Dean and Professor of Law
B.A., Brown University
J.D., New York University
Phone: 207- 780-4344
Peter Pitegoff is the sixth Dean of the University of Maine School of Law. He joined Maine Law in July 2005 after seventeen years as a law professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, where he also served for seven years as vice dean for academic affairs. He has taught corporation law, business transactions, labor policy, community development law, nonprofit organization law, and legal profession and ethics. He has worked and written extensively in the areas of economic development, labor and industrial organization, nonprofit corporations, employee ownership and alternative enterprise forms, welfare and employment policy, and urban revitalization.
Now in his eighth year as Dean, Pitegoff is a leader in advancing Maine’s public and only law school. He has positioned Maine Law to expand upon its pivotal role in law, policy, and economic development regionally and in Maine and to achieve a higher profile on a national and global stage. Curricular innovation is bolstering an historically excellent teaching institution, faculty research kindles scholarly exchange and publication, and public service pervades the organizational culture. New program development includes the launch of a post-professional LL.M (Master of Laws) degree program; a robust initiative in data privacy and collaboration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; new clinical programs in juvenile justice, intellectual property, and refugee and human rights law; a new Justice for Women Lecture series and expanded visiting scholar program; an increasingly diverse law school community; and expanded international exchange opportunities. With a focus on technology and enterprise development, the environment, ocean and coastal issues, social and economic justice, health policy, trial advocacy, and more, Pitegoff has presented the University of Maine School of Law as a destination point for students, faculty, scholars, lawyers, and policymakers from near and far.
In addition to his deanship, Pitegoff serves on the board of directors of Coastal Enterprises, Inc., a national leader in community development finance. He serves on the Justice Action Group board, a coalition in support of access to justice for Mainers in need. He is a member of the Edward Thaxter Gignoux Inn of Court in Portland, the American Law Institute, and the American Law Deans Association, and is a frequent panelist or presenter at a wide range of conferences and workshops. He served as co-chair of Maine’s Juvenile Justice Task Force, as a member of the advisory committee on legislative ethics for the Maine House of Representatives, as Planning Committee member for the Association of American Law Schools 2008-2009 Transactional Law Workshop, and as member of the Clinical Skills Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education.
At the State University of New York at Buffalo, prior to his arrival in Maine, Pitegoff founded a law school clinical program in community economic development law, which has served as a model for transactional clinics at many other law schools and which continues to thrive today. He was actively engaged in public policy in New York State, including coordination of an organized bar initiative to revise the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law and a seat on the Chief Judge’s Judicial Institute for Professionalism in Law. On behalf of the SUNY-Buffalo President, he played a leadership role in charting a strategy for university engagement with the community.
Prior to his academic career, Pitegoff was legal counsel for the ICA Group, a Boston firm that assists community economic development initiatives nationwide, and taught on an adjunct basis at Harvard Law School and at New York University School of Law. Before attending law school, he was a community organizer in rural North Carolina and Oakland, California. Peter Pitegoff is a 1975 graduate of Brown University and a 1981 graduate of New York University School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden scholar.