W.H. (Joe) Knight

Distinguished Academic in Residence


Sullivan Hall 123
(206) 398-4115


From 2001 to 2007, Joe Knight served as Dean of the University of Washington School of Law. A strong advocate for educational innovation and academic excellence, Knight provided administrative leadership as the Law School built and moved into a new home, William H. Gates Hall (2003) and developed the financial resources to recruit over twenty new faculty members to the school.

Before coming to the UW in 2001, Knight was a professor at the University of Iowa College of Law. He also served as Vice Provost of the University from 1997-2000. An expert in commercial law, Knight has authored three books on the subject and taught courses in banking, contracts and commercial transactions. He has also taught seminars on international banking and critical race theory.

Knight grew up in Winston-Salem, N.C. and earned bachelor degrees in economics, speech, and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He earned his juris doctor degree from the Columbia University School of Law. At Columbia, he was a member of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review. Prior to becoming a faculty member, Knight worked in New York City as a labor lawyer and in Connecticut with a bank holding company.

He is an active member in several organizations, including the American Law Institute; the Law School Admissions Council; the Society of American Law Teachers; and both the American and National Bar Associations. He is currently serving a three-year term as a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools. Knight also serves as a member of the board of directors of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company where he chairs the Legal Affairs Committee of the board. He was recently elected to serve as a trustee of the National University System in La Jolla, California.