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Professor David J. Herring

David J Herring

Professor of Law
B.B.A., 1980, University of Michigan
J.D., 1985, University of Michigan Law School
Member of the Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania Bars (Inactive status in all states)

 Curriculum Vitae SSRN

Contact Information

 Ph.: 505-277-5437
 Office: 2532


David J. Herring is a Professor of Law at the University of New Mexico School of Law. He previously served as Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh, where he taught Constitutional Law, Lawyering, Antitrust, and the Child Welfare Law Clinic course.

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. He initiated the school’s live-client, in-house clinic programs, which 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 served 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.


Evolutionary Perspectives on Child Welfare Law, in T.K. Shackelford and R.D. Hansen (eds.), The Evolution of Violence (New York, Springer Science, forthcoming 2013)

Goodkind S, Shook J, Kim KH, Pohlig RT, Herring D. From child welfare to juvenile justice: Race, gender, and service experiences, Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice (forthcoming 2013)

Shook J, Goodkind S, Herring D, Pohlig RT, Kilivoski K, Kim, KH. 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)

Herring and Lynch, Enhancing Traditional Law Teaching to Produce Measurable Gains, University of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper Series, available at (posted June 2012)

Herring and Lynch, Teaching Skills of Legal Analysis: Does the Emperor Have Any Clothes?, 18 Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute (forthcoming 2012)

Herring, Evolutionary Theory and Behavioral Biology Research: Implications for Law, in S.C. Roberts (ed.), Applied Evolutionary Psychology (Oxford, UK, Oxford University Press, 2012)

Shook J, Goodkind S, Pohlig RT, Schelbe L, Herring DJ, Kim KH. 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)

Herring, Fathers and Child Maltreatment: A Research Agenda Based on Evolutionary Theory and Behavioral Biology Research, 31 Children and Youth Services Review 935 – 945 (2009)

Herring, Shook, Goodkind, and Kim, Evolutionary Theory and Kinship Foster Care: An Initial Test of Two Hypotheses, 38 Capital University Law Review 291 (2009)

Herring, Kinship Foster Care: Implications of Behavioral Biology Research 56 Buffalo Law Review 495.

Herring, The Multiethnic Placement Act: threat to foster child safety and well-being, 41 University of Michigan J.L. Reform 89 (2007).

Herring, Legal Scholarship, Humility, and the Scientific Method, 25 QLR 867 (2007).

Herring, Foster Care Safety and the Kinship Cue of Attitude Similarity, 7 Minn. J. L. Sci. & Tech. (2006).

Herring, Everyday Law for Children (Paradigm Publishers, 2006)

Herring, Foster Care Placement: Reducing the Risk of Sibling Incest, 37 U. Mich. J.L. Reform 1145 (2004).

Herring, The Public Family: Exploring Its Role in Democratic Societies (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003)

Herring, Child Placement Decisions: The Relevance of Facial Resemblance and Biological Relationships, 43 Jurimetrics 387 (2003).

Herring, Behavioral Genetics and the Best Interests of the Child Decision Rule, 36 U. Mich. J.L. Reform 1 (2002).

Herring, Troxel and the Rhetoric of Associational Respect, 62 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 649 (2001).

Herring, The Adoption and Safe Families Act–Hope and Its Subversion, 34 Family Law Quarterly 329 (2000)

Herring, Clinical Legal Education: Energy and Transformation, 31 Toledo Law Review 621 (2000)

Herring, Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights Proceedings: The Role of the Public Child Welfare Agency Caseworker, 1 Interdisciplinary Report on At-Risk Children & Families 3 (1998)

Herring, Rearranging the Family: Diversity, Pluralism, Social Tolerance and Child Custody Disputes, 5 Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal 301 (1996)

Herring, Exploring the Political Roles of the Family: Justifications for Permanency Planning for Children, 26 Loyola Chicago L.J. 183 (1995) (Child Law Symposium)

Herring, The Michigan Agency Attorney Project in Children Can’t Wait: Reducing Delays in Out of Home Care, Cahn & Johnson, editors (Child Welfare League of America 1993)

Herring, Legal Representation for the State Child Welfare Agency in Civil Child Protection Proceedings: A Comparative Study, 24 Toledo Law Review 603(1993) (Relationships and the Law Symposium)

Herring, Inclusion of the 'Reasonable Efforts' Requirement in Termination of Parental Rights Statutes: Punishing the Child for the Failures of the State Child Welfare System, 54 Pittsburgh Law Review 139 (1992) (Child Welfare Law Symposium)

Herring, Permanency Planning as a Force for Reform of the Child Welfare System, 7 The Pennsylvania Child Advocate Protective Services Quarterly 5 (Summer 1992)

Herring, Agency Attorney Training Manual: Achieving Timely Permanency for Children by Implementing the Private Model of Legal Representation for the State Agency in Child Abuse and Neglect Matters (1991)

Herring, Permanency Planning: The Role of the Child’s Attorney, in Lawyers for Children (American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law 1990)


Recipient of the 1998 Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award at the University of Pittsburgh

Recipient of the 1997 Children’s Voice Award from the Allegheny County Court Appointed Special Advocates Program

Recipient of the 2001-2002 Black Law Students Association Outstanding Faculty Member Award

Recipient of the Clinic Legal Education Association Special Award for the Defense of Academic Freedom in 2002