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Walter F. Pratt Jr.
Dean of the University of South Carolina School of Law

In office
July 1, 2006 – July 1, 2011
Preceded by Burnele Venable Powell
Succeeded by Robert M. Wilcox
Personal details
Born 1946 (age 75–76)
Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.
Nationality American
Spouse(s) Dorothy Overstreet Pratt
Children 2
Alma mater Vanderbilt University (B.A.)
Oxford University (D.Phil.)
Yale University (J.D.)
Occupation Administrator, Professor

Walter Floyd ("Jack") Pratt Jr. (born 1946)[1] was the Educational Foundation Distinguished Professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he served as dean from 2006 to 2011. Pratt's research focus is legal history, contracts and commercial law.


Pratt was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi.[1] He studied at Vanderbilt University, and graduated with a B.A. in History magna cum laude in 1968. After serving three years as an officer in the United States Army, he was a Rhodes Scholar and in 1974 he obtained a D.Phil. in Politics from Balliol College, Oxford University.[2] In 1977, received a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal.[3] After graduation, he was law clerk for Judge Charles Clark of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and then for Chief Justice Warren E. Burger of the Supreme Court of the United States during the 1978–1979 Term.[4][5] In 1979, he joined the faculty as an assistant professor of Duke University Law School and in 1982 was promoted to an associate professor. In the 1984–1985 academic year he was a visiting professor at the J. Reuben Clark Law School. In 1986, he moved to the faculty of the University of Notre Dame Law School, and in 1998 was named a full professor. There, he played several executive roles including Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and later Executive Associate Dean. On July 1, 2006, Pratt was named dean and Educational Foundation Distinguished Professor of the University of South Carolina School of Law.[6] In 2011, he announced he would not seek an extension of his five-year term.[7][8] After stepping down as dean, he has continued to teach at the Law School.

Personal life

He is married to Dorothy Overstreet Pratt, a history professor and author, whom he met as an undergraduate at Vanderbilt, and they have two sons.[9][10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Pratt, Walter F. (1979). Privacy in Britain, Author back flap bio. Bucknell University Press. ISBN 9780838720301. Retrieved October 7, 2018. 
  2. Schaeper, Thomas J.; Schaeper, Kathleen (2010). Rhodes Scholars, Oxford, and the Creation of an American Elite. Berghahn Books. p. 203. ISBN 9781845457211.,+mississippi#v=onepage&q=%22walter%20pratt%22%20jackson%2C%20mississippi&f=false. Retrieved October 7, 2018. 
  3. Lat, David (October 12, 2006). "Law School Dean Hotties: The B Bracket". Retrieved October 7, 2018. 
  4. Protzman, Rachael (July 7, 2002). "Law school graduate appointed to U.S. Supreme Court clerkship". Notre Dame News. Retrieved October 7, 2018. 
  5. Pratt, Walter F. (2006–2007). "Warren E. Burger Prize - Forward". p. 369. Retrieved October 8, 2018. 
  6. "A History of the School of Law: The Deans". University of South Carolina School of Law. Retrieved October 7, 2018. 
  7. "Jack Pratt to Step Down as Dean at South Carolina". May 10, 2010. Retrieved October 7, 2018. 
  8. Leither, Brian (May 12, 2010). "Dean Walter Pratt Stepping Down At South Carolina". Brian Leiter's Law School Reports Blog. Retrieved October 7, 2018. 
  9. "Author page for Dorothy O. Pratt". Retrieved October 7, 2018. 
  10. Pratt, Dorothy Overstreet. "Sowing the Wind The Mississippi Constitutional Convention of 1890". University of Mississippi Press. Retrieved October 7, 2018. 

Selected publications



Book reviews

External links

  • Bio, University of South Carolina School of Law
  • Portrait, University of South Carolina School of Law
  • Bio University of Notre Dame School of Law

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