William M. Carter, Jr.

Professor of Law

William M. Carter, Jr. is a Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He specializes in constitutional law, civil rights, race and the law, and civil litigation. An award-winning teacher, he has been selected as Professor of the Year by vote of the student body on four separate occasions.

Carter is widely considered to be one of the leading experts on the Thirteenth Amendment and racial discrimination.  His scholarship has been published in respected law journals such as the Columbia Law Review, the UCLA Law Review, the Texas Law Review, the Emory Law Journal, the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, and in books published by the Oxford University Press and the Columbia University Press.  His scholarly work has been cited by the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Tenth Circuits, in amicus briefs filed by the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund and by the Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Institute, and in the work of leading scholars published in the Yale Law Review, the Yale Journal of International Law, the Virginia Law Review, the Columbia Law Review, and the Oxford University Press.  He has delivered lectures at Harvard, Columbia, NYU, Cornell, UCLA, Georgetown, and the Sorbonne in Paris, France.

Carter received his J.D., magna cum laude and Order of the Coif, from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Upon graduation from law school, he worked as a litigation associate in the Washington, D.C. offices of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey and Ropes & Gray.  From 2001-2007, he was a Professor of Law at the Case Western Reserve University Law School. From 2007-2012, he was a Professor of Law at the Temple University Beasley School of Law.  He served as Dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law from 2012-2018.

    Education & Training

  • JD, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Magna cum Laude
  • BS, Bowling Green State University, English Education
  • Public Interest Professor of the Year Award (2020)
  • Member, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Commission on Judicial Independence (2014-present)
  • Robert T. Harper Excellence in Teaching Award (2019)
  • 2014 Leadership Excellence Award from the National Diversity Council
  • Professor of the Year, CWRU Law School (2005)
Recent Publications

Book Chapters

  • The Badges and Incidents of Slavery: Historical Context and Contemporary Application, in The Legal Parameters of Slavery (Jean Allain, ed.) (Oxford Univ. Press, 2012).

  • Toward a Thirteenth Amendment Exclusionary Rule as a Remedy for Racial Profiling, in The Promises of Liberty: The History and Contemporary Relevance of the Thirteenth Amendment (Alexander Tsesis, ed.) (Columbia Univ. Press, 2010). Available on SSRN

Selected Scholarly Presentations

  • Keynote Address, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Commission on Judicial Independence event entitled “Slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.” Attendees included federal and state judges (including several Justices of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court); executive branch officials (including the Lieutenant Governor); and state legislators (including the Speaker of the House).

  • Commentator, Georgetown University Law Center’s Salmon P. Chase Colloquium titled “Celebrating the Sesquicentennial of the Thirteenth Amendment” (December 2015). Other participants included Randy Barnett (Georgetown Law School), Eric Foner (Columbia University, History), Jennifer Mason McAward (Notre Dame Law School), Larry Solum (Georgetown Law School), Lea Vandervelde (Iowa Law School), and Michael Vorenberg (Brown University, History).

  • Derrick A. Bell Lecturer on Race in American Society at NYU Law School, on The Thirteenth Amendment and the Legacies of Slavery (November 2013) (http://www.law.nyu.edu/news/william-carter-jr-delivers-the-18th-annual-derrick-bell-lecture-on-the-13th-amendment)

  • Clifford Scott Green Memorial Lecturer at Temple Law School, on The Promises of Freedom: The Contemporary Relevance of the Thirteenth Amendment" (March 2013)

  • Inaugural Lecturer at UCLA Law School’s Scholar Lecture Series, on Affirmative Action as Government Speech (October 2011)

  • Arthur W. Fiske Memorial Lecturer at CWRU Law School, on Affirmative Action as Government Speech (October 2010) (webcast available at http://law.case.edu/Lectures/Webcast.aspx?dt=20101004&type=flv)

  • Presented The Use, Abuse, and Non-Use of International Law in the United States Legal Order at joint NYU Law School-Sorbonne (Paris 1) symposium in Paris, France (July 2013).  Other panelists included Joseph Weiler (NYU Law School), Vicki Jackson (Harvard Law School), Mitchell Lasser (Cornell Law School), Barry Carter (Georgetown Law School), Tom Ginsburg (University of Chicago Law School), and Helene Ruiz Fabri (Dean and Professor, Sorbonne Law School).

  • Presented Defining the Badges and Incidents of Slavery and A Thirteenth Amendment Framework for Combating Racial Profiling at Cornell Law School Law & Humanities Colloquium (April 2012)

  • Presented The Badges and Incidents of Slavery: Historical Context and Contemporary Application at the Association for Law, Property & Society Annual Meeting at Georgetown Law School (March 2012)

  • Presented The Thirteenth Amendment and Anti-Racist Speech at Columbia Law School symposium titled “The Thirteenth Amendment: Meaning, Enforcement, and Contemporary Implications.”  Other panelists included Akhil Amar (Yale Law School), Jack Balkin (Yale Law School), Richard Delgado (Seattle Law School), Eric Foner (Columbia University), and Jamal Greene (Columbia Law School) (http://www.columbialawreview.org/information/symposium) (January 2012)

  • Commentator and panelist, Harvard Law School conference titled "The Legal Parameters of Slavery: Historical to the Contemporary," co-sponsored by Harvard Law School's Charles Hamilton Houston Institute, Harvard University’s W.E.B. Dubois Institute, and Harvard's Sociology Department (August 2011)

  • Presented Affirmative Action as Government Speech at a constitutional law roundtable organized by Mark Tushnet of Harvard Law School in conjunction with the American Constitution Society’s National Convention (June 2011)

  • Presented A Thirteenth Amendment Framework for Combating Racial Profiling at UNC-Chapel Hill Law School (April 2011)

  • Presented The Thirteenth Amendment as Intersectional Constitutionalism, UCLA Law School, Fourth Annual Critical Race Studies Symposium (March 2010).  Other panelists included Catharine MacKinnon (Univ. of Mich. Law School), Devon Carbado (UCLA Law School), and Mari Matsuda (Georgetown Law School). 

  • Panelist, “Slavery, Abolition, and Human Rights: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Thirteenth Amendment,” University of Chicago Law School (April 2009).  The conference featured law professors, historians, and sociologists whose work focuses on the post-Civil War constitutional amendments and the legacy of slavery.  Other presenters included Geoffrey Stone (Univ. of Chicago Law School), Risa Goluboff (Univ. of Virginia Law School), and William Forbath (Univ. of Texas-Austin Law School).

  • Speaker, University of Pennsylvania Law School, on the topic "The Social Responsibility of the Black Legal Community" (February 2008)

  • Panelist at Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) event on the topic of human rights and U.S. civil rights law.  The OSCE delegation was co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the Cleveland Council on World Affairs (August 2007).

  • Panelist, Association for the Study of Law, Culture, & Humanities Annual Meeting at Georgetown University Law Center, on the Thirteenth Amendment (March 2007) 

  • Presented a briefing to the Congressional Human Rights Caucus at the U.S. Capitol Building regarding women’s human rights, property rights, and socioeconomic status in sub-Saharan Africa (September 2006).  Congressman Kucinich, congressional staffers, and members of the public and media attended the briefing.

Research Interests

Constitutional Law
Civil Rights
Civil Procedure
International Human Rights