USC School of Law dean William Hubbard elected to prestigious national academy

April 20, 2023

William C. Hubbard, dean of the School of Law, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The academy is a prestigious fellowship of artists, scholars and leaders who work together for the public good. Distinguished members have included Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Graham Bell and Colin Powell, and current members include more than 250 Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners.

Only seven individuals at South Carolina institutions were previously honored with the academy’s designation, with four hailing from USC. Hubbard becomes the university’s fifth honoree, joining poet and professor Nikky Finney, who was elected to the academy in 2020.

The academy, founded in 1780, is a prestigious fellowship of artists, scholars and leaders who work together for the public good.

Hubbard is recognized internationally for his efforts to champion the rule of law and advocate for fair, accountable and independent justice systems. During his tenure as president of the American Bar Association, he led efforts to increase access to justice through innovation, reform the criminal justice system, provide legal assistance to unaccompanied immigrant children and improve support for victims of domestic violence.

“Dean Hubbard’s distinguished legal career has advanced the cause of justice across our state, nation and globe,” University of South Carolina President Michael Amiridis said. “Our students and our university have benefitted from his insightful leadership in countless ways, and he is eminently deserving of this recognition.”

Hubbard is co-founder and chair of the Board of the World Justice Project, a multinational, multidisciplinary initiative to strengthen the rule of law worldwide. The project annually evaluates 140 countries in its Rule of Law index, measuring corruption, open government, civil justice and criminal justice. The index is used by global organizations including the World Bank, United Nations and European Union.

In addition, the organization aims to connect and engage stakeholders from around the globe as they promote justice in their communities.

Hubbard is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a member of the Council of the American Law Institute and an Honorary Master of the Bench of Middle Temple in London. His accolades include being presented with the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian award presented by a South Carolina governor, and receiving the American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit. In 2016, the Burton Foundation, in collaboration with the Library of Congress, named Hubbard the recipient of its inaugural “Leadership in Law” award.