Law School Dean to Return to Faculty

Pitt School of Law Dean William M. Carter Jr.After six years of service, William M. Carter Jr. has decided to leave his role as the dean of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Law and will return to the faculty at the end of the 2017-18 academic year.

“Under Dean Carter’s leadership, Pitt Law has seen its national rankings rise and its academic scope expand in key areas, like cyber law and health care compliance,” said Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “These successes speak to Chip's lasting impact, and I am thankful that he will continue to serve our students — and our School of Law — when he returns to our faculty next year.”  

Graduate employment rates and the school’s recognition rose under Carter’s tenure. The school was recently ranked 37th in graduate employment rates at the nation’s largest law firms, according to a 2017 report by The National Law Journal. It is also ranked 50th for scholarly impact in a 2015 study

Under Carter's leadership, the school also established six new legal clinics and practicums, providing experiential opportunities for students to learn more about the practice of law. The Institute for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security; the Energy Law and Policy Institute; the Pitt Legal Services Incubator and the online Health Care Compliance Online Graduate Certificate Program were all established during Carter’s tenure.

It has been my pleasure to work with Dean Carter, both in his role as dean and as a member of our Council of Deans. I am pleased that he will continue as a faculty member here at the School of Law.

Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson

Total philanthropic giving has also increased substantially during Carter’s service, totaling more than $20 million to date, including two new endowed professorships and the Derrick A. Bell Fund for Excellence, which provides student scholarships and faculty research support in civil rights and public interest law. The School of Law also received the largest single scholarship endowment in its history.

Applications to the school also increased by about 15 percent from 2013 to 2017 during a time when applications to law schools across the country significantly declined. The percentage of underrepresented racial minorities on the full-time faculty during that time more than doubled.

A dedicated teacher and prolific scholar, Carter has while serving as dean taught multiple law school courses and published 10 scholarly works, including articles in the Columbia Law Review, the UCLA Law Review and the New York University Review of Law & Social Change; a book chapter published by the Oxford University Press; and a friend-of-the-court brief in a case involving the constitutionality of federal hate crimes law. He has delivered lectures at New York University, Georgetown University, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and Paris-Sorbonne University. His scholarly works have been cited by the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second and Tenth Circuits and in briefs filed by the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. 

He also has received numerous awards, including the Diverse Attorney of the Year Award from The Legal Intelligencer and the Leadership Diversity Award from the National Diversity Council. Carter has engaged in substantial community service, including as a member of the American Law Institute, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Commission on Judicial Independence and the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute of Politics (IOP) Criminal Justice Task Force focused on Allegheny County. He is also a fellow of IOP.

“It has been my pleasure to work with Dean Carter, both in his role as dean and as a member of our Council of Deans,” said Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson. “I am pleased that he will continue as a faculty member here at the School of Law.”

“It has truly been an honor and pleasure to serve as dean,” said Carter. “I look forward to advancing our mission with the utmost energy during my final year of service as dean and beyond.”

A search committee to find Carter’s replacement will be formed in the coming weeks.