David J. Herring is a Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh, where he teaches Constitutional Law, Lawyering, and Antitrust. He has also taught the Child Welfare Law Clinic course, a Child Welfare Law seminar, and Civil Procedure.
Herring has written extensively on child welfare law issues and assessing student learning in legal education. His most recent work in child welfare focuses on behavioral biology research and its implications for children placed in foster care; his previous work focused on the political functions of the family in American society. Herring’s research on legal education has included a series of empirical studies of student learning gains in the areas of legal reading and cross-case reasoning, for which he developed and administered pre- and post-tests to measure gains.
Herring served as Dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law from 1998 to 2005. Among his accomplishments as dean were leading the School’s successful capital campaign and recruiting strong teachers and scholars to join the faculty. Prior to serving as dean, he founded and served as the first Director of Pitt Law School’s clinical legal education program. Since joining the Pitt Law faculty in 1990, Herring has initiated the school’s live-client, in-house clinic programs, which have included the Child Welfare Law Clinic, the Community Economic Development Clinic, the Elder Law Clinic, the Environmental Law Clinic, the Family Law Clinic, the Health Law Clinic, the Immigration Law Clinic, the Securities Arbitration Clinic, and the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.
Herring and the school’s clinic students were instrumental in starting the Allegheny County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program, which trains volunteers to represent the interests of children in child welfare court proceedings. He received CASA’s first Children’s Voice Award for Excellence in Child Advocacy. Herring currently serves as a board member for the legal services organization (KidsVoice) that provides legal representation for all dependent children in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and played an instrumental role in the development of KidsVoice’s nationally recognized law/social work team model of representation for children.
- Child Welfare Law
- Law and Biology
Books and Chapters:
- Evolutionary Perspectives on Child Welfare Law, T.K. Shackelford and R.D. Hansen, eds., The Evolution of Violence, (New York, Springer Science, forthcoming 2013).
- Evolutionary Theory and Behavioral Biology Research: Implications for Law, S.C. Roberts ed., Applied Evolutionary Psychology, (Oxford, UK, Oxford University Press, 2012).
- Everyday Law for Children (Paradigm Publishers, 2006).
- The Public Family: Exploring Its Role in Democratic Society (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003).
- David J. Herring, S. Goodkind, J. Shook, K.H. Kim, R.T. Pohlig, From Child Welfare to Juvenile Justice: Race, Gender, and Service Experiences, Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, (forthcoming 2013).
- David J. Herring, S. Goodkind, J. Shook, K.H. Kim, R.T. Pohlig, K. Kilivoski, How Different are their Experiences and Outcomes? Comparing Aged-out and other Child Welfare Involved Youth, 35 Children and Youth Services Review 11-18 (2013).
- David J. Herring & C. Lynch, Enhancing Traditional Law Teaching to Produce Measurable Gains, University of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper Series, (June 2012). (Available on SSRN.)
- David J. Herring Herring & D. Lynch, Teaching Skills of Legal Analysis: Does the Emperor Have Any Clothes?, 18 Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute. (Available on SSRN.)
- Shook J, Goodkind S., Pohlig R.T., Schelbe L., Herring D.J., Kim K.H., Patterns of Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Justice System Involvement Among Youth Aging Out of Child Welfare. 81 American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 420-432 (2011).
- Fathers and Child Maltreatment: A Research Agenda Based on Evolutionary Theory and Behavioral Biology Research, 31 Children and Youth Services Review 935-945 (2009).
- Evolutionary Theory and Kinship Foster Care: An Initial Test of Two Hypotheses, 38 Capital Law Review 291 (2009).
- Kinship Foster Care: Implications of Behavioral Biology Research 56 Buffalo Law Review 495.
- Legal Scholarship, Humility, and the Scientific Method, 25 QLR 867 (2007).
- The Multiethnic Placement Act: threat to foster child safety and well-being, 41 University of Michigan J.L. Reform 89 (2007).
- Foster Care Safety and the Kinship Cue of Attitude Similarity, 7 Minn. J. L. Sci. & Tech. (2006).
- Foster Care Placement: Reducing the Risk of Sibling Incest, 37 U. Mich. J.L. Reform 1145 (2004).
- Child Placement Decisions: The Relevance of Facial Resemblance and Biological Relationships, 43 Jurimetrics 387 (2003).
- Behavioral Genetics and the Best Interests of the Child Decision Rule, 36 U. Mich. J.L. Reform 1 (2002).
- Troxel and the Rhetoric of Associational Respect, 62 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 649 (2001).
- The Adoption and Safe Families Act–Hope and Its Subversion, 34 Fam. L.Q. 329 (2000).
- Clinical Legal Education: Energy and Transformation, 31 Toledo L. Rev. 621 (2000).
Presenter, “Legislative Threats to Law School Clinics,” Southeast Association of Law Schools, (July 2011).
Presenter, “Teaching and Assessing Cross-Case Legal Reasoning Skill,” The Center for Excellence in Law Teaching Inaugural Conference, (March 2012).
Presenter, “Teaching and Assessing Skills of Legal Analysis,” Akron Faculty Workshop, (April 2012).
Presenter, “Kinship Foster Care: Implications of Behavioral Biology Research,” The Evolution of Violence: An Interdisciplinary Conference, (April 2012).
Awards and Honors
- Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award (1998)
Selected Professional Activities
- Fellow, American Bar Foundation.
- Reviewer, Bar Exam 2011-2012.
- Commentator, Federalist Society.
- Interviewee, KQV Radio, The Life and Contributions of Derrick Bell.
- Board Member, KidsVoice.