Six weeks into her position as Dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Amy Wildermuth shares some insights about her experiences in a new job and a new city. From becoming the University of Utah’s first chief sustainability officer to serving as law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, Wildermuth is passionate about legal scholarship, education and advocacy. A native of Park Forest, Illinois, she lives in Squirrel Hill.
What upcoming events are you excited to attend?
Our orientation, welcoming 150 new students to Pitt Law, and a welcome-to-the-city reception to meet more of our alums and the Pittsburgh law community.
Best part of your job?
Working with a team of amazing professionals that are outstanding at what they do and care deeply about our students as well as our commitment to equal justice under law.
What is your long-term vision for the University of Pittsburgh School of Law?
We must continue to deliver a world-class general legal education to our students and to produce graduates that are well-prepared to succeed in the profession. This includes always updating what we do based on what lawyers today encounter and providing a personalized experience for our students. And finally, we must maintain our commitment to our highly-ranked and nationally-recognized faculty so they may continue to produce high-quality scholarship and make critical contributions to advance the law and the betterment of our communities locally and globally.
Do you have particular issues that you rally around?
I often think about the importance of the law and lawyers to our civil society, and it is clear to me that lawyers are needed now more than ever. We need to share with others the critical role we play and why this is a profession worth pursuing.
I was also the chief sustainability officer at my prior institution and will look for ways that we at Pitt Law and at Pitt can contribute to strategies and solutions for climate change, one of the most pressing challenges of our time.
What song in your playlist is on endless repeat?
“Bears” by Lyle Lovett.
What’s the biggest challenge you’re currently facing in your new position?
We want to connect with the very best students and have them find a home at Pitt Law, which means doing everything we can to make Pitt Law a welcoming and inclusive space. We also want to strengthen our ties to the broader university and Pittsburgh legal community so that we can have an even greater impact on the human condition.
Podcast you’re addicted to?
Fill in the blank: In Pittsburgh, I can’t live without my:
What significant differences and similarities have you experienced working in your field in Pennsylvania and Utah?
They are so much alike! The students I had in Utah were a little older but the passion and energy are the same; it is truly inspiring to be part of their journey. I loved law school and now I get to do it again and again every year.
What book is on your nightstand or in your e-reader right now?
“Bearskin” by James A. McLaughlin. Confession: Jimbo is a dear friend from Utah but his book is the real deal — awesome!
Last photo you took on your phone?
My daughter biking at The Wheel Mill.
What would you like your legacy in Pittsburgh to be?
My parents inspired an ethic to always work hard and do my part as a member of the team. I am very fortunate to be part of a terrific team at Pitt Law, which makes it easy to come to work and give 110 percent. In addition, we often forget, when things get tough, the importance of both kindness and humor. I try to bring both with me wherever I go and to whatever I do.
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