Professor Dan Tilly to become associate dean at law school

Photo of Professor Dan Tilly

RALEIGH – Campbell Law School Associate Professor Dan Tilly will begin serving the institution as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs effective July 1.

Tilly, who was named the 2019 recipient of the Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award, left private practice in Texas to join the Campbell Law faculty in 2011 as an Assistant Professor and the Director of Advocacy. He regularly teaches Evidence, Trial Advocacy, Advanced Legal Analysis to upper-level students, and Campbell Advantage to first-year students. He also routinely teaches independent studies to students and serves as a Campbell Law Review mentor.

Tilly is proud to assume the Associate Dean role.  “I have the distinct honor of working among the exceptional people at Campbell University School of Law – all of whom are deeply committed to student success.  This is a defining time at Campbell Law.  I look forward to working with our law school community to navigate this period and help plot our future.”  

As Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Tilly will serve as the chief academic officer within the law school, reporting directly to the Dean. He will be responsible for addressing all academic matters, including oversight of the academic curriculum, calendar, and course teachings. He currently co-chairs the law school’s Pandemic Planning Task Force.

Outgoing Associate Dean and Professor Sarah Ludington, who has served in that capacity since 2017, announced that she will be leaving the law school to return to her alma mater, Duke Law School, as the Director of the First Amendment Clinic effective July 1.

“Dean Ludington has handled enormous responsibilities without fuss or fanfare throughout her tenure,” said Campbell Law Dean J. Rich Leonard. “And she successfully led our faculty and students through the hardest semester of most of our careers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to Dean Ludington’s efforts, the faculty and the students were able to quickly pivot to online learning and finish out the semester.

“Professor Tilly is a renowned scholar, a demanding professor, and an outstanding advocate and coach. He combines the intellectual rigor of an academic with the skills of a trial lawyer. He is the obvious choice to replace Dean Ludington, and I look forward to working together.”

In addition to his heavy teaching load, Tilly has published multiple law review articles, the most recent critiquing aspects of North Carolina evidence law, and has coached more than 100 student advocates in mock trial and moot court competitions.  

During his time as the Director of Advocacy, the Campbell Law Advocacy Program has risen from an unranked advocacy program to being ranked among the very best in the country by multiple publications.  Under his leadership, Campbell Law advocates have won an international championship and eleven national championships in student advocacy competitions. Tilly is the only advocacy coach to have coached two Top Gun advocacy champions in the competition’s 11-year history (Jacob Morse, 2017; Tatiana Terry, 2019).  Tilly is a frequent speaker at conferences where he is routinely invited to discuss his scholarship and experiential-focused curriculum. 

Tilly also is a productive scholar whose research is primarily focused on the law of evidence. His recent publications are Attacking Credibility for Character’s Sake: North Carolina’s Flawed Rule 609, 97 N.C. L. REV. (2019); Adopted Statements in the Digital Age: Hearsay Responses to Social Media “Likes”, 93 N.D. L. REV. 277 (2018); and North Carolina’s Reincarnated Joint Tenancy: Oh Intent, Where Art Thou?, 93 N.C. L. REV. 1649 (2015) (with Patrick K. Hetrick). 

He has also taken an active role in law school governance. In recent years, Tilly has served on the Curriculum Committee (Chair), Technology Committee (Chair), Faculty Recruitment Committee, Pro Bono Publico Committee, and Learning Outcomes Assessment Committee.

Tilly supports the law school’s student recruitment efforts by chairing the Selection Committee for the Cheshire Schneider Advocacy Scholarship. He also has advised and supported many student organizations, including the Campbell Law Review; the Domestic Violence 508 Restraining Order Project; the Black Law Student Association Annual Christmas Project; and the Old Kivett Advocacy Counsel.

A native of the Lone Star State, Tilly earned his B.A. in government from the University of Texas in 1997. He earned his J.D. degree with honors from Baylor University in 2005. Tilly practiced law for several years and taught as an adjunct at Baylor Law before joining the Campbell Law faculty.


Since its founding in 1976, Campbell Law has developed lawyers who possess moral conviction, social compassion, and professional competence, and who view the law as a calling to serve others. Among its accolades, the school has been recognized by the American Bar Association (ABA) as having the nation’s top Professionalism Program and by the American Academy of Trial Lawyers for having the nation’s best Trial Advocacy Program. Campbell Law boasts more than 4,200 alumni, who make their home in nearly all 50 states and beyond. In 2019, Campbell Law celebrated 40 years of graduating legal leaders and 10 years of being located in a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of North Carolina’s Capital City.