University of Pittsburgh

David J. Herring

Professor of Law

David J. Herring is a Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh, where he teaches Constitutional Law, Lawyering, and Antitrust. He has also taught the Child Welfare Law Clinic course, a Child Welfare Law seminar, and Civil Procedure.

Herring has written extensively on child welfare law issues and assessing student learning in legal education. His most recent work in child welfare focuses on behavioral biology research and its implications for children placed in foster care; his previous work focused on the political functions of the family in American society. Herring’s research on legal education has included a series of empirical studies of student learning gains in the areas of legal reading and cross-case reasoning, for which he developed and administered pre- and post-tests to measure gains.

Herring served as Dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law from 1998 to 2005. Among his accomplishments as dean were leading the School’s successful capital campaign and recruiting strong teachers and scholars to join the faculty. Prior to serving as dean, he founded and served as the first Director of Pitt Law School’s clinical legal education program. Since joining the Pitt Law faculty in 1990, Herring has initiated the school’s live-client, in-house clinic programs, which have included the Child Welfare Law Clinic, the Community Economic Development Clinic, the Elder Law Clinic, the Environmental Law Clinic, the Family Law Clinic, the Health Law Clinic, the Immigration Law Clinic, the Securities Arbitration Clinic, and the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.

Herring and the school’s clinic students were instrumental in starting the Allegheny County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program, which trains volunteers to represent the interests of children in child welfare court proceedings. He received CASA’s first Children’s Voice Award for Excellence in Child Advocacy. Herring currently serves as a board member for the legal services organization (KidsVoice) that provides legal representation for all dependent children in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and played an instrumental role in the development of KidsVoice’s nationally recognized law/social work team model of representation for children.


  • JD, University of Michigan
  • BBA, University of Michigan
  • Selected Publications

    Books and Chapters:

    • Evolutionary Perspectives on Child Welfare Law, T.K. Shackelford and R.D. Hansen, eds., The Evolution of Violence, (New York, Springer Science, forthcoming 2013).
    • Evolutionary Theory and Behavioral Biology Research: Implications for Law, S.C. Roberts ed., Applied Evolutionary Psychology, (Oxford, UK, Oxford University Press, 2012).
    • Everyday Law for Children (Paradigm Publishers, 2006).
    • The Public Family: Exploring Its Role in Democratic Society (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003).

    Scholarly Articles:

    Selected Presentations

    • Presenter, “Legislative Threats to Law School Clinics,” Southeast Association of Law Schools, (July 2011).
    • Presenter, “Teaching and Assessing Cross-Case Legal Reasoning Skill,” The Center for Excellence in Law Teaching Inaugural Conference, (March 2012).
    • Presenter, “Teaching and Assessing Skills of Legal Analysis,” Akron Faculty Workshop, (April 2012).
    • Presenter, “Kinship Foster Care: Implications of Behavioral Biology Research,” The Evolution of Violence: An Interdisciplinary Conference, (April 2012). 

    SSRN Author Page

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