William J. Pierce was born December 4, 1921 in Flint, Michigan. Following wartime service, he received his BA from the University of Michigan in 1947, then entered the U-M Law School, receiving the degree of Juris Doctor in 1949.
Pierce began his career at the University as a research assistant (1949-1950) and then research associate (1950-1951) in the Law School. In 1951, he was appointed to the Law School faculty as an assistant professor, eventually becoming full professor in 1958. In 1952, Pierce was also named assistant director of the Law School's Legislative Research Center. He became director in 1957. He retired from the university in 1989.
In 1953, Pierce was appointed Michigan Commissioner on Uniform State Laws and also a member of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL). Both within the Law School where he taught courses on the subject and professionally as a member of the NCCUSL, Pierce's primary specialty was in the area of legislation and legislative drafting. Pierce was a member of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws for more than forty years, serving as chairman of the executive committee, 1965-1967, president 1967-1969, and then following his term as president, as executive director, where he served until 1992.
More information About William J. Pierce
Papers (Finding Aids)
Oral History: Law School (University of Michigan) oral history interviews, 1988-2002.
Board of Regents Memoir
"Wiiliam J. Pierce: Memoir" Proceedings of the Board of Regents (1954-1957). 296-297.
Memorials & Tributes:
Bugge, Lawrence J. "Tributes: Wiiliam J. Pierce" 89 Mich. L. Rev. 2073 (1990-1991).
St. Antoine, Theodore J. "William J. Pierce", 89 Mich. L. Rev. 2077 (1990-1991).
Waggoner, Lawrence W. "William J. Pierce", 89 Mich. L. Rev. 2079 (1990-1991).
Law Quadrangle Notes Articles
"Professor Emeritus William J. Pierce, '49," 47 L. Quadrangle Notes 37 (Fall, 2004).
"Faculty retirements," 34 L. Quadrangle Notes 13 (Fall, 1989).
"Mastermind of legal reform," 32 L. Quadrangle Notes 7-8 (Winter, 1988).
"Associate Dean Pierce Named To State Unit," 20 L. Quadrangle Notes 5 (Spring, 1976).
"Professor William J. Pierce Named Associate Law Dean," 16 L. Quadrangle Notes 1-2 (Fall, 1971).
"Pierce A Leader of National Conference on Uniform State Laws," 11 L. Quadrangle Notes 18-19 (Spring, 1967).