The UNH School of Law will welcome Megan Carpenter, founder and co-director of the Center for Law and Intellectual Property at Texas A&M University School of Law and a distinguished professor of the program, as its new dean starting on July 1.
Carpenter received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in foreign language from West Virginia University, her J.D. from West Virginia University College of Law and her Master of Laws (LL.M.) from the National University of Galway, Ireland.
Becoming dean of UNH School Law School, ranked sixth in the country for its intellectual property law program, according to U.S. News and World Report, is a natural fit for Carpenter, a nationally recognized expert in intellectual property law.
“Franklin Pierce Law Center was founded with intellectual property at its core—it was started by people with interests in different approaches to legal education, one that would focus on technology and innovation and prepare students with the skills necessary to practice law in a global setting,” Carpenter said.
The UNH School of Law is also recognized globally for the students that graduate and enter the field of intellectual property law.
“There are a lot of top, private intellectual property sector positions globally held by [UNH] graduates including at companies like Microsoft, Bayer, Pepsi Co., Shell, MasterCard, Disney India and Hershey, so the strength of the intellectual property program at UNH is unparalleled,” Carpenter explained.
Not only will Carpenter be one of the most qualified deans UNH has had in terms of background in intellectual property law, she will also be the first female dean of the school since its founding in 1973.
“It is incredibly meaningful to me,” Carpenter said. “I think that to have women in positions of leadership in law schools is increasingly important as we move forward.”
Though the strength of UNH’s intellectual law program is a major point of interest for Carpenter, the UNH community is what stood out to her.
“There is such an active and loyal alumni and community base that is involved in the law school…the opportunity to further develop those relationships with the community and the alumni is something that drew me [to UNH],” Carpenter said.
One of the main goals Carpenter has for when she becomes dean is to further develop the relationship between the law school, UNH’s main campus and the community.
“I see enormous potential for interdisciplinary connections with the main campus. I think that legal education has often been looked at in isolation, but what we need to do is consider the law as it is also connected with so many other disciplines,” Carpenter said.
“The people that need to be thinking about legal issues are all over the place, whether they’re in journalism, political science, engineering or biotech, there are a lot of possibilities to integrating the law school programmatically with the broader university community,” Carpenter explained.
For now, Carpenter is focusing on what she can accomplish in her first 100 days on campus.
“In the first 100 days of my deanship … I am going to embark on a listening tour. I want to gather insights and ideas and contexts from people connected to the school—faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of the broader university community,” Carpenter said.
“I think that joining UNH isn’t just about joining a school, it’s about joining a community on a whole,” Carpenter said. “That’s something I’m looking forward to.”