Deborah R. Gerhardt

Print This Page (PDF) Reef C. Ivey II Excellence Fund Term Professor of Law


  • J.D. (cum laude), Case Western Reserve University (1990)
  • A.B., Duke University (1987)

Deborah R. Gerhardt is an Associate Professor at the UNC School of Law. She specializes in the intersection of law and creativity. Professor Gerhardt has written leading articles in trademark, copyright and art law. With West Publishing, Professor Gerhardt recently co-authored its first bridge to practice contracts text. She received a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon foundation to support research to clarify whether art and historical documents are protected by copyright or in the public domain.

Professor Gerhardt was awarded UNC’s 2018 Distinguished Teaching Award for Post-Baccalaureate Instruction. In 2015, Professor Gerhardt was invited to participate in the Chancellor's Faculty Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, where she led her team to win the pitch competition. Also, in 2015, she was selected by the Advertising Educational Foundation for a fellowship in its Visiting Professor Program where she is the first person J. Walter Thompson, the world's largest advertising agency, sponsored for a fellowship.

Professor Gerhardt teaches Arts Entrepreneurship, Art Law, Copyright Law, Trademark Law, Contracts and a practical writing seminar on intellectual property strategies and transactions.  She secured UNC a slot in the USPTO's pilot clinical program and led the effort to launch Carolina's Intellectual Property Clinic where she has taught students practical skills while providing pro bono counsel to artists, musicians and small businesses. 

Prior to joining the faculty at UNC, Deborah Gerhardt clerked for the Honorable Judge John M. Manos in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and practiced at Jones Day Reavis & Pogue in Cleveland. She earned her A.B. degree from Duke University and her J.D. degree cum laude from Case Western Reserve School of Law.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Selected Publications

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