WVU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Thomas R. Goodwin Professor of Law
B.A., The Evergreen State College, 1979
J.D. Antioch School of Law, 1982
LL.M. Georgetown University Law Center, 1990
Dean McConnell is an academic who has dedicated her career to improving legal education. Throughout her years as a teacher, scholar, and higher education administrator, she has focused on two educational innovations: multidisciplinary learning and clinical legal education.
Under her leadership as dean, the College of Law has expanded its multidisciplinary opportunities throughout the University and has implemented state of the art experiential and clinical programs and facilities that support curricular innovation. She has made this possible by raising $36 million in A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University.
Dean McConnell started her career in 1984 as a Clinical Fellow at The Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. She joined the faculty of the City University of New York, where she earned tenure in 1992 and taught for eight years. For one year, she was a visiting professor at the University of Maryland School of Law, where she taught in the first-year curriculum and supervised clinical students in a joint project with the University of Maryland Hospital.
She joined the West Virginia University College of Law faculty in 1995, became a full professor in 1998, and the Thomas R. Goodwin Professor of Law in 2002. She served two terms as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, under Dean Emeritus John Fisher, and became the Dean in 2008.
Dean McConnell teaches primarily in the area of property law, specifically first-year property, natural resources, and land-use planning. She also teaches “Gender and Law” and focuses on the leadership of women in the legal profession.
Dean McConnell is a nationally recognized scholar as well as a national and state leader. She is a current Co-Chair of the Section for the Law School Deans of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). In the past, she has served as President of the AALS Section for Women in Legal Education and the Section for Energy and Natural Resources. She is both an ABA Foundation and WV Bar Foundation Fellow. She served on Governor Manchin’s Judicial Reform Commission with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and she serves currently on Governor Tomblin’s Judical Vacancy Commission.
- West Virginia Lawyer Magazine, quarterly column (2009-present)
- “Securing the Care of Children in Diverse Families: Building on Trends in Guardianship Reform,” 10 Yale J. L.& Feminism (1997)
- Chapter 8: Reproductive Health, Women, and the Law, The Physician’s Perspective on Medical Law, Vol. I, coauthor Mark Gibson, edited by Howard H. Kaufman, M.D. and Jeff Lewin, J.D., American Association of Neurological Surgeons (1997)
- Chapter 12C: Sexual Assault, The Physician’s Perspective on Medical Law, Vol. I, coauthor Mark Gibson, edited by Howard H. Kaufman, M.D. and Keff Lewin, J.D., American Association of Neurological Surgeons (1997)
- Chapter 5: For Women’s Health: Uncoupling Tort Reform from Health Care Reform, Man Made Medicine: Women’s Health, Public Policy and Reform, edited by Kary Moss, Duke University Press (1996)
- Bullet Editor, The Broder New York Tort Reporter: Case Summaries and Analysis, Shepard’s/McGraw-Hill (monthly publication 1989-1991)
- Dean, West Virginia University College of Law (2008-present)
- Faculty, West Virginia University College of Law (1995-present)
- Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, West Virginia University College of Law (1998-2001/2006-08)
- Visiting Professor, University of Maryland School of Law
- Associate Professor, City University of New York School of Law
- Teaching Fellow, Center for Applied Legal Studies, Georgetown University Law Center
- Attorney-Advisor, Chief Judge and Division of Judges, National Labor Relations Board
- Attorney-Advisor, Chief Judge and Division of Judges, U.S. Department of Labor
- Member of Executive Committee of the Section on Women in Legal Education of the American Association of Law Schools
- Former Vice President of the West Virginia Land Trust