Tom Kelley

James Dickson Phillips, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the UNC School of Law Institute for Innovation, UNC School of Law

Tom Kelley joined the Carolina Law faculty in 1999. He serves as the James Dickson Phillips Distinguished Professor of Law, the Director of the UNC-Law Institute for Innovation, and the faculty supervisor of the Community Development Law Clinic. His teaching and research interests include nonprofit organizations (with an emphasis on nonprofit social entrepreneurship) and international law (with an emphasis on Africa). His scholarly work has appeared in such publications as the Fordham and Tulane Law Reviews, Global Jurist, and the American Journal of Comparative Law. His article, Unintended Consequences of Legal Westernization in Niger: Harming Contemporary Slaves by Reconceptualizing Property, won Carolina Law’s 2009 Chadbourn Award for outstanding scholarship. In 2003-2004, Kelley was a Fulbright Scholar and visiting professor at Abdou Moumouni University (University of Niamey) in Niger. He has also served as a visiting lecturer at Universite Jean Moulin 3 in Lyon France and visiting academic at University of Cape Town in South Africa. During the summers of 2013 and 2015 he led summer study abroad programs in Rwanda and The Hague focusing on Genocide, Human Rights, and International Criminal Law.

Kelley earned a B.A. from Harvard University and a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law. Before attending law school, he served as United States Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Niger. After law school, he clerked for James Dickson Phillips on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, then practiced law at Foley, Hoag & Eliot in Boston.