Areas of Expertise:

  • Health Law
  • Bioethics
  • Civil Procedure


Jonathan F. Will


Associate Dean for Faculty Development

Associate Professor of Law

Founding Director, Bioethics & Health Law Center


Jonathan Will joined MC Law’s Faculty in the Fall of 2009. Since 2011 he has also served on the Affiliate Faculty of the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities at The University of Mississippi Medical Center. Jonathan was appointed Associate Dean for Faculty Development in January of 2015. In this role he is dedicated to fostering the commitment of MC Law to scholarship and teaching by providing support to all faculty. Jonathan also teaches upper level courses in Health Law and Bioethics, and has been voted IL Professor of the Year for his section of Civil Procedure multiple times.  He has written extensively about the implications of the nationwide personhood movement, reproductive rights, patient autonomy, and medical decision making.  His cross-disciplinary work has appeared in both legal and medical journals, and he is a regular contributor with Harvard’s Bill of Health blog. 




  • J.D., magna cum laude, University of Pittsburgh School of Law; Law Review, Executive Editor; Order of the Coif; Health Law Certificate

  • M.A., magna cum laude, Bioethics, University of Pittsburgh

  • B.A., summa cum laude, English and Psychology, World Religions (minor), Canisius College 


 Courses Taught:

  • Bioethics & Law

  • Special Topics in Bioethics

  • Health Care Law

  • Civil Procedure I

  • Civil Procedure II 


Professional Experience:

  • Associate Dean for Faculty Development, Mississippi College School of Law, Spring 2015 - Present

  • Associate Professor of Law, Mississippi College School of Law, Fall 2012 – present

  • Assistant Professor of Law, Mississippi College School of Law, Fall 2009 – Summer 2012

  • Affiliate Faculty, The University of Mississippi Medical Center, Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities, 2011 – present

  • Associate, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, Pittsburgh, PA, 2005 - 2009

  • Adjunct Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, 2009 



  • Essay, Membership Has Its Privileges? Life, Personhood, and Potential in Discussions About Reproductive Choice, J.L. MED. & ETHICS (forthcoming, summer 2015) (peer reviewed).



  • Presentation, Membership Has Its Privileges? Life and Law in the Debates about Personhood, University of Law Vegas Boyd School of Law (November 24, 2014).
  • Panelist, Developing Health Law Programs, American Society of Law, Medicine, and Ethics 37th Annual Health Law Professors Conference (June 5, 2014).
  • Presentation, Religion, Morality, and Reproductive Choice, Intersections in Reproduction Workshop hosted by the Program for the Study of Reproductive Justice at Yale Law School (April 18, 2014). 
  • Presentation, Beyond Abortion: Pre-Embryonic Personhood and the Constitutionality of Restrictions on Reproductive Choice, American Society of Law, Medicine, and Ethics 36th Annual Health Law Professors Conference (June 8, 2013).
  • Moderator/Organizer: Implementing Health Care Reform in Mississippi: Considering Policy and Economics, a symposium hosted by Mississippi College School of Law Bioethics & Health Law Center (April 5, 2013). 
  • Panel Discussion, The Constitutional Implications of National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, (with Cynthia Nicoletti and Matthew Steffey (MC Law), Mississippi Women Lawyers Association (November 7, 2012).

  • Presentation, Conscience Legislation, the Personhood Movement, and Access to Controversial Care, Faulkner Law Review Symposium (October 26, 2012).

  • Presentation, Beyond Abortion: Potential Implications of (Pre)Embryonic Personhood on Reproductive Choice, Law and Society (June 5, 2012).

  • Presentation, When Personhood Came to Mississippi, Lecture Series: Current Issues in Health Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Law (January 9, 2012).

  • Moderator/Organizer, Amendment 26 – Exploring the Implications of Mississippi’s Personhood Initiative, a symposium hosted by Mississippi College School of Law, October 25, 2011.

  • Presentation, Medical Decision Making for Individuals with Diminished Mental Capacity, Mississippi Department of Mental Health Spring CME Symposium (April 2011).

  • Moderator/Organizer, Anesthetic Gas Reclamation – Medical Invention from a Legal and Health Care Provider Perspective, panel discussion hosted by Mississippi College School of Law Bioethics & Health Law Center (April 2011).

  • Presentation, End-of-Life Decision Making and the Developmentally Disabled, meeting of the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Nursing Network (June 2010).

  • Moderator of Bioethics Panel, Diagnosing American Healthcare: Economic Stakeholders and Bioethical Considerations, a symposium sponsored by the Mississippi College Law Review (February 2010).

  • Presentation, Adolescent Decision Making in Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Adolescent Health Services, (August 2005).

  • Presentation, The Mature Minor Doctrine and Refusals of Medical Treatment Based Upon Religious Beliefs, Grand Rounds, University of Pittsburgh Center for Bioethics and Health Law – CLE, CME credit (March 2005).

  • Guest Lecture, The History of Bioethics, University of Pittsburgh, nursing course (Spring 2005).

In the News

Representative Interviews:

  • Reimagine Magazine, discussing the Mature Minor Doctrine and adolescent refusal of medical treatment (January 12, 2015)

  • Colorado Public Radio, Colorado Considers Another 'Personhood' Amendment, with Megan Verlee (October 17, 2014)

  • Governing Magazine, Mississippi Voters Turn Down Personhood Initiative, November 9, 2011

  •, Mississippi Votes Against Embryos’ Human Rights, But National Debate Continues, November 9, 2011

  • CNN, Mississippi Voting on Personhood, November 8, 2011

  • CNN, American Morning (November 7, 2011)

  • Wisconsin Public Radio, At Issue with Ben Merens (November 7, 2011)

  • Financial Times, Mississippi to Vote on Abortion, November 6, 2011

  • ABC News, Mississippi’s ‘Personhood’ Amendment a Challenge for Moderate Conservatives, November 4, 2011

  • Scientific America, Mississippi to Vote on ‘Personhood,’ November 1, 2011

  • The New York Times, Push for ‘Personhood’ Amendment Represents New Tack in Abortion Fight, October 25, 2011

  • Newsweek (The Daily Beast), Will Mississippi Ban IVF?, October 24, 2011

  • Clarion Ledger, Weighing Personhood: Initiative’s Effects Could be Profound, October 8, 2011

  • Mississippi Business Journal, ‘26’ Backers in Mississippi See Amendment as “Kill Shot’ to Abortion in U.S., October 6, 2011


Memberships & Admissions:

  • American Bar Association

  • Admitted to practice in Pennsylvania

  • Barrister, Charles Clark Inn of Court (Secretary 2010-present)

  • Member, Discharge Advisory Committee, Mississippi State Hospital (Whitfield)

  • Member, Bioethics Committee, Mississippi State Hospital (Whitfield)


Law School & Institutional Service:

  • Advisor, Mississippi College Law Review

  • Advisor, Health Law Society

  • Advisor, Poetic Justice Society

  • Admissions Committee, 2009-present

  • Strategic Planning Committee, 2012-present

  • Coach, Health Law Moot Court Team

  • 1L Professor of the Year - §Y (2009-2010)

  • 1L Professor of the Year - §Y (2010-2011)

  • 1L Professor of the Year - §Y (2011-2012)

  • 1L Professor of the Year - §Z (2012-2013)

  • 1L Professor of the Year - §Z (2013-2014)