Larry Pivnick was born in 1947 and grew up in a small, working class neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y. The grandson of immigrants who came to the U.S. in search of religious freedom, and the son of high school educated parents who grew up during the depression and served their country during World War II, Larry, and his twin brother Bill, attended public elementary, high schools, and colleges. During the summers while attending high school and college, Larry worked for 4 years as an elevator operator and door man, a well paid union job, to help pay for college. Upon graduation, Larry was a social studies teacher in the N.Y.C. public schools before enrolling at the University of Florida Law School, and worked as a part time teacher while he earned an advanced law degree focusing on trade regulations and consumer protection, from N.Y.U.
Larry worked as a lawyer in Memphis in 1972 as an associate of the Armstrong Allen law firm and later as a partner with Mike Adler and Leonard Hackell in Memphis and Millington. From 1976 until 2014, Larry was a University of Memphis law professor, attaining tenure and rank of full professor in 1983. Larry served as the Law School’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for 6 years, and for 15 years served as the founder and faculty director of the University of Memphis’ General Litigation, Child Advocacy, Elder Law, and Domestic Violence Legal Clinic programs, which provided free legal services to clients unable to afford or obtain them. Larry also directed the Law School’s Trial Advocacy program and coached the University of Memphis’ Mock Trial teams from 1990 to 2000. Larry served as the UM Faculty Senate’s President in the 2011-2012 academic year, and from 2012 to 2014, served as the University of Memphis Faculty Ombudsman. In 2014, Larry was honored with the title of Emeritus Professor of Law for his accomplishments. Since 1981, Larry Pivnick has contributed to the legal profession by authoring books--Tennessee Circuit Court Practice and Tennessee General Sessions Court Civil Practice--the latter being a guide for new attorneys and persons appearing in General Sessions courts without an attorney.
Since retiring from the University of Memphis, Larry Pivnick has served on the Shelby County Democratic Party’s Executive Committee and Steering Committee, on the Immigration and Intercultural Equity Task Force of the Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope (MICAH), and on the Boards of University of Memphis Association of Retirees and Memphis Choral Arts. Larry was appointed by Mayor Harris in 2019 to serve on the Shelby County Work Release Board.
Larry Pivnick’s wife of 37 years is Dr. Eniko Karman Pivnick, a pediatric geneticist and professor at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center. Larry and Eniko have two daughters, Hajnal, who is a professional violinist living in NYC, and Lilla who is working towards a PhD in Sociology at UT-Austin. Larry is a member of Beth Sholom Synagogue.