Michael P. Moreland

Vice Dean  & Professor of Law


    Michael Moreland joined the Villanova faculty in 2006 and became Vice Dean in 2012. As Vice Dean, Dean Moreland oversees academic affairs, admissions and financial aid, career strategy, administration (including communications, human resources, and facilities management), and faculty research.

Dean Moreland received his B.A. in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame, his M.A. and Ph.D. in theological ethics from Boston College, and his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. His scholarly interests focus on torts, bioethics, and law and religion. At Villanova, he has taught Torts, Evidence, Bioethics and the Law, Advanced Torts, Constitutional Law II (First Amendment and Equal Protection), Justice and Rights (1L elective), and seminars in law and religion. Following law school, Dean Moreland clerked for the Honorable Paul J. Kelly, Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and was an associate at Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C., where he represented clients in First Amendment, professional liability, and products liability matters. Before coming to Villanova, he served as Associate Director for Domestic Policy at the White House under President George W. Bush, where he worked on a range of legal policy issues, including criminal justice, immigration, civil rights, and liability reform.

During academic year 2010-11, Dean Moreland was the Forbes Visiting Fellow in the James Madison Program at Princeton University. During 2013-15, he will be the project leader for The Libertas Project, a program at Villanova sponsored by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation exploring religious and economic freedom in the context of law and religion in American public life.

Dean Moreland’s recent publications include: “Preemption as Inverse Negligence Per Se,” 88 Notre Dame Law Review 1249 (2013); “Mistakes about Intention in the Law of Bioethics,” 75:4 Law and Contemporary Problems 53 (2012); “Moral Absolutes and John Finnis: Response to Candace Vogler,” 57 Villanova Law Review 907 (2012); “The Bishops and Religious Liberty,” Commonweal, June 15, 2012, at 11; “Practical Reason and Subsidiarity: Response to Robert K. Vischer, Conscience and the Common Good,” 49 Journal of Catholic Legal Studies 319 (2010); "Circulatory Arrest in a Brain Dead Organ Donor: Is it Ethical to Provide Cardiac Compression?," Journal of Intensive Care Medicine (2009) (co-author); “Institutional Conscience and Religious Freedom,” Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy (2009); “A Legal Revolution? The Bush Administration’s Effect on the Judiciary and Civil Justice Reform,” in Judging Bush (Stanford University Press, 2009) (co-author); "Universalism and Particularism in Bioethics: Lessons from Theological Ethics," 21 Law & Literature 415 (2009); “Implications of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) of 2008,” in Mendel in the 21st Century: The Scientific, Social, and Ethical Impact of Genetics in Our World (Royal Society of Chemistry, forthcoming) (co-author); “Parental Refusal of Medical Treatment for a Newborn,” 28 Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 427 (2007) (co-author); “Religious Free Exercise and Anti-discrimination Law,” 70 Albany Law Review 1417 (2007); “Tort Reform by Regulation: FDA Prescription Drug Labeling Rules and Preemption of State Tort Claims,” 1 Journal of Health and Life Sciences Law 39 (2007); “Silence Is Not Always Golden in Medical Decision-Making,” 7 American Journal of Bioethics 39 (2007) (co-author); and “Howe v. MGH and Hudson v. Texas Children’s Hospital: Two Approaches to Resolving Family–Physician Disputes in End-of-Life Care,” 26 Journal of Perinatology 726 (2006) (co-author).


Practice Experience

  • Judicial Clerk to Hon. Paul J. Kelly, Jr., United States Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit
  • Williams & Connolly LLP (Washington, D.C.)
  • The White House
  • Joined the faculty in 2006
Vice Dean Michael P. Moreland

Office: Rm 336, Law School Building
Phone: 610-519-7006
Fax: 610-519-6472


Courses and Seminars

  • Torts I
  • Constitutional Law
  • Bioethics and the Law
  • Evidence
  • Justice & Rights
  • Catholic Social Teaching and the Law


University of Michigan, JD

Boston College, MA, PhD

University of Notre Dame, BA