the following opportunities and challenges:


  • Developing a comprehensive and proactive strategic plan for the School of Law that meets the challenges of a highly competitive market and aligns with the broader objectives of the University’s strategic plan;
  • Nurturing and expanding interdisciplinary relationships between Pitt Law and other university programs;
  • Garnering additional private and public resources that will enable the School of Law to make continued advances in its programs and facilities, as well as the caliber of its faculty and students;
  • Taking aggressive steps to better anticipate the needs of the external legal community in order to cultivate stronger relationships and forge collaborative partnerships in a city that is experiencing growth and transformation;
  • Maintaining and enhancing Pitt Law’s strong sense of community among its principal constituents, including faculty, staff, students, alumni, other schools, and university administrators;
  • Continuously improving student outcomes—including bar passage, job placement, and other quantitative and qualitative measures—and maintaining and enhancing the school’s student-centered environment; and
  • Advancing the law school’s commitment to social justice, access to justice, and equality before the law.


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The University of Pittsburgh School of Law 

The University of Pittsburgh School of Law was officially founded in 1895, making it one of the oldest law schools in the nation.  In 1900, the school joined with 31 other schools to form the Association of American Law Schools.  In 1923, Pitt Law received full accreditation from the American Bar Association.


Recent years have seen dramatic growth in the law school curriculum, enhanced by programs such as the Center for International Legal Education, the Center for Bioethics and Health Law, the Innovation Practice Institute, and the Institute for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security. While continuing to offer the traditional core courses, the school has expanded its curriculum to reflect the increasing importance of statutory and regulatory law, as well as specialized areas of the law, including intellectual property and international/comparative law. In addition, current course offerings take into account the interdisciplinary nature of law practice today. Examples include Land, Race, and Property Rights; Crime, Law, and Society in The Wire; and the Health Law Clinic (featuring a medical-legal partnership).



Pitt Law’s diverse, collegial, and internationally accomplished faculty currently includes 37 full-time and over 100 adjunct professors. Top law reviews have consistently published their scholarship, and over half of the faculty have authored leading casebooks, treatises, or trade books with major university presses such as Michigan, NYU, Oxford, and University of Chicago.  Pitt Law faculty make policy as well as write about it.  They are active leaders in national organizations engaged in the study and application of law, such as the American Bar Association, the American Judicature Society, the Association of American Law Schools, the American Law Institute, and the American Society of International Law.


Professors at Pitt Law have been at the forefront of fields as varied as bioethics, civil rights, and intellectual property. They advise the founders of new democracies abroad and provide perspective on civil liberties in the United States. Pitt Law has led the move to free worldwide sharing of legal and judicial scholarship online with JURIST, publishing international news and primary source documents. The school also sponsors legal symposia for industries from health care to natural gas, and brings experts to campus for formal lectures and informal debate.


The School of Law is proud to say that the scholar who wants to teach is a hallmark of its program.  Faculty are recruited and evaluated for teaching ability as well as scholarship.  There is a sophisticated faculty development process that includes peer and student evaluations, as well as regular faculty workshops focused on teaching.  New faculty members are given reduced teaching assignments and are encouraged to concentrate on developing teaching skills.  The emphasis on faculty teaching and its development explains why sixteen law faculty members have received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award since its inception in 1984 – an amazing achievement for a faculty of 37 in a university with well over 2,000 teachers.


Students & Alumni

The Pitt Law student body consists of approximately 450 students from more than 150 colleges and universities across the nation.  The quality and diversity of the student body are key components of the

educational experience at Pitt Law.  The school is proud of the supportive environment it provides to all students, including women, minority students, older students, LGBTQ students, and students from nontraditional backgrounds.  Admissions are selective, with a 32% acceptance rate, and are conducted on a rolling basis. Pitt Law’s mission to develop talent includes a commitment to providing scholarships for highly qualified students through all three years. Nearly 70 percent of all students receive financial aid.


Pitt Law’s alumni serve as judges, U.S. senators, attorneys general, law school deans, corporate CEOs, and public interest leaders. A strong network of 8,000 alumni affords excellent career prospects for Pitt Law’s graduates in private practice, judicial clerkships, academia, business, government, and public interest. The Law Alumni Association was established in 1986.  It aims to enhance the interests of the School of Law and its alumni through the establishment of student scholarships and a variety of activities that recognize and support alumni and current law students.


Applications, Nominations, and Inquiries

All correspondence, including applications, nominations, and inquiries should be emailed to the Dean Search Committee c/o Korn Ferry at


A complete application will include a letter of interest and a current CV.  Candidate materials will be reviewed on an ongoing basis up to the application deadline of December 18, 2017. All correspondence will be held in strict confidence.  The anticipated start date is July 1, 2018.


The University of Pittsburgh is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and values equality of opportunity, human dignity, and diversity. EEO/AA/M/F/Vets/Disabled.