Feb 28, 2024  
2021-2022 University of Wyoming Catalog 
2021-2022 University of Wyoming Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Law

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102 Law Building
Klint Alexander, Dean
(307)766-6416 FAX: (307)766-6417
Web site: www.uwyo.edu/law


KLINT ALEXANDER, B.A. Yale University 1991; Ph.D./M.Phil. Cambridge University 1997; J.D. University of Virginia 1999; Dean & Professor of Law 2015.

MELISSA ALEXANDER, B.A. Yale University 1996; J.D. University of Virginia 1999; Professor of Law 2019, 2015.

JACQUELYN BRIDGEMAN, B.A. Stanford University 1996; J.D. University of Chicago 1999; Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law 2008, 2002.

KENNETH CHESTEK, B.A. Pennsylvania State University 1975; J.D. University of Pittsburg School of Law 1979; Professor of Law 2018, 2012.

DANIELLE R. COVER, B.A. University of Maryland 1994; J.D. Tulane University School of Law 1997; Professor of Law 2020, 2014; Director of Legal Services Clinic.

JAMES M. DELANEY, B.A. University of Washington 1985; J.D. Gonzaga University School of Law 1992; LL.M. in Taxation, University of Florida 1997; Professor of Law 2013.

MICHAEL DUFF, B.A. West Chester University 1991; J.D. Harvard University 1995; Professor of Law 2012.

STEPHEN M. FELDMAN, B.A. Hamilton College 1977; J.D. University of Oregon 1982; J.S.M. Stanford University 1986; Jerry W. Housel/ Carl F. Arnold Distinguished Professor of Law 2002.

MARK GLOVER, B.A. Washington University in St. Louis 2002; J.D. Boston University School of Law 2008; LL.M. Harvard Law School 2011; Professor of Law 2019, 2015.

DARRELL D. JACKSON, B.A. College of William and Mary 1987; J.D. George Mason University School of Law 1990; Ph.D. University of Colorado School of Education 2011; Professor of Law 2018, 2013.

SAM KALEN, B.A. Clark University 1980; J.D. Washington University 1984; Professor of Law 2014, 2009.

GEORGE MOCSARY, B.E. The Cooper Union School of Engineering 1995; MBA University of Rochester 1995; J.D. Fordham University School of Law 2009; Professor of Law 2019. 

NOAH B. NOVOGRODSKY, B.A. Swarthmore College 1992; J.D. Yale Law School 1997; Professor of Law 2013, 2009.

TARA RIGHETTI, B.A. University of Colorado Boulder 2005; J.D. 2007; Professor of Law 2020, 2014.

JASON ROBISON, B.S. University of Utah 2003; J.D. University of Oregon 2006; LL.M. Harvard Law School 2009; S.J.D. 2013; Professor of Law 2019, 2015.

ALAN ROMERO, B.A. Brigham Young University 1990; J.D. Harvard University 1993; Professor of Law 2007, 2003.

MICHAEL R. SMITH, B.S. Florida State University 1982; J.D. University of Florida 1985; Professor of Law 2006.

Associate Professors:

LAUREN MCLANE, B.S. Radford University 2002; J.D. Seattle University School of Law 2008; Associate Professor of Law 2021, 2018; Director, Defender Aid Clinic.

DONA PLAYTON, B.S. University of Wyoming 1989; J.D. University of Wyoming 1993; Associate Professor of Law 2002, 2018; Director, Family and Child Legal Advocacy Clinic.

Assistant Professors:

JERRY FOWLER, B.A. Princeton University 1983; J.D. Stanford University 1990; Assistant Professor of Law 2019; Director, International Human Rights Clinic.

Academic Professionals:

DEBORA PERSON, B.A. Arizona State University 1981; M.L.S. Rutgers University 1992; Library Associate 1993; Administrative Law Librarian 2005, 1994.

TAWNYA PLUMB, B.A. University of Wyoming 1996; M.L.I.S. University of Texas at Austin 1998; Electronic Services and Assistant Librarian 2004.

Professors Emeritus

Debra L. Donahue, Harvey Gelb, Timothy Kearley, Jerry R. Parkinson, Dee Pridgen, Joel Selig, Elaine A. Welle

The College of Law was founded in 1920. The goal of the college is to provide a sound and thorough education in the law that will prepare the student to practice law in accordance with the highest standards of professional competence and responsibility. The emphasis in instruction is on analysis and understanding of legal principles and the development of skills necessary to the practice of the profession. The course of study will prepare a graduate to practice in any jurisdiction which has adopted the Anglo-American system of law.

The curriculum of the College of Law consists of three years of study within the college. Required courses necessary to basic legal knowledge make up the first two semesters of study, while courses in the final four semesters are largely elective. Students become eligible to receive the Juris Doctor ( J.D.) degree upon successful completion of 90 semester credit hours of law courses with a grade point average of at least 2.000.

The college acts as a law center for Wyoming. It serves lawyers, judges, and government by a program of continuing legal education for attorneys and others interested in significant legal developments, by research projects aimed at improving state law, and by publishing the Wyoming Law Review.


The college is approved by the American Bar Association and its graduates are eligible for admission to the bar in every state. A student planning to practice in a particular state should check its rules for admission to the bar.

The college is also a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Membership is conditioned upon the maintenance of an adequate teaching staff and library, the offering of a sound educational program and adherence to prescribed standards for the admission and graduation of students.

Prelegal Curriculum

There is no prescribed or required set of courses for prelegal work. A student must usually have a B.A. or B.S. degree before beginning the professional study of law. There are no restrictions on the field in which the degree is earned.

The objective of prelegal study should be to acquire knowledge and skills useful in the study and practice of law. College study should prepare the student for law school by developing language comprehension and use, understanding of political, economic, social and cultural institutions, and the ability to think logically and creatively. Courses promoting these objectives are included in the basic requirements for most undergraduate degrees. The choice of a major should be determined by the student’s academic interest and professional objective in law.

Valuable background may be acquired through the study of English, history, philosophy, economics, political science, psychology, sociology, business administration, mathematics and the natural sciences.

For additional information, see the College of Law web site, (www.uwyo.edu/law).

Admission Requirements and Procedures

Admission to the professional curriculum in law is granted by the admissions committee of the College of Law. The College of Law restricts the number of entering students to a class size consistent with its facilities and its educational objectives. In evaluating an application, the committee considers the applicant’s undergraduate college scholastic record and score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

Other criteria relevant to the probability of success in the study and practice of law will also be considered.

  1. Prior to beginning work in the College of Law, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, unless they have requested and been granted following exception:
    1. An applicant who needs not more than 6 semester hours of college credit to qualify for a bachelor’s degree may be admitted in exceptional cases to law school if the committee determines that the applicant has sufficient education and preparation for the study of law; has an outstanding undergraduate scholastic record; and has an approved program signed by the appropriate undergraduate official indicating that the remaining requirements for the bachelor’s degree may be met by summer school attendance or by other means that will not interfere with the study of law.
  2. Every applicant must take the Law School Admission Test. A packet giving information about the test, the dates on which it is given, and centers at which it can be taken, sample questions and an application form, may be obtained from Law School Admission Council, Box 2000, Newtown, PA 18940, by phone at (215) 968-1001, online at www.lsac.org.
  3. Every applicant must register with the Law School Admission Council Credential Assembly Service, CAS. Registration may be done through the LSAC website (www.lsac.org). The CAS will prepare a report that is transferred to the college.
  4. Every applicant must complete the electronic University of Wyoming College of Law Application through LSAC between September 1 and April 30. Applications received by December 15 will be considered for early admission.
  5. If admitted, official transcripts sent directly to the College of Law from each college attended must be on file in the Admissions Office at least 30 days before the student’s registration date.

Application Deadline

An initial entering class will be selected from completed applications on file on April 30. Students who submit an application by December 15 will be considered for early admission. An application is complete only when the college has received the LSAT score, the CAS re

Admission With Advanced Standing

Transfer students are admitted only when the College of Law facilities and curriculum permit. A transfer student may transfer up to the number of credits the student could have earned had the student completed his or her first year at the University of Wyoming College of Law. Transfer credit will be given only for courses in which the student earned a grade of C or higher. Applicants admitted must satisfy the requirements for graduation established by the College of Law, including such other requirements as may be imposed as a condition of admission. Students interested in transferring should contact the College of Law for information concerning application procedures.

Academic Regulations

The Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree is awarded by the College of Law faculty to candidates who meet the following requirements:

For students matriculating before the fall 2013 semester, each student must successfully complete (grade of “D-” or better for courses taken at this school, grade of ‘C’ or better for courses taken elsewhere) 89 credit hours (re­quired for graduation) in accordance with the official curriculum as adopted by the College of Law faculty. At least 58 of these credits must be completed at the University of Wyoming College of Law. For students matriculating in or after the fall 2013 semester, each student must successfully complete (grade of “D-” or better for courses taken at this school, grade of “C” or better for courses taken elsewhere) 90 credit hours (required for graduation) in accordance with the official curriculum as adopted by the College of Law faculty. Curriculum is subject to change at the College of Law Faculty’s discretion, which may cause the annually updated catalog to be out of date.  At least 59 of these credits must be completed at the University of Wyoming College of Law. Regardless of the matriculation date, students must complete at least 76 credit hours through graded (A-F) courses. Courses taken for S/U grades count toward the hours required for the J.D. degree only if the course is offered for the S/U grade only.

The course of study must be completed no earlier than 24 months (2 years) and not later than 84 months (7 years) after a student has commenced law study. No student shall be permitted to enroll at any time in coursework that, if successfully completed, would exceed 20 percent (18 hours) of the total coursework required for graduation.

Second and third year students may take up to six of 90 hours required for graduation in non-law school graduate level courses (on­line courses will not be approved) and apply them toward their law degree. Those students enrolled in a joint degree program may take up to 9 hours required for graduation in non-law school graduate level courses (online courses will not be approved) and apply them toward their law degree. Students must receive a letter grade of B or better for these non-law courses to count toward graduation requirements. Additionally, these courses will transfer in with a satisfactory grade of ‘S’ and will not impact their law school gpa.  The College of Law automatically approves up to 9 hours of joint degree core courses that meet this grade requirement to transfer in toward their law degree (see Joint Degree section).  If additional courses are needed outside of the core courses, these will be approved on a case-by-case basis.  Students in a joint degree program who use 9 non-law credit hours toward their J.D. degree may reduce their required number of graded credits from 76 to 73 so that they can participate in other S/U offerings at the College of Law. To receive law school credit for the non-law course, a student will be required to earn a grade of B or better in the non-law course. The grade will not count, however, toward the student’s law school GPA. The course will be counted as a “satisfactory” grade for purposes of the student’s law school GPA. Students who wish to enroll in a non-law course on this basis must secure the prior approval of the course professor and the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the College of Law. Approval will be based on the student’s submission of a brief written statement explaining how the proposed coursework relates to and enhances the student’s legal education. Students should be aware that non-law courses completed on this basis will not count toward the 76 hours that students must complete in graded courses as a requirement for graduation. The non-law coursework will instead be counted as credits the law students are permitted to take on an S/U basis.

To graduate, all students must earn a cu­mulative grade point average of 2.000 for all courses taken at the College of Law. If a course is repeated, both grades shall be included in computing the average. The student, must have a baccalaureate degree. Candidates who meet these requirements are eligible for graduation at the end of any semester.

port, and the College of Law application form. Applications completed after April 30will be considered in filling vacancies which occur in the entering class initially selected.

Academic Standing

The following requirements apply to any coursework at the College of Law. Courses that law students may complete outside of the College of Law do not count in calculation of the required College of Law grade point average (GPA).

In the first year, a student who fails to make a 1.800 GPA after the first semester, or fails to make a 1.900 cumulative GPA overall in the first year’s work, shall be excluded from the College of Law. A student who at any time fails to make a passing grade in two of the courses for which the student is registered for any semester shall be excluded from the College of Law.

A student who enters the second year with a GPA lower than 2.000 but at 1.900 or above, or who fails to maintain a 2.000 cumulative GPA after the first year, shall be placed on probation. A student on probation who does not attain an overall grade point average of 2.000 within one semester shall be excluded.

A student excluded from the College of Law may petition the faculty for reinstatement. The faculty may, in its discretion, reinstate the student upon receipt of satisfactory evidence of extenuating circumstances or marked improvement in grades and study habits. Reinstatement may be subject to conditions, including, but not limited to, the repeating of any or all courses, as the faculty may decide. If a student’s petition for reinstatement is denied, said students must wait 9-months before petitioning again for reinstatement. Also, all students are limited to two petitions for readmission. Students are strongly encouraged to include all information pertinent to the readmission decision in their initial petition. The entire faculty will automatically hear and consider a student’s initial petition. In the event of a second petition for readmission, a committee selected by the Dean will hear and consider the petition. The committee will present a report and recommendation to the faculty for adoption. Denial of a second petition is final.

Advanced Writing Requirement

As a condition of graduation, all students must complete an upper-level writing requirement consisting of a research paper of a minimum length of 5,000 words, exclusive of footnotes. All students must follow a designated standard citation form. Students must submit a detailed outline of the paper to the supervising professor, then must rewrite the paper at least once after the professor reviews the first draft. With the professor’s approval, the student can meet the advanced writing requirement in any law school elective course, including a seminar, as long as the above requirements are met. The supervising professor must certify that the writing requirement has been fulfilled.

All student articles written for law review, whether published or unpublished, must have a supervising faculty member and otherwise meet all other provisions of the College of Law Advanced Writing Requirement. A student may also fulfill the requirement through an independent study or by writing a case note or comment for the law review, under the supervision of a professor. It cannot be satisfied through participation in a clinic.

Experiential Learning Requirement

As a condition of graduation, each student must successfully complete no fewer than 6.0 credit hours in experiential learning courses. Experiential learning courses include a simulation course, a law clinic, or an externship field placement. Simulation courses provide substantial experience not involving legal representation of an actual client, that (1) is reasonably similar to the experience of a lawyer advising or representing a client or engaging in other lawyering tasks in a set of facts and circumstances devised or adopted by a faculty member; and (2) includes: direct supervision of the student’s performance by the faculty member; opportunities for performance, feedback from a faculty member, and self-evaluation; and a classroom instructional component (ABA Standard 303).

Students may fulfill the experiential learning requirement by successfully completing 6.0 credit hours in any of the following upper- class elective courses:

Advanced Appellate Advocacy (LAW 6520)
Advanced Legal Research (LAW 6990 )
Advanced Oil & Gas Law (LAW 6992 )
Advanced Persuasive Writing (LAW 6925 )
Alternative Dispute Resolution (LAW 6915 )
Business Planning (LAW 6560 )
Civil Pretrial Practice (LAW 6565 )
Clinic: Civil Legal Services (LAW 6930  or LAW 6931 )
Clinic: Defender Aid (LAW 6932  or LAW 6930 )
Clinic: Energy, Environ. & Natural Resources (LAW 6933  or LAW 6930 )
Clinic: Family & Child Advocacy (LAW 6930  or LAW 6934 )
Clinic: International Human Rights (LAW 6930 )
Clinic: Prosecution Assistance (LAW 6930  or LAW 6936 )
Contract Drafting (LAW 6935 )
Estate Planning (LAW 6670 )
Estate Planning Practicum (LAW 6937  or LAW 6930  or LAW 6915 )
Externships (LAW 6960 )
Interviewing, Counseling & Negotiation (LAW 6166  or LAW 6915 )
Summer Trial Institute (LAW 6850 )
Trial Practice (LAW 6850 )

Note: classes may be removed from and/or added to this list each semester.


Required Courses: First (1L) Year Students (Additional courses cannot be taken the first year without special permission from a dean).


Fall Semester


Civil Procedure I (6240) - 3

Contracts I (6110) - 3

Legal Research (6165) - 1

Legal Writing I (6160) - 3

Property I (6120) - 3

Torts I (6130) - 4


Spring Semester

Civil Procedure II (6340) - 2

Constitutional Law I (6250) - 3

Contracts II (6210) - 2

Criminal Law (6140) - 3

Legal Writing II (6260) - 2

Property II (6220) - 2


Required Courses: Second (2L) Year Students (offered once per year)

Evidence (6410) - 3

Professional Responsibility (6420) - 3


Elective Courses: Second (2L) & Third (3L) Year Students (* subject to availability)

See Law Courses section

Graduation with Honors

The degree of Juris Doctor is awarded with honors if the student achieves a grade point average of 3.400 or better on all resident credit in the College of Law.

Honor Roll

Students enrolled in a minimum of 12.0 semester hours of law courses carrying A-F grades, and who have no semester grades of incomplete (I), are eligible for the President’s Honor Roll and the Dean’s Honor Roll. Students with a semester average of 4.000 will be named to the President’s Honor Roll. First-year students with a semester average of 3.250 or better and second-year and third-year students with a semester average of 3.400 or better will be named to the Dean’s Honor Roll.

Minimum Hours

The College of Law does not permit students to attend on a part-time basis. Students are required to take the full load of required courses during their first two semesters and to carry at least 9 credit hours in each of the remaining semesters of law study. Notwithstanding, if a student has less than 9 credits remaining in their final semester of study, then said student may register for only the number of remaining credits (e.g. if a student only has 4 credits left to graduate, that student will only be required to register for 4 credits). First year students will be allowed to take less than the full load of required courses only if they present exceptional circumstances, as determined by the Dean or his/her delegate.

Transfer Credits

The College of Law admits transfer students only in the fall of their second year. A student granted transfer admission may transfer credits earned in courses taken at another ABA-accredited law school toward a degree from the UW College of Law up to the number of credits that a traditional UW student would have earned during the student’s first year at the University of Wyoming (32 credits as of the 2020-21 academic year). In addition, University of Wyoming law students who visit out for a semester or full year may also transfer credits from other ABA approved law schools, as long as 59 credits are completed at the University of Wyoming. The College of Law will also accept up to 15 hours of transfer credit from another ABA accredited school for an international student previously enrolled in an LL.M. or other post-J.D. program. To receive transfer credit from a course, a grade must be a “C” or better. Transfer credits are recorded on the JD transcript as an “S” (Satisfactory), instead of graded credits. All transfer credits must be approved by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in advance.

Joint Degree Programs

JD/MA in ENR Program

A joint Juris Doctor/Master of Arts of Environment and Natural Resources degree is available to all admitted law students upon application. Students in this joint degree program must take 18 credits outside the law school in ENR courses, and must take 12 law school credits from a menu of ENR related law courses to qualify for this joint degree. Students in the joint degree program must also complete a supervised research project. Additionally, nine (9) credits of approved MA coursework (see Academic Regulations) will be applied to the Juris Doctor degree.

Current core courses: ENR 5000, ENR 5900, ENR 5890.


JD/MBA Program

A joint Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration program is available in the College of Law and the College of Business. This program will take approximately four years to complete. Students spend three years on-campus engaged in law studies. In either their second or third year, students will be enrolled full-time in the MBA Program, taking core Fall and Spring business courses followed by participation in an MBA Summer Project. The MBA Capstone course will be completed during the student’s third year for a total of 38 MBA Program credits. Nine (9) credit hours of approved Law coursework will be transferred as elective hours to the MBA Program for a total of 47 credit hours. Additionally, nine (9) credits of approved MBA coursework (see Academic Regulations) will be applied to the Juris Doctor degree. Students successfully completing this lock-step program will earn dual Juris Doctor and Masters of Business Administration degrees.

Current core courses: MBAM 5102, MBAM 5103, MBAM 5104, MBAM, 5107, MBAM 5108, MBAM 5202, MBAM 5203, MBAM 5204, MBAM5206, MBAM 5207, MBAM 5208, MBAM 5309


JD/MPA Program

A student in the joint Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration program must be admitted to both the College of Law and College of Arts and Sciences. The degrees are awarded concurrently by each college upon successful completion of the combined degree program requirements. In fulfillment of the J.D. degree, the College of Law will accept up to nine hours of MPA credits in courses approved by the law faculty (see Academic Regulations). In fulfillment of the MPA degree, the College of Arts and Sciences will accept up to 12 hours of credits earned in specified courses in the J.D. program. For additional information regarding these joint degree programs, contact the College of Law or the joint program of interest.                                                                                                       

Current core courses: POLS 5000, POLS 5400, POLS 5410, POLS 5440, POLS 5684, POLS 5510, POLS 5690, POLS 5080, POLS 5060, POLS 5450, POLS 5460, POLS 5480

Nonprofessional Degree Students

Graduate students from other colleges of the University of Wyoming may be permitted to take one or more law courses on an S/U basis for non‑law credit when the following conditions are met: the law course taken is acceptable for their degree program and the prior written approval of the professor assigned to the course and the Associate Dean or Assistant Dean has been obtained. In order to obtain audit or visitor privileges, students must obtain prior written approval of the professor assigned to the course and the Associate Dean or Assistant Dean. For further information and requirements contact the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, College of Law, Dept. 3035, 1000 E. University Ave., Laramie, WY 82071.

Course descriptions may be obtained online at www.uwyo.edu/law.




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