University of Pittsburgh
April 19, 2005

Widely Respected Disability and Health Law Scholar Named New Dean of Pitt School of Law

Mary A. Crossley assumes leadership of Pitt law school in July

Robert Hill


Cell: 412-736-9532

PITTSBURGH—Mary A. Crossley—a widely respected scholar in disability and health law who currently holds an endowed professorship at Florida State University College of Law—has been named dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Her Pitt appointment is effective July 2005.

"I have great confidence that Professor Crossley will provide our School of Law with dynamic academic and organizational leadership and sound judgment," said Provost James V. Maher in announcing the appointment today. "She shares our vision of a School of Law that will continue to strengthen its research and scholarship base, positioning its faculty to influence the development of the law and to prepare students to meet the challenges of demanding legal careers and leadership responsibilities, both nationally and internationally."

University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg, a former dean of the Pitt law school, also praised the appointment. "Professor Crossley's ambition, energy and demonstrated abilities make her an ideal choice to lead our School of Law," he said. "Throughout her career, both as a professor and as an associate dean, she has shown a high level of commitment to her students. She is a nationally respected scholar, whose particular areas of interest and expertise are directly related to our own institutional strengths in the health sciences. She also has strong links to the practicing profession and currently holds a professorship created by the Health Law Section of the Florida Bar Association. All of these qualities, combined with her enthusiasm for the opportunities that exist here at Pitt, permit us to confidently predict that there are very good days ahead for our School of Law."

Crossley served on the faculty of the Hastings College of the Law at the University of California from 1991 to 2000, attaining the rank of professor of law in 1997 and serving as associate academic dean from 1998 to 2000. She joined the faculty of Florida State University College of Law in 2001, after serving for a year as visiting professor at that institution. Crossley also practiced healthcare and corporate law as an associate at the law firms of Shartsis, Friese & Ginsburg in San Francisco, Calif., in 1990-91, and Wiggin & Dana in New Haven, Conn., in 1988-89. She was judicial clerk for the Honorable Harry W. Wellford of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Memphis, Tenn., in 1987-88, after she had earned the J.D. degree in 1987 at Vanderbilt University Law School; at Vanderbilt, she was a member of the Order of the Coif and served as Vanderbilt Law Review's editor in chief. Crossley received the Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Virginia in 1984.

Currently at work on a book about medical treatment choices for children, Crossley has written and spoken on some of the most pressing legal issues presented by advances in medical science. These topics include discrimination in the treatment of infants with HIV infection and newborns with disabilities; the ramifications of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including the relevance of the ADA to healthcare rationing, insurance law, and Medicaid managed care; the implications of the genetics revolution for our understanding of disability and criminality; and issues of inequality in health care generally. Her scholarly articles have appeared in such journals as the Columbia Law Review, Hastings Law Journal, Issues in Law and Medicine, Notre Dame Law Review, Rutgers Law Journal, and Vanderbilt Law Review.

Crossley is a member of the editorial board of the Florida Practitioner's Health Law Handbook and serves as a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of California, and the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics. She has been admitted to practice before the Tennessee, Connecticut, and California bars.

Crossley succeeds David J. Herring, Pitt's law school dean since 1998, who last May announced his resignation, effective June 30, 2005. He will return to the law school faculty full-time as a professor in fall 2005.

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