John B. Garvey

Director, Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program
Phone: (603) 513-5214
Office: UNH School of Law, 2 White Street, Concord, NH 03301
John Garvey

Professor Garvey has directed the nationally acclaimed Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program since the program’s inception in 2005. This first in the nation program for honors students prepares Webster Scholars for admission to the bar based upon rigorous evaluation of their practical legal skills as well as substantive knowledge of the law. The 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. Featured in 2015 in both the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, the program was the subject of a two-year independent study by the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, published in 2015, called “Ahead of the Curve – Turning Law Students into Lawyers.” The program was also a 2015 recipient of the ABA’s E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award.

Because of his work, Professor Garvey was selected to serve on the Carnegie Foundation’s Initiative on the Future of Legal Education and has been a frequent speaker 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. In 2013, he was named by National Jurist Magazine as one of the 25 most influential people in legal education. In 2015, the New Hampshire Bar Association presented him with the Distinguished Service to the Legal Profession Award.

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 teaching at UNH Law, John teaches Problem Solving, Decision-Making and Negotiation: An Introduction to Being Intentional, for the Management Leadership Development Program at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences at Dartmouth College; he has also taught negotiation for the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows.

In addition to his teaching experience, Professor Garvey brings to UNH School of Law over 35 years of lessons learned in practice. He started his legal career as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps where he primarily prosecuted cases but also 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 and eventually became 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 public school teachers who had invested funds in 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. As a result of his work on this case he was a re


  • J.D., Suffolk University
  • A.B., Government & Politics, Harvard University

Courses Taught

  • LDWS 903: Miniseries
  • LDWS 904: Negotiations & ADR
  • LDWS 905: Capstone
  • LDWS 942: Pretrial Advocacy

Selected Publications

Garvey, J. B., & Zinkin, A. F. (2014). We Must Make Law Students Client-ready. In CALLING OF LAW: THE PIVOTAL ROLE OF VOCATIONAL LEGAL EDUCATION (pp. 201-219). Retrieved from

Garvey, J. B., & Craver, C. B. (2013). Skills & Values Negotiation, Mediation, Collaborative Law, and Arbitration. Alternative dispute resolution.

Garvey, J. (2009). Selected Evidentiary Issues. In J. Papelian (Ed.), A Practical Guide to Divorce in New Hampshire (Vol. 2, 2009 edition ed.). Boston, MA: Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE).

Garvey, J. B., & Zinkin, A. F. (2009). Making Law Students Client-Ready: A New Model in Legal Education. Duke Forum for Law and Social Change, 1, 101-129. Retrieved from

Burwell Garvey, J. (2006). Lawyer-building in New England. ABA JOURNAL, 92, 8. Retrieved from