Title: Distinguished Service Professor
Company: University at Buffalo
Thomas E. Headrick, JD, Ph.D., Distinguished Service Professor at the University at Buffalo, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Lawyers for dedication, achievements, and leadership in law and education.
Dr. Headrick became professor and law dean at University at Buffalo in 1976 and has been a State University of New York distinguished service professor since 1993. It comes as no surprise that Dr. Headrick is highly regarded for his accomplishments in the field.
His early ambitions pointed to a career in government administration. Upon graduation from college he chose law school over a public administration graduate program because law might open possibilities beyond administration to elective politics and public advocacy. While in law school, he commenced his government career, serving as the assistant director at Ansonia Redevelopment Agency.
By that time he had spent two years as a Fulbright Scholar at Oxford University and his horizons had widened to international law, government and business. He began law practice as an associate in international business law at Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro, now known as Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. That work led to his joining the international management consulting firm, Emerson Consultants in London, England. Upon his return to the US he continued in consulting with Baxter, McDonald & Company primarily for government agencies.
Then a chance meeting with the dean of Stanford University Law School, a former professor of his at Yale, led to his becoming assistant dean for special projects and engaged him in setting up a computers and law study program, working with architects on the design of new law school buildings and helping develop curricular changes and new degrees. That marked the beginning of a long career in university administration and teaching.
From there he became the Vice President of academic affairs at Lawrence University and six years later law Dean at University at Buffalo. From 1995 to1999 he was university Provost. He also served as interim Dean of the arts and letters faculty and the school of architecture and planning and was Chair of the undergraduate college. Nearly half of his career at Buffalo has been spent in academic administration. For nearly all of it he has been teaching students, primarily in the law school, but also in the management school, the policy studies program and the undergraduate college and honors program.
Throughout his career he has understood that university leadership for innovation starts with understanding how faculty can best create and transmit knowledge and expand their intellectual reach and how students can best learn. It then requires patiently building a culture that encourages and accepts change and creating incentives that reward it. Above all, it requires giving, not taking, credit for success. In that way, Dr. Headrick has made his mark as an educational innovator.
He has been a strong proponent of interdisciplinary studies and research. In his time as Dean the law faculty added lawyers with advanced degrees and research accomplishments in politics, history, sociology, philosophy, and anthropology and drew on faculty expertise in psychology, economics and business. They reshaped the study of law to include explorations into the societal forces that influence and affect the law and the legal system. In his time as Provost, he promoted interdisciplinary research and teaching across the university.
Dr Headrick’s own academic background with degrees in law, government, politics and political economy and his work in management and government consulting underlay his commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Franklin and Marshall College, a Master of Letters from the University of Oxford, a Juris Doctor from Yale University, and a Doctor of Philosophy from Stanford University. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in his junior year in college. He was admitted to practice law in California and Connecticut.
Dr. Headrick’s writings have explored a variety of topics. He authored “The Town Clerk in English Local Government” in 1962, co-authored “The Legal Key to International Trade and Investment” in 1962 and “Location, Location, Location” (a special history of the University of/at Buffalo) in 2007, and has published articles on local government, artificial intelligence, financial markets and legal education. He served as co-editor of Law and Policy from 1988 to 1992.
Alongside his primary endeavors, Dr. Headrick was a legal commentator for WKBW-TV and a consultant to the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation. Most recently, aided by his wife Maggie, an artist and art and architecture history teacher, he has served on the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Council board.
He has had an abiding interest and involvement in sports. He played midfield on the undefeated Franklin & Marshall 1952 soccer team that was voted the outstanding college team in the United States and was elected to the Franklin and Marshall Sports Hall of Fame . He played point guard on the Oxford University basketball team, which was the leading team in Britain at that time. For most of his life he has been an avid fan of the once Brooklyn, now Los Angeles, Dodgers.
In recognition of his professional prowess, he has been highlighted in multiple editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who in the East, Who’s Who in the West and Who’s Who in the World.
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