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Gormley Named Law Dean

Duquesne University President Charles Dougherty today named Ken Gormley dean of the School of Law.


“We are delighted to have such an accomplished teacher-scholar, active member of the Bar and influential author leading our School of Law,” said Dougherty.  “Our aspiration is to be a nationally prominent law school, and Professor Gormley is just the person to take us there. We’re very grateful for the work of an exceptional search committee in bringing us to this defining moment for our School of Law.”

Members of the committee included Dr. John E. Murray, Jr., chancellor and professor of law; Alfred Pelaez, distinguished professor of law; Mark Yochum, professor of law; Nancy Perkins, associate dean and professor of law; The Honorable Joy Flowers Conti, judge, United States District Court for Western Pennsylvania; The Honorable Cynthia A. Baldwin, retired justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and now general counsel of Penn State University; and Duquesne Student Bar Association leader Abigail Faett.

“It is a great honor to be selected to lead Duquesne’s School of Law at this important time in its history,” said Gormley. “As we prepare to celebrate our hundredth anniversary next year, the Law School is nicely positioned to build upon its rich tradition of training excellent, ethical, highly-qualified lawyers. I am grateful for the opportunity to further contribute to and continue this legacy.”

Gormley, who was the first academic to serve as president of the Allegheny County Bar Association, was named interim dean of the school in December 2008. He also served as associate vice president for interdisciplinary scholarship and special projects at Duquesne. He joined the law school faculty in 1994. An expert in constitutional law, Gormley teaches courses on constitutional law, state constitutional law, political and civil rights, and the First Amendment. He has testified before the United States Senate on topics including wiretapping, presidential pardons and the independent counsel law.

Most recently, Gormley has received accolades for his new book, The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr, published by Crown Publishing Group in February. Named as an “Editor’s Choice” by the Sunday New York Times, The Death of American Virtue has received high praise from the likes of The Washington PostPublishers Weekly and the Philadelphia Inquirer, among others. Gormley has been interviewed by and made appearances on The Today Show, NPR’s Fresh Air, Fox and Friends and Hardball with Chris Matthews. The book has also been selected to receive the prestigious Bruce K. Gould Book Award from the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center. Past recipients include Bob Woodward, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Gormley is author of Archibald Cox: Conscience of a Nation, and his work has been published in Congressional Digest, Legal Times, USA Today Magazine and The Pennsylvania Lawyer. A popular and highly sought speaker, he has shared his expertise and opinions at professional, university and legal gatherings across the nation and abroad, including engagements at Harvard Law School, the Chautauqua Institution, Oxford University, the Pennsylvania State Trial Judges’ Conference, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Federal Bar Association and the R.I.Z. Law Centre for European and International Cooperation in Cologne, Germany.

Gormley is of counsel with Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP. He sits on the advisory committee for the Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy and is an advisory board member for the Bernard G. Segal Institute for Appellate Advocacy. He has served as executive director of the Pennsylvania Legislative Reappointment Commission and, as a special clerk to the late state Supreme Court Justice Ralph Cappy, he consulted on and drafted opinions dealing with Constitutional issues.

“I am deeply grateful to the faculty, the search committee, our students, the Spiritan community, our alumni, President Dougherty and the entire University administration for their confidence in me,” said Gormley. “Duquesne has been my professional home for sixteen years; Pittsburgh has been my home for fifty-five years. There is nowhere else I would rather make my contribution.”

A resident of Forest Hills, Gormley holds a B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Pittsburgh and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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