Vice President and General Counsel

Practice Areas:  Athletics, Corporate Governance, Litigation, Research, Student Affairs. 

Assistant:  Robin Geller

Pamela J. Bernard is Vice President and General Counsel of Duke University.  Ms. Bernard is responsible for a wide variety of legal issues, including student and employment issues, health law, research issues, tax-exempt organizations, athletics, corporate matters, and coordinating litigation for the University.  Prior to her appointment at Duke, she served as Vice President and General Counsel to the University of Florida.

Ms. Bernard is past President of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, a national professional association for higher education lawyers.  She served on its governing Board of Directors, numerous committees, and task forces over the past two decades.  She was awarded NACUA’s 2004 Distinguished Service Award for her contributions to the field of higher education law practice.  Ms. Bernard is a frequent speaker on legal issues, and also has authored papers and other publications relating to higher education law.  From July 2007 to June 2011 she authored the “Legal Standpoint” column for Trusteeship magazine.

Ms. Bernard served on Florida’s United States Federal District Court Civil Justice Reform Advisory Group and the Bench and Bar Fund Administration Committee.  She was a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Committee on Amateurism, and currently serves on the NCAA’s General Counsel Advisory Board.  She is past chair of the Florida Bar Committee on Education Law.

Ms. Bernard received her Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Florida.  Before becoming a lawyer, she was a private investment trustee.