New dean named to lead School of Law at UA


Matthew J. Wilson has been appointed dean of the School of Law at The University of Akron, the Board of Trustees announced at today’s meeting. He begins his duties July 31.

Wilson brings to his new role a wide range of experience, working domestically and internationally as a business executive, commercial litigator, in-house general counsel, law professor and senior academic administrator.

He is a familiar face to both law faculty and students at UA, having lectured here at the invitation of the International Law Society and Career Development Office.

Expertise in international law

Wilson comes to UA from the University of Wyoming College of Law, where he joined the faculty in 2009. A professor of law, his areas of specialization include international business law, intellectual property law, commercial litigation, international dispute resolution, comparative law and Japanese law. Wilson also has served as associate dean for academic affairs since July 2013, and was the associate dean of student affairs from August 2012 to July 2013.

During his time in Wyoming, Wilson was designated as a distinguished international scholar by Kyung Hee University Law School in Seoul, South Korea. He taught international negotiations, was a guest lecturer for other courses, led symposia and worked with the moot court team.

"I am extremely excited to join The University of Akron family,” says Wilson. “Drawing upon 25 years experience in law, business and academic administration, both here in the United States and in Asia, I look forward to leading the School of Law and contributing to its future success. Akron Law has a rich tradition of educating future lawyers and leaders of society who make valuable contributions to the region, state and country.

“Despite the various challenges currently facing law schools,” notes Wilson, “I firmly believe that Akron Law is equipped to provide students with innovative and creative training that will enable them to succeed in the decades ahead -- locally, nationally and internationally."

Lived and taught abroad

Earlier in his career, Wilson was an associate professor of law with the Beasley School of Law program at the Temple University, Japan Campus in Tokyo. He also directed the year-round LL.M. programs and Juris Doctor spring semester abroad program. From July 2004 to March 2008, Wilson was an associate dean, and from April 2008 to August 2009, he was senior associate dean/ chief academic officer at the 3,000-student campus.

Prior to his move into higher education, Wilson practiced law for firms in Florida, Pennsylvania and in Japan. In 1995, he earned both a B.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in Asian Studies, with a minor in Japanese, at the University of Utah. He was awarded a Juris Doctor in 1999 at the Temple University Beasley School of Law.

Wilson succeeds Elizabeth A. Reilly, who had served as interim dean since July 2012. Reilly, the C. Blake McDowell Jr. Professor and a full-time law faculty member since 1984, retired in June.


Media contact: Eileen Korey, 330-972-8589 or

Matthew J. Wilson

Matthew J. Wilson