Eric Mitnick, UMass Law Dean

Eric Mitnick


Law School




UMass School of Law 113


Princeton UniversityPhD
Princeton UniversityMA
University of Michigan Law SchoolJD
Cornell UniversityBA


  • Torts and Administrative Law


Research Interests

  • Rights
  • Liberalism
  • Sociolegal and multicultural theory
  • Procedural due process

Professional background

Dean Mitnick joined UMass Law in July 2014 as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law. He was appointed Interim Dean in July 2016 and in that role successfully led the law school to full ABA accreditation. He was appointed Dean in October 2017.

Since his appointment as Dean, enrollment at UMass Law has nearly doubled, making it the third fasting growing law school in the country, while median LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs of entering students have all increased, along with bar pass rates and employment outcomes. Four of the five largest gifts to the law school have been made during Dean Mitnick’s tenure, and annual donors to the law school have increased by more than 100%. A new state-of-the-art seminar room has been completed, along with a complete renovation of the law school lobby, among other significant capital improvements.

Dean Mitnick studied history and government as an undergraduate at Cornell University, law at the University of Michigan Law School, from which he graduated with honors, and American politics, public law, and political theory in the Department of Politics at Princeton University, from which he earned master's and doctoral degrees.

Dean Mitnick practiced law as an associate with Willkie Farr & Gallagher, a large law firm in New York City, focusing especially on mergers and acquisitions, securities law, directors’ liability, and financial litigation.

Prior to joining UMass Law, Dean Mitnick taught Torts, Administrative Law, Professional Responsibility, and Scholarly Legal Writing at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, where he also served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and was twice recognized as Teacher of the Year by the student body; Legal Research and Writing at the University of Wisconsin Law School; and Constitutional Interpretation and Civil Liberties as a graduate student at Princeton University. At UMass Law, Dean Mitnick has taught Torts I and II. He was voted Teacher of the Year in 2015 and Administrator of the Year in 2017 by the student body.

Dean Mitnick has also served as an outside reviewer for the American Political Science Review, as a member of the Law & Society Dissertation Prize Committee, been named a Top Attorney by the San Diego Daily Transcript, and received research fellowships from Princeton University and the Mellon Foundation.

His doctoral dissertation was published in book form as Rights, Groups, and Self-Invention: Group-Differentiated Rights in Liberal Theory (Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2006). Dean Mitnick is also the author of several peer-reviewed journal and student-edited law review articles, including Three Models of Group-Differentiated Rights, which was selected for inclusion in the Columbia, Georgetown, UCLA, and USC Law & Humanities Junior Scholar Workshop. His article on procedural due process and reputational harm has been cited by the New Hampshire and Vermont Supreme Courts.



Rights, Groups, and Self-Invention: Group-Differentiated Rights in Liberal Theory (Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2006).


Rights, in Encyclopedia of Political Thought (Michael Gibbons, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.) (2015).

Procedural Due Process and Reputational Harm: Liberty as Self-Invention, 43 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 79 (2009).

Law, Cognition, and Identity, 67 La. L. Rev. 823 (2007).

Differentiated Citizenship and Contextualized Morality, 7 Eth. Theory and Moral Prac. 163 (2004).

Three Models of Group-Differentiated Rights, 35 Columbia Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 215 (2004).

Individual Vulnerability and Cultural Transformation, 101 Michigan L. Rev. 1635 (2003) (reviewing Ayelet Shachar, Multicultural Jurisdictions: Cultural Differences and Women’s Rights (Cambridge, 2001)).

Liberalism and Membership, 4 Univ. of Penn. J. of Const. L. 533 (2002) (reviewing Brian Barry, Culture & Equality (Harvard, 2001)).

Constitutive Rights, 20 Oxford J. of Legal Studies 185 (2000).

Taking Rights Spherically: Formal and Collective Aspects of Legal Rights, 34 Wake Forest L. Rev. 409 (1999).

Latest from Eric

Request edits to your profile