Campus News

Peter ‘Bo’ Rutledge named dean of School of Law

Peter B. "Bo" Rutledge

Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge, a leading scholar in the fields of international dispute resolution, arbitration and the U.S. Supreme Court, has been named dean of the School of Law following a national search.

Rutledge, the Herman E. Talmadge Chair of Law, has served as the associate dean for faculty development at Georgia Law since 2013. His appointment as dean is effective Jan. 1.

“The School of Law enjoys a reputation as one of the best public law schools in the nation, and we had an extraordinary group of finalists for its deanship,” said Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Pamela Whitten, to whom the deans of UGA’s 17 schools and colleges report. “Professor Rutledge emerged as the ideal leader for Georgia Law because of his commitment to promoting excellence in faculty scholarship, which informs the practice of law across the state, nation and world as well as the instruction that students receive.”

As associate dean for faculty development, Rutledge worked closely with faculty to expand scholarly activities. He mentored untenured faculty, provided strategic guidance on publishing and engaging with external audiences, and built connections among faculty through colloquia and other events to stimulate new ideas.

His scholarship includes two books and nearly 40 articles and book chapters in leading academic journals such as the University of Chicago Law Review and university presses such as the Cambridge University Press and Yale University Press. He has delivered invited lectures at universities in 10 countries, including Oxford University, the London School of Economics and the University of Vienna, where he was a Fulbright Scholar. He has testified before Congress on several occasions and has provided written statements to the Georgia Legislature on pending bills.

In 2008, the Supreme Court of the United States appointed Rutledge to brief and argue the case of Irizarry v. United States as a friend to the court—someone who is not a party to the case—in the successful defense of the judgment of the lower court.

“Bo Rutledge has a very strong and impressive record of legal scholarship and professional accomplishments,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “I am confident that he will continue to elevate the academic stature of our law school, which already is one of the very best in the nation.”

Rutledge joined the Georgia Law faculty in 2008 as an associate professor; he was named full professor in 2011 and named the Herman E. Talmadge Chair of Law in 2012. He recently headed an initiative to launch a new master in the study of laws program, which enrolled its first students this fall.
In his role as the law school’s clerkship adviser, he built professional connections across the state and nation and also worked closely with students, faculty and alumni to support the law school’s efforts to place students and alumni in prestigious clerkships with federal judges. His effort helped make Georgia Law one of the top 10 schools in the nation in clerkship placements.

“The School of Law is one of the finest in the nation; it is home to internationally known scholars, dedicated teachers and a renowned advocacy program,” Rutledge said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues, the law school’s loyal alums and the broader legal community to ensure the law school continues to produce cutting-edge legal scholarship and to provide a first-class legal education to our students.”

Rutledge has received several teaching awards throughout his career, including the John O’Byrne Award for promoting faculty-student relations at UGA. In addition, the Georgia Law Class of 2014 selected him to serve as co-marshal at Commencement. For more than a decade, he has been involved in an international arbitration program known as the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot.

He serves on the board of the Atlanta International Arbitration Society, regularly delivers speeches at the Georgia Bar’s Arbitration Institute and is actively involved in the Joseph Henry Lumpkin American Inn of Court, whose membership includes Georgia Supreme Court justices, federal judges and senior partners from some of the region’s most distinguished firms.

Rutledge holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, a master of letters degree from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and a J.D. from the University of Chicago. He served as a law clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court for the Honorable Clarence Thomas and at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit for then-Chief Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III.

The search committee was chaired by Svein Øie, dean of the College of Pharmacy, and assisted by the UGA Search Group in Human Resources.