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Tara Harper O'Connor

Adjunct Professor of Law


Tara is the Associate Legal Counsel for Labor, Employment and Benefits law for the University of Pittsburgh. Ms. O’Connor provides advice and counsel to the University on faculty, staff and student employment issues. She also provides training to faculty hiring committees on issues of diversity, provides counsel on Title IX appeals for faculty and staff, and offers advice and counsel to the Office of the  Provost, the Office of Human Resources, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, UCIS and DRS. Ms. O’Connor also represents the Office of University Counsel on the Tenure and Academic Freedom Committee and is active on the policy drafting committees for accessibility in electronic access and the revision of the discrimination policy.

After clerking for the Hon. Gary L. Lancaster in the U.S. District Court for the W.D. PA, Ms. O’Connor worked as in house counsel for IBM, American Express, Standard & Poor’s, Goldman Sachs & Co. and Kellogg Company. Ms. O’Connor left industry to join the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee in 2014 and came back home to Pittsburgh to join the staff at the University of Pittsburgh in the Office of Legal counsel in 2017.

Ms. O’Connor is a member of the National Association of University and College Attorneys and has presented seminars at their meetings on leave law, specifically the ADA, FMLA and Workers Compensation. Ms. O’Connor is also a member of the American Bar Association, the Mid West Minority Bar Association and a former board member of PALS (Practicing Attorney’s for Law Students).

Ms. O’Connor graduated from Princeton University and University of Pennsylvania Law School and is a member of the Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan bars.