Pitt Magazine

Todd J. Clark was appointed head of Widener's Delaware Law School


As a first-grader in Columbus, Ohio, Todd J. Clark marched into the principal’s office to plead for leniency for several friends who were in trouble for mocking a classmate. The principal, impressed by his courage and his appeal, meted out a milder reprimand.

Todd J. Clark

“Todd,” she said, “you’d be a great lawyer.” 

Young Clark was pleased that he’d won his first case, and though he didn’t know what a lawyer was, it seemed such high praise from his principal that he determined he would become one. Today, Clark (LAW ’03) is an award-winning legal scholar and dean of Widener University Delaware Law School. He’s been there for nearly a year and is establishing a culture of belonging, competitive excellence, achievement and support.

Clark majored in political science at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, before attending Pitt’s School of Law. It was a “special place,” he says of Pitt. He became president of the Black Law Students Association, helped improve minority recruitment and further developed his skills in writing, research and analysis.

He began his career in Morgantown, West Virginia, where he also earned an MBA from West Virginia University. It all prepared him for a career in corporate governance, contracts, employment discrimination and sports law. But Clark, deeply inspired by teachers, eventually gravitated to education. He’s taught and held senior leadership posts at law schools in North Carolina and Miami. As a member of the hip-hop generation, he’s won acclaim as a “hip-hop lawyer,” developing classes on the how the movement intersects with law, social justice, business and more.

He's grateful that his mom encouraged him to dream big, and he feels an obligation to pass on that advice.

“In working with people,” he says, “I always push them to achieve their greatest potential. And I like to set the example.”