Priscilla Norwood Harris
Associate Professor of Law
276-935-4349, Ext. 1225
J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School
B.A., Florida State University
Courses Taught: Advanced Torts, Conflict of Laws, Criminal Law, Environmental Law, Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resources Law, Public Health Law, and Torts
Since 2001, Professor Priscilla Harris has taught at the Appalachian School of Law. ASL is located in southwestern Virginia, part of Central Appalachia. At ASL, she developed an interest in the health of the people in the region. In the fall of 2010, she was awarded an 18-month long grant for $149,900 to conduct research concerning beverages and oral health. This research was funded by Public Health Law Research (PHLR), a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. As part of the research grant, Professor Harris created a research team composed of law students from ASL and graduate students from East Tennessee State University’s College of Public Health.
Professor Harris has written law review articles about public health and environmental law issues. She was selected by the first-year class as Professor of the Year in 2004 and in 2016. In addition to her teaching and research, Professor Harris chairs the Faculty Appointments Committee and serves as a member of several other committees. She has also served as member of several Symposia Task Forces, such as the 2013 and the 2015 Bi-Annual Governor's Energy Symposia and the 2014 Health Care Symposium. focusing on the Affordable Care Act. She also spends time with ASL student organizations, including its winning Co-ed Softball Team, Appalachian Women in Law, and Phi Alpha Delta, a legal fraternity that hosts an annual Halloween Carnival for local children.
Professor Harris is active in the American Bar Association (ABA). Currently, she is Vice-Chair of Programs for the Constitutional Law Committee of the ABA Section on Environment, Energy and Resources (SEER). In 2013, she was selected as one of twelve attorneys for the SEER Leadership Development Program. In addition, she is an active member of the Florida bar and of its Environmental and Land Use and Health Law Sections.
Professor Harris devotes much time to community service. For years, she has volunteered at Mountain Mission School (MMS), a local residential school for at-risk children. At MMS, she has coached its successful Mock Trial Teams and its FIRST Lego League (FLL) Robotics Teams which have gone to state ten of the past twelve years. In 2014 and 2015, she served as a Robot Design Judge for the VA/DC FLL Championship Tournaments. In 2005, she was named Virginia FLL Coach/Mentor of the Year. She has also volunteered at numerous Remote Area Medical Corps (RAM) Clinics in Central Appalachia where free health care was provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
Professor Harris formerly worked in the Elderly Advocate Program of Philadelphia's Community Legal Services office. She practiced civil litigation and estate planning with Reed Smith in Philadelphia and Bell Boyd and Lloyd (now K&L Gates LLP) in Washington, D.C. as well as later working at the Michigan Court of Appeals in Detroit, Michigan. Prior to coming to ASL, Professor Harris operated her own law practice in Orange Park, Florida, where she concentrated on land use, environmental law, and civil-rights litigation.
- "Undoing the Damage of the Dew," 9 Appalachian Journal of Law 53 (2009).
- "Money, Fear and Prejudice: Why the Courts Killed Terri Schiavo," 30 Womens Rights Law Reporter 42 (2008).
- "Hard Case, Bad Law: Schiavo and Florida Courts” National Law Journal, Vol. 30, No. 40, June 16, 2008.
- P. Harris, The Coal Miners Have Taken Care of Us: Let's Now Take Care of the Coal Miners, 6 Appalachian Nat. Resources L. J. 15 (2011).