Paul Litton named new dean of the MU School of Law

Litton has served Mizzou Law for more than 15 years as a professor and a year as interim dean.

May 17, 2023
Contact: Courtney Perrett, 573-882-6217,

University of Missouri Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Latha Ramchand announced today that Paul Litton has been named dean of the MU School of Law. Litton has served as interim dean of the school since July 2022, following the departure of Lyrissa Lidsky. He will assume his new duties on June 1, 2023.

Paul Litton

“In his 17 years at the university, Paul Litton has demonstrated an unwavering commitment not only to student success and legal scholarship of the highest caliber, but also to graduating and supplying the state of Missouri with the legal talent we need,” Ramchand said. “After joining the faculty at Mizzou Law in 2006, Paul has served in various roles, including as a director of the office of academic integrity, as the associate dean for research and faculty development, and – of course – as  a faculty member dedicated to scholarship. I am pleased to welcome him to our community of deans and look forward to working with him as he leads the law school.”

Litton earned his Juris Doctor and doctorate in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania, after which he was law clerk to Chief Justice Deborah T. Poritz of the New Jersey Supreme Court. Before joining MU’s School of Law in 2006, Litton served as a fellow in the Department of Clinical Bioethics within the National Institutes of Health.

As the law school continues to grow, Litton has been instrumental in recruiting nationally renowned scholars to join the faculty, including new Veterans Clinic Director Brent Filbert and Floyd R. Gibson Professor Andrea Boyack.

Additionally, last August, Mizzou Law welcomed its most impressive class in a 150-year history, with incoming students featuring record-high GPAs and LSAT scores.

“I am honored and thrilled to serve Mizzou Law, our students, faculty, staff and alumni in this role,” Litton said. “When I joined Mizzou 17 years ago, after living my entire life on the East Coast, I did not foresee how this university and school would become so integral to my life and career. I am so proud to lead this outstanding law school and be part of this community.”

As a professor, Litton has focused his research on the intersection of law and philosophy, with a particular focus on moral philosophy and criminal law theory. He’s widely published in his field and has worked on multiple studies in bioethics that examine ethical issues for health care professionals outside of the context of medical care.

For students, obtaining professional industry experience prior to graduation is an important step in preparing for employment. For Mizzou Law students, whose employment rate currently sits at 97.6% for the class of 2021, Litton continues to expand these avenues. For example, he recently created a practicum for students within the Missouri Attorney General’s office as well as laid the foundation for future new clinics in conjunction with the attorney general. He’s also successfully raised private donations to improve students’ classroom and experiential spaces throughout Hulston Hall.

“Our students continue to excel, our faculty of first-rate scholars and teachers continues to grow with exceptional new colleagues, and our alumni continue to make this school and university proud,” Litton said. “This is a great time to be at Mizzou Law, and I am so grateful for this opportunity.”

Founded in 1872, the University of Missouri School of Law boasts three clinics, three centers, nine dual degree programs, 10 certificate programs, and countless elective courses to provide MU students with a challenging and practical education enhanced by a strong traditional curriculum with an orientation toward lawyering as a problem-solving endeavor. Mizzou Law students learn by doing, guided by nationally recognized faculty. Mizzou Law students can participate in the nationally ranked No. 4 alternative dispute resolution program and clinics ranging from entrepreneurship to the Veterans Clinic.

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