University of Pittsburgh
February 1, 2017

Pitt Law Names Its Inaugural Distinguished Jurist in Residence


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

Visit for a high-resolution image of Judge D. Michael Fisher.

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh School of Law has named Federal Appeals Judge D. Michael Fisher to its newly created position of Distinguished Jurist in Residence.Judge D. Michael Fisher

Fisher, who serves in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, will begin his appointment Feb. 1, 2017. Currently an adjunct professor at Pitt Law, he is expected to teach two courses every fall term and be on site during the spring term to meet with students and participate in other activities.

“The Distinguished Jurist in Residence program advances the law school's twin goals of excellence in teaching in order to ensure that our graduates are practice-ready and of encouraging the kind of public service to which Judge Fisher has dedicated his career,” said Pitt Law Dean William M. Carter Jr. “This new program will bring extraordinary judges to the law school to enrich the educational experience of our students, and I am proud and honored that Judge Fisher has agreed to serve as our inaugural Distinguished Jurist in Residence.”

“I have had a longtime association with the University of Pittsburgh and its law school as a Trustee and adjunct professor,” said Fisher. “It is exciting to have this opportunity to take a more significant role at the law school to work with outstanding faculty under the leadership of Dean Carter and to help in the education of our excellent students.”

A native of Pittsburgh, Fisher was nominated to the Third Circuit by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2003. Prior to becoming a judge, he served as the Attorney General of Pennsylvania, elected in 1996 and reelected in 2000. Fisher has argued major cases in state and federal appellate courts, including the 1998 precedent-setting case before the U.S. Supreme Court that ensured paroled criminals meet the conditions of their release. Prior to being Attorney General, Fisher was a member of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, serving six years in the state House and 16 years in the state Senate.

Fisher also served on the Judicial Conference Budget Committee and remains on the Federal-State Jurisdiction Committee of the U.S. Judicial Conference. He was a member of the Third Circuit Judicial Council and chair of the Third Circuit Committee on Attorney Discipline, and he has been the chair of Pennsylvania Bar Association Federal Practice Committee since 2008. In conjunction with his role as Pitt Law’s Distinguished Jurist in Residence, Fisher will continue to serve as a jurist on the Third Circuit where he assumed senior status today.

Fisher was an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, his alma mater, and at the West Virginia University College of Law. Fisher has served the University of Pittsburgh as a Commonwealth Trustee from 1984–98 and has been an Emeritus Trustee since 2004.

Distinguished Jurist in Residence programs have met with great success at other institutions, such as Cornell Law School, New York University School of Law, and the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.