University of New Hampshire

School of Law

John Burwell Garvey

Professor of Law
Director, Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program

Professor Garvey is the Director of the Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program. He is leading a first in the nation program for honors students which will prepare those students for admission to the bar based upon rigorous evaluation of their practical legal skills as well as substantive knowledge of the law.  This program was initiated by the New Hampshire Supreme Court, and is a collaborative effort of the Court, the New Hampshire Board of Bar Examiners, the New Hampshire Bar Association and the University of New Hampshire School of Law.

The program has already received national praise and encouragement from judges, lawyers and legal education scholars.  Professor Garvey was selected to serve on the Carnegie Foundation’s Initiative on the Future of Legal Education and has been asked to speak at national and international events regarding the Webster Scholar program.  In 2011, the New Hampshire Bar Association awarded Professor Garvey the E. Donald Dufresne Award for Outstanding Professionalism for his pioneering efforts with the program.

Prior to joining UNH Law as a full time faculty member in 2005, Professor Garvey had a long association as a member of the adjunct faculty. He has extensive teaching experience and has been a frequent presenter to lawyers and judges. He first taught Evidence at the law school in 1985 and continues to teach numerous courses related to litigation and dispute resolution.

In addition to his teaching experience, Professor Garvey brings to UNH School of Law over 30 years of lessons learned in practice. He started his legal career as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps and defended what is believed to be the first case of a military doctor ever charged with manslaughter arising out of the death of a patient. During his three years in the Navy, Lieutenant Garvey had a distinguished courtroom career and received both the Navy Achievement Medal and the American Bar Association Award for Professional Merit.

Upon completing his military tour in 1981, Professor Garvey joined Sulloway & Hollis, a prominent private firm in Concord, NH. During his 24 years at the firm, he devoted his time to a wide range of litigated matters, eventually becoming the chair of the litigation department; his practice focused primarily on commercial litigation, plaintiff’s personal injury, class actions and medical malpractice defense. As counsel to the plaintiff in commercial and personal injury matters, he successfully handled cases that ranked among the largest verdicts and settlements in New Hampshire and Vermont. He was lead counsel in a national class action, brought primarily on behalf of teachers who had invested funds in particular retirement annuities, which resulted in a 22 million dollar settlement. In addition, he was one of the original principal attorneys in the Claremont case, which made a successful state constitutional challenge to New Hampshire’s method of funding the education of its children.

In addition to being an experienced trial lawyer, Professor Garvey is a well known mediator and arbitrator with over 20 years of experience. He has been recognized by his peers for his mediation and arbitration skills by selection in both Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers - where selection is limited to 5% of all lawyers.

Professor Garvey has received numerous honors during his years of practice, including the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union “Bill of Rights Award.” and the E. Donald Dufresne Award for Outstanding Professionalism. He has been selected for Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and is A/V rated by Martindale-Hubbell. He feels blessed to have the opportunity to combine his teaching and practice experience in what he calls his “dream job” as the Director of the Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program.

Professor Garvey on



Professor John Garvey presented Changes in Legal Education and the Professional and Ethical Implications for Practicing Attorneys at Creighton University School of Law's 2012 TePoel Lecture on March 23, 2012.

As published in the New Hampshire Trial Bar News, Volume 31, Winter 2009 "Trial" is Defined as, "A Failure to Settle", the Mediator's Perspective by Professor John Burwell Garvey.

Making Law Students Client-Ready: A New Model in Legal Education, 1 Duke Forum for Law & Social Change 1 (2009)  by John Burwell Garvey and Anne F. Zinkin


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