FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
William P. LaPiana

William P. LaPiana

Director, Estate Planning Studies, Graduate Tax Program, New York Law School
Rita and Joseph Solomon Professor of Wills, Trusts, and Estates
New York, NY, USA


Professor LaPiana is Associate Dean and the Rita and Joseph Solomon Professor of Wills, Trusts and Estates at New York Law School and Director of Estate Planning Studies in the Graduate Tax Program at NYLS. He holds the AB, summa cum laude (1973), the AM in history (1975), the JD cum laude (1978), and the PhD in history (1987) from Harvard University. From 1979 to 1983 he was associated with Davis Polk and Wardwell where he worked primarily in the estates group. He began teaching in 1983 at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and joined the New York Law School faculty in 1987. His teaching responsibilities include wills and trusts, property, federal estate and gift tax, estate planning, and American legal history. Professor LaPiana is the author of several articles on estate planning and is co-author with Professor Ira Mark Bloom ofDrafting New York Wills and Related Documents 4th ed. (LexisNexis)He is also the author of Inside Wills and Trusts: What Matters and Why (WoltersKluwer 2012).   He has also written numerous articles in American legal history, and is the author of Logic and Experience: The Origin of Modern American Legal Education (Oxford Univ. Press, 1994).

In 1992 he was elected an Academic Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and is a member of the Board of Directors of ACTEC Foundation for a three-year term ending in 2018. A member of the American Law Institute since 1998, he and was a member of the Members Consultative Groups for Restatements (Third) of Trusts and Property (Donative Transfers).  He was the Reporter for the revised Uniform Disclaimer of Property Interests Act, which was promulgated by the Uniform Law Commission in July 1999.  He is a member of the Trusts and Estates Section of the New York State Bar Association and has been a delegate at large to the executive committee of the section.  Since 2008 he has been a member of the Surrogate’s Court Advisory Committee of the New York State Office of Court Administration. He has lectured at the Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute, the New York University Institute on Federal Taxation, the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, and the Sophisticated Trusts and Estates Law Institute sponsored by the New York State Bar Association.  In 2010 he delivered the Mortimer Hess Memorial Lecture at the New York City Bar Association.
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