Martin H. Brinkley

Dean and Arch T. Allen Distinguished Professor of Law

(919) 962-4417
5011 Van Hecke-Wettach Hall

Areas of Expertise

  • Antitrust and Trade Regulation
  • Business Organizations Law
  • Commercial Law
  • Corporate Governance
  • Corporate Law
  • Judges
  • Jurisprudence
  • Legal Biography
  • Legal Education
  • Legal History
  • Legal Profession
  • Nonprofit Organizations Law
  • Organizations Law
  • Politics and the Law
  • Property Law and Real Estate
  • Religion Law
  • Rule of Law


Martin H. Brinkley is Dean and Arch T. Allen Distinguished Professor of Law.

Brinkley came to the deanship in 2015 directly from practice, the first person to do so in the modern history of the Law School. In his more than two decades at the bar, he practiced in the fields of corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, antitrust and regulated industries, public finance and charitable organizations law. He has been recognized in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers and Woodward/White’s The Best Lawyers in America.

At the law school, Brinkley teaches a transition-to-practice course on mergers and acquisitions. He has research interests in American legal history and the legal institutions of ancient Greece and Rome.

Brinkley is a graduate of Harvard University (A.B. summa cum laude, Classics) and the University of North Carolina School of Law, where he was executive articles editor of the North Carolina Law Review. He clerked for Chief Judge Sam J. Ervin, III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Prior to law school, he was a fellow in papyrology at the University of Cologne.

In 2011-12 Dean Brinkley served as President of the North Carolina Bar Association. He was elected to membership in the American Law Institute in 2003. He was the 2017 recipient of the Bar Association’s H. Brent McKnight Renaissance Lawyer Award and an Honorary Master of the Bench of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple.

Brinkley has served on the boards of or acted as pro bono counsel to dozens of nonprofit institutions with charitable, religious, artistic and educational missions. He is Vice Chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina and a former Senior Warden, Junior Warden and Vestryman of his parish. He is a passionate musician, performing as pianist of the Fairview Chamber Players and studying with Mimi Solomon and Myriam Avalos Teie. He is also an oboe student of Joseph Robinson, former Principal Oboe of the New York Philharmonic.


  • J.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1992)
  • A.B. (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), Classics, Harvard University (1987)