Paul F. Kirgis, a professor at St. John’s University School of Law, has been selected to lead the University of Montana School of Law as dean. Kirgis will begin his new duties July 1, 2015.
UM Provost Perry Brown made the announcement after an extensive nationwide search.
“Professor Kirgis impressed a wide variety of groups across campus and, importantly, the Montana bench and bar during the search and his two visits to Missoula,” Brown said. “I am confident he will successfully lead the University of Montana School of Law into the future.”
While at St. John’s in New York City, Kirgis received the Faculty Outstanding Achievement Medal and was twice named the professor of the year. He is the founder and faculty chair of the Hugh L. Carey Center for Dispute Resolution and previously served as associate dean for faculty scholarship.
“I am honored by the opportunity to lead the University of Montana School of Law,” Kirgis said. “I look forward to working with the school’s outstanding faculty and the Montana bar to build upon its strong history of innovation and many successes in training practice-ready lawyers.”
The selection also marks a return to the West for Kirgis.
“My family is from Colorado, and the Rocky Mountains have always felt like home,” he said. “I see in the UM School of Law an institution with an important role to play in Montana, the Rocky Mountain region and beyond.”
Kirgis graduated from Virginia’s Washington & Lee University School of Law. He and his wife, Melissa, have two children.