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Patrick Johnston

Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, Associate Professor

A.B., St. Joseph's University

J.D., University of Chicago Law School


Email: [email protected]

Phone: 302.477.2199


Patrick J. Johnston is Associate Professor of Law and Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at Widener's Delaware campus. Professor Johnston joined the faculty at Widener in 1990, served as an Assistant Professor of Law from 1990-94, and served as Associate Professor of Law since 1994. Widener University awarded Professor Johnston tenure in 1996.

Since joining the faculty at Widener, Professor Johnston has taught and written in the areas of Alternative Dispute Resolution, Civil Procedure, Complex Litigation, Conflict of Laws, Federal Courts, Negotiations, and Professional Responsibility.

In his capacity as Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Professor Johnston addresses many issues students face during a law school career, such as academic advising, accommodations, leaves of absence, and life emergencies affecting a student’s ability to perform successfully . Professor Johnston also oversees character and fitness disclosures to the law school and Boards of Bar Examiners, provides initial reviews of charges under the Student Code of Conduct, as wells as plans and teaches  orientation programs for incoming students.

Professor Johnston is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania. Professor Johnston practiced with Dechert, Price & Rhoads in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from 1980-85, and was Assistant General Counsel at ARA Services, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from 1985-87. Professor Johnston was also a Lecturer in the Penn Legal Assistance Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania Law School from 1987-90. 

Professor Johnston received the 2001-2002 Professor of the Year Award from the Alumni Association of Widener University School of Law. In 2011 Professor Johnston received the Faculty Advisor of the Year Award from the Delaware Student Bar Association for his service as a co-advisor to the Alternative Dispute Resolution Society.

What inspires me to teach?

I teach for several reasons. I teach to help students understand the breadth and depth of their abilities and the effort necessary to develop those abilities. I teach because it may help others contribute to society in positive ways. I teach because it makes me optimistic when I see people voluntarily engaging in difficult processes to improve their understanding of the world. I teach because I learn from my students. Finally, I teach because I enjoy doing it.