Peter Pitegoff

Professor of Law

Professor Peter Pitegoff


A.B., Brown University
J.D., New York University

Current Courses

  • Business Associations
  • Economic Development Law Practicum
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Professional Responsibility

Research Interests

  • Affordable Housing
  • Community Development Finance
  • Corporation Law & Governance
  • Economic Development
  • Legal Education
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Welfare & Labor Policy

Peter Pitegoff has worked and written extensively in the areas of community economic development, corporate organization, nonprofits, employee ownership, welfare and labor policy, and urban revitalization. His current research focuses on affordable housing policy and on the evolution of community development finance over the past several decades. He oversees the Economic Justice Fellowship program at Maine Law, which provides support and fieldwork stipends to law students with a demonstrated interest in and commitment to economic justice. He teaches law school courses in business associations, economic development, nonprofit organizations, corporate governance, professional responsibility and ethics, and employee benefits law.

Professor Pitegoff serves on the board of directors and on the administration and finance committee of Avesta Housing, a Portland-based nonprofit corporation that develops, manages, and advocates for affordable housing in Maine and New Hampshire. He also serves on the board of directors and on the executive committee of the Surf Point Foundation, an arts and artist residency organization located in York, Maine. He is on the advisory boards of Maine Law’s Certificate Program in Compliance and of 3i Supportive Housing, a start-up project in affordable housing for adults with physical disabilities.

From 2005 to 2015, Professor Pitegoff was dean of the University of Maine School of Law. He worked with colleagues to expand Maine Law’s pivotal role in law, policy, economic development, and social justice in Maine and to achieve a higher profile for the Law School on a national and global stage. He served for ten years (2006-2016) on the board of directors of Coastal Enterprises, Inc., a national leader in community development finance, and on its executive and finance committee and audit committee. He is a frequent panelist at conferences and workshops. He served as co-chair of Maine’s Juvenile Justice Task Force, and as member of the Merit Selection Committee for the U.S. Magistrate Judge (District of Maine), the Advisory Committee on Legislative Ethics for the Maine House of Representatives, the Clinical Skills Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education, the Gignoux Inn of Court in Portland, and Maine’s Justice Action Group.

Professor Pitegoff joined Maine Law in 2005 after 17 years as a law professor at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo. At SUNY, he served as vice dean for academic affairs and founded a clinical program in community economic development law in 1988, which has been a model for transactional clinics at numerous law schools. He helped coordinate an organized bar initiative to revise the New York State Not-for-Profit Corporation Law and served on the New York State Chief Judge’s Judicial Institute on Professionalism in the Law. He previously was general counsel for the ICA Group, a Boston firm that assists community economic development initiatives and worker-owned enterprises nationwide, and taught as an adjunct at Harvard Law School and New York University School of Law. Prior to his career in law, he was a community organizer in eastern North Carolina and in 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.

Selected Publications

Community Development Finance and Economic Justice in FROM THE GROUND UP: LEGAL SCHOLARSHIP FOR THE URBAN CORE (Rashmi Dyal-Chand & Peter D. Enrich, eds.) (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2019). [PDF] [SSRN]

Community Development Law, Economic Justice, and the Legal Academy, 26 J. AFFORDABLE HOUS. & CMTY. DEV. L. 31 (2017). [SSRN] [PDF]

An Evolving Foreclosure Landscape: The Ibanez Case and Beyond, 5 ADVANCE 131 (2011) (co-authored with Laura Underkuffler). [PDF]

Worker Ownership in Enron’s Wake—Revisiting a Community Development Tactic, 8 J. SMALL & EMERGING BUS. L. 239 (2004). [SSRN]

Shaping Regional Economies to Sustain Quality Work: The Cooperative Health Care Network, in HARD LABOR: WOMEN AND WORK IN THE POST-WELFARE ERA (Joel Handler & Lucie White, eds., 1999). [PDF] [SSRN]

Op-Ed., Special Counsel Mueller Needs Time, Space and Sunshine to Do His Job, PORTLAND PRESS HERALD, Feb. 4, 2019, p. A4 (editorial page) [PPH]

Letter to the Editor, Senate Blockade of nominee is a breach of responsibilities, PORTLAND PRESS HERALD, Apr 16, 2016, at A6 (co-authored with Prof. Sarah Schindler). [PPH]

Edmund Muskie’s Creative Federalism and Urban Development Today, 67 ME. L. REV. 252 (2015). [PDF]

Op-Ed., Lack of Oversight Will Cost Midcoast Charity, MAINE SUNDAY TELEGRAM, Oct 10, 2014, at E.2 (co-authored with Daniel Boxer). [MST]

Op-Ed., Half a Century On, Maine Law Reflects On Past, Prepares For Future, PORTLAND PRESS HERALD, Feb 5, 2013, at A6. [PPH]

The Legacy of Frank M. Coffin, 63 ME. L. REV. 385 (2011). [PDF]

Op-Ed., Supreme Court Justice’s Job So Important, Everyone Should Care, PORTLAND PRESS HERALD, June 24, 2010 (co-authored with Meghan Higgins). [PPH]

Big Business: Losing The Fight To Do Right, MAINE SUNDAY TELEGRAM, June 20, 2010 (co-authored with Daniel Boxer). [MST]

The Market for Change: Community Economic Development on a Wider Stage, in PROGRESSIVE LAWYERING, GLOBALIZATION, AND MARKETS: RETHINKING IDEOLOGY AND STRATEGY (Clare Dalton, ed. 2007). [PDF]

Organizing a Childcare Union in Philadelphia, 219 DOLLARS AND SENSE, Nov./Dec. 1998, at 42. [Dollars and Sense]

Child Care Policy and the Welfare Reform Act, 6 J. AFFORDABLE HOUSING & COMMUNITY DEV. L. 113 (1997) (co-authored with Lauren Breen). [PDF] [SSRN]

Chapter 5: Unions, Finance, and Labor’s Capital, in UNIONS AND PUBLIC POLICY: THE NEW ECONOMY, LAW AND DEMOCRATIC POLITICS (Lawrence G. Flood, ed., Greenwood Press 1995). [PDF] [SSRN]

ICA MODEL BY-LAWS FOR A WORKER COOPERATIVE: VERSION III (Indus. Coop. Ass’n 1995) (co-edited with David Steinglass).

Affordable Housing and Community Development Law Program, NEWSLETTER (Ass’n of Am. L. Sch. Section on Legal Educ.), Dec. 1995.

Law School Initiatives in Housing and Community Development, 4 B.U. PUB. INT. L.J. 275 (1995). [SSRN]

Urban Revitalization and Community Finance: An Introduction, 27 U. MICH. J.L. REFORM 613 (1994). [Hein]

Child Care Enterprise, Community Development, and Work, 81 GEO. L.J. 1897 (1993). [SSRN]

Reflections on Child Care & Community Development, 2 CIRCLES: BUFF. WOMEN’S J. L. & SOC. POL’Y 23 (1993). [Hein]

Community Development Clinics, 1 CONSORTING, Sept. 1991, at 6.

Buffalo Change & Community, 39 BUFF. L. REV. 313 (1991) (lead role in symposium issue on Buffalo political economy). [Hein]

Unions and Worker Ownership, 18 POL’Y STUDIES J. 357 (1990). [PSJ]

Theory & Practice: Notes from the Nexus, CLS: NEWSLETTER OF THE CONF. ON CRITICAL LEGAL STUDIES, Nov. 1989, at 40.

Democratic Worker Ownership Trusts, in THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF CO-OPERATIVE PROPERTY 39 (J. Andre and D. Laycock, eds. 1987) (co-authored with David Ellerman & Clark Arrington). [SSRN]

THE DEMOCRATIC ESOP (Indus. Coop. Ass’n 1987).

Organizing Worker Cooperatives, 7 LAW & POL’Y 45 (1985). [Hein]

The Democratic Corporation: The New Worker Cooperative Statute in Massachusetts, 11 N.Y.U. REV. L. & SOC. CHANGE 441 (1983) (co-authored with David Ellerman). [SSRN]

ICA MODEL BY-LAWS FOR A WORKER COOPERATIVE: VERSION II (Indus. Coop. Ass’n 1983) (co-authored with David Ellerman).

Taxation of Worker Cooperatives, 2 EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP, Dec. 1982, at 5.

Op-Ed., Workers Can Be Choosers, N.Y. TIMES, Oct. 27, 1982, at A27 (co-authored with Staughton Lynd).

Worker Ownership: Strategy for Labor?, LABOR UPDATE, July-Aug. 1982, at 9.

EMPLOYEE COOPERATIVE CORPORATIONS, MASS. GEN. LAWS, ch. 157A (1982) (drafted principally by Peter Pitegoff & David Ellerman). [Mass Legis.]