Faculty Highlights: Published Works and Accolades


The University of Wyoming College of Law faculty are known for their expertise and wealth of experience in teaching. In addition to the long hours put into the classroom, our accomplished professors are continually striving to expand scholarship in their specific areas of study, and to contribute valuable academic resources for the wider legal community. Here are a handful of recent publishing accomplishments and contributions from some of our faculty.publishing-faculty

In September 2018, Associate Dean & Centennial Distinguished Professor of Law Sam Kalen published the book Energy Follies: Missteps, Fiascos, and Successes of America’s Energy Policy, in collaboration with Robert R. Nordhaus.

The book explores failed energy policies and the challenges that Congress and other federal agencies face when trying to remedy unsuccessful past decisions. It further investigates how misguided energy policy decisions caused or contributed to past energy crises, and how it took years to unwind their effects. Finally, this work recounts the decades-long struggles to change market supply and pricing policies for oil and natural gas in order to encourage competition in the electric power industry. The book was published with Cambridge University Press and is available for purchase here.

In addition to his academic and administrative roles at the College of Law, Kalen is the Co-Director of the Center for Law and Energy Resources in the Rockies at the University of Wyoming.

A second faculty member published a book in 2018 as well. Professor Darrell Jackson, who recently was granted tenure at the College of Law published Black Men in Law School, Unmatched or Mismatched with Routledge Publishing.

Grounded in Critical Race Theory (CRT), the book is the polished end result of years of qualitative research. Black Men in Law School refutes the claim that when African American law students are “mismatched” with more selective law schools, the result is lower levels of achievement and success. Presenting personal narratives and counter-stories, Jackson demonstrates the inadequacy of the mismatch theory and deconstructs the ways race is constructed within American public law schools. He further offers an alternative theory that considers marginalized student perspectives and crystallizes the nuances and impact that historically exclusionary institutions and systems have on African American law school students. This compelling book is available for purchase here.

A dedicated researcher, Professor Jackson was recently profiled for his current area of interest, the intersection of criminal law and museums. In addition to his scholastic endeavors, Jackson also serves as the Director of the Prosecution Assistance Clinic at that College of Law.

Another current publication comes from Professor Tara Righetti, who wrote a foreword in the recently released Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation manual, Joint Operating Agreement: Applicability and Enforceability of Default Provisions. This book provides a comprehensive guide to the parties’ rights and remedies in the event of default under a Joint Operating Agreement (JOA), as well as illustrates risk management tools related to the possibility of default while contracting. It guides the reader seamlessly through a comprehensive and pragmatic review of the default provisions in a JOA and their operation across a multitude of realistic circumstances in both common law and civil law jurisdictions. An acknowledged authority in energy law and policy, Righetti contributes a succinct explanation of content and credibility to the book.

Professor Righetti is an Associate Professor of Law and serves as the Director of the Professional Land Management Program in the School of Energy Resources. She was recently named a trustee-at-large with the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. The book with Professor Righetti’s foreword is available for purchase here.

Meanwhile, Professor Michael Smith’s established writings are being cited to improve the area of the law in practice. In an opinion written by Justice Fox, the Wyoming Supreme Court recently quoted Professor Smith in resolving an issue on the nature and function of a factor test under Wyoming law. (See the Opinion here). More specifically, the Opinion referenced a passage in Smith’s 2002 book, Advanced Legal Writing: Theories and Strategies in Persuasive Writing. Recognized as a leading expert in the area of persuasive legal writing, Professor Smith’s work has been lauded as groundbreaking.

Smith is the Carl M. Williams Professor of Law and Ethics, the Director of Legal Writing at the College of Law, and the Director of the Center for the Study of Written Advocacy. For more information on Professor Smith’s leading publication, visit here.

Finally, Professor Jason Robison has been hard at work in the area of Environment and Natural Resources. In addition to his recent projects (See more here), Robison has another accolade to add to the list. His article, The Colorado River Revisited was selected as a finalist in Thomson Reuters’ Land Use & Environmental Law Review. The annual volume is a compilation of peer-selected articles that have been published in other journals and law reviews. Articles ultimately selected for inclusion are vetted through a two-stage peer review process. This year, 50 legal scholars selected 20 articles as finalists from a pool of over a 100 applicants, of which Robison’s article was included. From there, the panel selects 5 for the reprint issue. The prestigious reprint anthology is well-known and recognized by environmental law academics as one of the best.

Though ultimately not selected, consideration of Robison’s article for publication is an accomplishment in itself. Recognition as a finalist is a tremendous acknowledgement to his expertise, skill, and the respect that his work has garnered in the field.

Robison is an Associate Professor of Law and teaches courses in Water Law & Policy, American Indian Law, and Federal Courts, as well as serves on UW President Laurie Nichols’ Advisory Committee on Native American Affairs.

The College of Law is extremely grateful to all of the hard work that our faculty put into the law school, both in their pragmatic teaching and doctrinal research. We are excited to see the continued works of expertise being produced by our team of hardworking professionals!


Contact Us

College of Law

1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3035

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-6416

Fax: 307-766-6417

Email: lawadmis@uwyo.edu

Find us on Instagram (Link opens a new window)Find us on Facebook (Link opens a new window)Find us on Twitter (Link opens a new window)Find us on LinkedIn (Link opens a new window)Find us on YouTube (Link opens a new window)