William P. LaPiana
Dean of Faculty
Rita and Joseph Solomon Professor of Wills, Trusts, and Estates
Director, Estate Planning Studies, Graduate Tax Program
William LaPiana, Dean of Faculty at New York Law School, joined the faculty in 1987, and he was named the Rita and Joseph Solomon Professor of Wills, Trusts, and Estates in 1993. His doctoral dissertation was published as Logic and Experience: The Origins of Modern American Legal Education. An analysis of the intellectual roots of the case method and of the reasons for its success, it is widely cited in discussions of legal education and, as Dean LaPiana notes, still sells enough copies to buy one average bottle of wine per year.
In 2012, Dean La Piana published Inside Wills and Trusts: What Matters and Why, part of the “Inside” series of student study aids published by Wolters Kluwer. His other major publication is Drafting New York Wills and Related Documents, Fourth Edition, published by LexisNexis of which he is co-author with Professor Ira Mark Bloom.
Dean LaPiana also has been active with the trusts and estates sections of both the New York State and the American Bar Associations, and is an academic fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, serving on its Committees on State Laws and Legal Education. He is a member of the American Law Institute and served on the Members Consultative Groups for the Restatements (Third) of Trusts and of Property (Donative Transfers). Since 2009, he has been a member of the Office of Court Administration Surrogates Court Committee, and he has served on the New York City Bar Associations Surrogates Court and Trusts and Estate Committee since 2011. Additionally, he was the reporter for the revised Uniform Disclaimer of Property Interests Act, which was promulgated by the Uniform Law Commission in 1999 and has been adopted in 15 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands. He was also the ABA advisor to the drafting committee for the Uniform Power of Attorney Act promulgated in 2006.
Dean LaPiana has been a frequent speaker at continuing legal education events, including several conferences sponsored by the Real Property Trusts and Estates Law Section of the ABA and the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, the Heckerling Institute, and the New York Estate Planning Institute. Since 1987, he has also been a regular participant in the New York University Law School Legal History Colloquium.