Professor Jones researches legal issues affecting the press and the intersection between media and the courts. Her scholarship addresses press access and transparency, the role of the press as a check on government, newsgathering rights, reporter’s privilege, and emerging areas of social media law. Her scholarly work has appeared in numerous books and journals, including Northwestern Law Review, Michigan Law Review, UCLA Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, and the Harvard Law Review Forum.
- J.D., first in class, summa cum laude, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
- B.A., Communications, Utah State University, summa cum laude
Professor RonNell Andersen Jones is an Affiliated Fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project and the Lee E. Teitelbaum Endowed Chair and Professor of Law at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law.
A former newspaper reporter and editor, Professor Jones is a First Amendment scholar who teaches, researches and writes on legal issues affecting the press and on the intersection between media and the courts, with a particular emphasis on the United States Supreme Court. Her scholarship addresses issues of press access and transparency and the role of the press as a check on government. She is also a widely cited national expert on reporter’s privilege and newsgathering rights and a regular speaker on emerging areas of social media law. Her scholarly work has appeared in numerous books and journals, including Northwestern Law Review, Michigan Law Review, UCLA Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, and the Harvard Law Review Forum. She is also a regular public commentator on press freedom issues. Her op-eds have been published in several major news outlets, including CNN and The New York Times, and her research has been quoted in Newsweek, the Washington Post, the New York Times and other national publications.
Professor Jones graduated first in her law school class and clerked for the Honorable William A. Fletcher on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the United States Supreme Court. Prior to entering academia, she was an attorney in the Issues & Appeals section of Jones Day, where her work focused on Supreme Court litigation and included major constitutional cases.
An award-winning teacher, Professor Jones has been recognized for her classroom innovations and personal mentoring. Before joining the faculty at the University of Utah, Professor Jones was Professor of Law and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Research at Brigham Young University, where she was twice named Professor of the Year. Before that, she was a Distinguished Faculty Fellow at the University of Arizona, where she team-taught an annual course about the United States Supreme Court with Justice O’Connor.
"Trump's attorney suggests he may sue the New York Times. Don't bet on it," Washington Post (Oct. 3, 2018)
"One Thing Donald Trump Would Like is Freedom from the Press," New York Times (Mar. 15, 2018)
"First Amendment in the Digital Age," National Press Club (April 16, 2018)
"What Motivates Voters More Than Loyalty? Loathing," New York Times (Mar. 1, 2018)
"Trump Administration threatens freedom of the press in new leaks crackdown," Newsweek (Aug. 5, 2017)
"Don't Expect the First Amendment to Protect the Media," New York Times (Jan. 25, 2017)
"The media's definition of fake news vs. Donald Trump's," Politifact (Oct. 18, 2017)
"Women now hold the majority on the Utah Court of Appeals for the first time," Salt Lake Tribune (Aug. 14, 2017)
Can Trump Legally Withhold Public Information? KUTV News (Jan. 27, 2017)
Cakes, Conscience, and Equality, RadioWest (Dec. 6, 2017)
Value your constitutional rights? Thank a journalist. CNN (November 22, 2017)
"Bellweather cases and the state of SCOTUS," Radiowest (Oct. 1, 2018)
First Monday at the Supreme Court, Radiowest (October 2, 2017)
Examining SCOTUS Nominee Neil Gorsuch, Radiowest (February 2, 2017)