ROBERT W ADLER portrait
  • Jefferson B. and Rita E. Fordham Presidential Dean, College Of Law
  • Dean College of Law
  • Adjunct Professor, Pediatrics
  • Distinguished Professor, College Of Law

Education

  • B.A., Ecology, Johns Hopkins University
  • J.D., Law, Georgetown University Law Center

Biography

Beginning in July 2014, Professor Adler became the 11th Dean of the S.J. Quinney College of Law, now as the Jefferson B. and Rita E. Fordham Presidential Dean, after serving as Interim Dean since July 2013. Dean Adler has overseen the construction of the College of Law's astonishing new LEED Platinum law school building that opened in the summer of 2015. He is establishing a path for the College to reach the 100-100 Initiative for 100% bar passage and employment rates for our students, and continues to pursue the Building Justice capital campaign to help ensure that we can continue to provide a superb legal education for our students at an affordable cost. He is also dedicated to continuing the College's recent history of curricular reform-particularly in ways that improve real world learning opportunities and skills training for its students-to meet the needs of the next generation of lawyers.

In his teaching and scholarship, Dean Adler's goal is "to stimulate more interdisciplinary work in this increasingly global world ... [and] to prepare students for that world in an environment that changes almost continuously, and which demands skills that go far beyond what has been traditionally taught in law schools." As a scholar, Professor Adler urges a broader, more holistic approach to the restoration and protection of aquatic and other ecosystems than is used in traditional environmental laws alone, which focus on discrete kinds of environmental harm. He also explores the many ways in which environmental law and water law will have to respond to a rapidly changing climate. After completing a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, Dean Adler practiced environmental law for 15 years. He has published dozens of articles and reports in law, policy, and science journals. He has published two books with Island Press, one on the history and impact of the Clean Water Act and the other on restoring Colorado River ecosystems. He also published an environmental law casebook with Wolters-Kluwer Publishers, co-authored with David Driesen and Kirsten Engel and now in its second edition, and recently published a water law casebook with Professor Robin Craig (also on the Quinney law faculty) and Professor Noah Hall from Wayne State. Dean Adler teaches courses in environmental law and water law, as well as civil procedure. He loves to spend time in Utah's outdoors, and has completed the Wasatch 100 and Bear 100 trail races through Utah's beautiful mountains.