Peter Reilly

Associate Professor of Law

Peter Reilly

“A law student once asked me, ‘Why should I consider taking a class in Negotiations?’  I said, ‘Take the class only if you want to increase your ability to influence and/or persuade clients, co-counsel, opposing counsel, judges, court clerks, jury members, mediators, arbitrators, supervisors, direct-reports, hired consultants, secretaries, friends, family, and anyone else you communicate with personally or professionally.’  She turned out to be an excellent student and, by semester’s end, a highly skilled negotiator.”

Get to Know Peter Reilly

What drew you to the law?

My mother, now a retired lawyer, was a mother of three young children (including me) when she started law school at age 35. I remember many conversations at the dinner table while growing up, where family members would oftentimes discuss legal and policy issues of the day — many of them generated by my mother’s law school reading assignments. How many fourth graders get the chance to debate the legal ramifications of setting up a temporary police roadblock to randomly test for drunk drivers? My mother’s law school friends attended many of those dinners, and I admired how fun and interesting they were. Those discussions and experiences definitely planted the seed for my later study of law.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

I thoroughly enjoy interacting with students in the classroom. While some people predict that most higher-education classes will one day be taught online, I think it’s impossible to generate the same passion, energy and engagement that can develop face-to-face in a brick-and-mortar classroom setting.

What do you hope students gain from your courses?

I hope my students gain a strong understanding of both the theory and practice of Alternative Dispute Resolution, whether in mediation, negotiation or arbitration. They should thoroughly understand the theories/concepts/principles on an intellectual level, but, equally important, they need to be able to implement that knowledge on a “skill” and “practice” level. In other words, it doesn’t help a student to be able to write an A+ paper on negotiation if that student cannot also be a truly effective negotiator in practice.

What did you do prior to entering academia?

I clerked one year for the Massachusetts State Appeals Court and then worked for seven years as attorney-advisor within the Office of General Counsel at the United States Commission on Civil Rights in Washington, D.C. The Commission, which is an independent, bipartisan fact-finding agency of the executive branch, conducted civil rights investigations in areas such as voting rights, university integration and police misconduct. 

What are you passionate about outside of the law?

My family and my greyhound rescue, EAPR (pronounced “EE-per”), which stands for Elvis Aaron Presley Reilly.

What are your research interests?

My research focuses generally in the area of Alternative Dispute Resolution, with a strong interest in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, ethics, emotional intelligence, and theories of influence and persuasion within the context of mediation and negotiation.


Link to my publications.


  • UCLA School of Law’s Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy, presented a draft of my article, “Justice Deferred is Justice Denied: We Must End Our Failed Experiment in Deferring Corporate Criminal Prosecution” (November 7, 2014)
  • American Association of Law Schools ADR Works-in-Progress Conference, Southwestern School of Law, presented a draft of my article, “Justice Deferred is Justice Denied: We Must End Our Failed Experiment in Deferring Corporate Criminal Prosecution” (November 7-8, 2014)
  • Law and Society Association’s 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, Minnesota, presented Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) research on a panel entitled, “Fixing Corporate Responsibility Internationally” (May 29, 2014)
  • Stetson School of Law, St. Petersburg, Florida, presented a draft of my article, “Negotiating Bribery: Toward Increased Transparency, Consistency, and Fairness in Pre-Trial Bargaining under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act” (Oct. 4, 2013)
  • Law firm of Cowles & Thompson, Dallas, presented a Continuing Legal Education lecture on negotiation (May 28, 2013)


  • ADR (negotiation, mediation and arbitration)
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act


  • ADR Survey: Negotiation, Mediation & Arbitration
  • Advanced Topics in Negotiations Seminar
  • Negotiation Theory & Practice Practicum
  • The Business Negotiator

Academic Experience

  • Associate Professor of Law
    Texas A&M University School of Law (2013-present)
  • Associate Professor of Law
    Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (2010-2013)
  • Visiting Associate Professor of Law
    Georgetown University Law Center (2009-2010)
  • Associate Professor-in-Residence
    UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law (2006-2010)
  • Associate Professor of Law
    Washburn School of Law (2005-2006)
  • Hewlett Fellow in Conflict Resolution & Legal Problem Solving
    Georgetown University Law Center (2002-2005)


  • LL.M., Georgetown University Law Center
  • J.D., Harvard Law School
  • A.B., Princeton University

Awards / Honors

  • Frederic White Scholarship Award, which annually recognizes two Texas A&M School of Law faculty members (one pre-tenure and one post-tenure) who demonstrate “steadfast commitment and contribution to legal scholarship” (2014)

Other Professional Activities

  • Adjunct Faculty, Georgetown University Center for Public and Non-profit Leadership: Since 2005, I have taught a course in negotiations twice each year (in mid-March and again in mid-June) in Washington, D.C., as an adjunct faculty member within the Center’s Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate program. This is an ongoing teaching commitment.
  • Competition Chair, ABA James B. Boskey Law Student Essay Competition on Alternative Dispute Resolution: Since 2010, I have served each year as a judge for the competition, sponsored by the ABA’s Section on Dispute Resolution. Starting in 2015, I assumed the role of Competition Chair, which involves recruiting other law professor judges and coordinating the review process to select each year’s winner. This is an ongoing commitment.