Joyce E. McConnell
William J. Maier, Jr. Dean
and 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 joined the West Virginia University College of Law faculty in 1995, served two terms as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs under Dean Emeritus John Fisher and became the Dean in 2008. She teaches primarily in the area of property law, specifically first-year property, natural resources, and land-use planning. Dean McConnell is a nationally recognized scholar as well as a national and state leader. She is the Chair-Elect of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Natural Resources and an executive committee member of the Section on Dean for the Law School. She became an ABA Foundation Fellow in 2009. Recently, she was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Governor’s Judicial Reform Commission.
Dean McConnell earned her LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center in Advocacy and started her academic career as a teaching fellow at Georgetown’s Center for Applied Legal Studies. After completing her fellowship, she joined the faculty of the City University of New York. After earning tenure, she spent one year at the University of Maryland School of Law as a visiting professor and then joined the West Virginia University College of Law, where she was promoted to full professor and became the Thomas R. Goodwin Professor of Law.
While a member of the faculty, Dean McConnell worked in partnership with others at West Virginia University, to obtain more than $1.5 million in grants from the Kellogg Foundation, the US Geological Survey and the USDA to provide service-learning opportunities to law students to assist low-income rural communities and their residents. She is active in land-use planning and conservation in West Virginia, was a founding member and President of the West Virginia Land Trust, and participated in training sessions around the state on farmland preservation and conservation easements. In 2010 the West Virginia Land Trust’s Special Places Award for her contributions to conservation in West Virginia.
In addition to this award, she was the Featured Alumna in Georgetown University Law Center’s Clinical Programs and Graduate Teaching Fellowships for 2007. She received the West Virginia Law Review Outstanding Faculty Contribution in 2003-04 and West Virginia Law Review Outstanding Faculty Contribution in 2006-07. For her service to women, West Virginia University awarded her the Mary Catherine Buswell Award for Outstanding service to further equality of opportunity for and achievement of women in 2001-02 and the West Virginia University College of Law awarded her the Women’s Law Caucus 1st Annual Women’s Award in 1998.