Colorado Law Buildings Through the Years

Kent Hall, original location of the law school, 1892–94.
Hale Science Building, 1894–1909.
Guggenheim Law Building, 1909–59.
Fleming Law Building, located on the opposite end of campus from the previous three buildings, housed the law school from 1959 to 2006. In 1974, the West Classroom Office Tower and Rothgerber Memorial Library were added.
Wolf Law Building, 2006 to present. With state-of-the-art classrooms, two cutting-edge courtrooms, and a modern library, the Wolf Law Building is one of the most technologically advanced law schools in the nation. It received a gold rating for environmental sustainability under the United States Green Building Council’s LEED certification rating system.

The University of Colorado Law School was established in 1892. The first woman graduated with the first graduating class in 1894. The first students of color entered in 1897. The law school became a charter member of the Association of American Law Schools, organized in 1901.  And, the school has been on the American Bar Association's list of approved law schools since its first publication in 1923.

Colorado Law School Deans

1892-1902.  Moses Hallett, LLD, 1893, University of Colorado.  Member, Territorial Council, 1863-65; Chief Justice, Supreme Court of the Territory of Colorado, 1866-76; first U.S. District Judge for the District of Colorado, 1877-1906.

1902-1907.  John Campbell, AB, 1877; LLB, 1879, State University of Iowa.  Private practice, 1880-89, City Attorney, Colorado Springs, 1880-83 and El Paso County Attorney, 1884-85; Member of the House (1885) and Senate (1887) of the Colorado General Assembly; Colorado District Judge, 1889-95; Justice Colorado Supreme Court, 1895-1913 and 1922-38.

1907-1927.  John D. Fleming, BA, 1875; LLD, 1910, Centre College, Kentucky; LL.B., 1879, University of Louisville.  Financial manager, Robert E. Lee Mining Company, 1880-82; Mayor, 1882-83 and City Solicitor, 1885-86, Leadville, Colorado.  U.S. Attorney for Colorado, 1889-93.  Private practice, Denver, Colorado, 1893.  Lecturer, Secretary and Acting Dean of the Law School, 1903-07.  Appointed the first Charles Inglis Thomson Professor of Law in 1915.

1928-1931, 1933-35.  James Grafton Rogers, AB,1905; MA (Hon.), 1931, Yale University; LL.B., 1908; LL.D., 1930, University of Denver.  Professor, 1910-27, and Dean, 1927-28, University of Denver College of Law.  Assistant United States Secretary of State, 1931-1933.  Appointed Master of Timothy Dwight College of Yale University in 1935.

1935-1939.  Robert L. Stearns, AB, 1914, University of Colorado, LLB, 1916, Columbia University.  Private practice, Denver, Colorado, 1920-31.  Faculty member (Professor from 1924), 1920-31, University of Denver College of Law; Acting Dean, University of Colorado Law School, 1931-1933.  President of the University of Colorado, 1939-53.

1940-1962.  Edward C. King, A.B., 1919; LLB, 1922; LLM, 1952, University of Denver.  Private practice, Denver , Colorado, 1922-29.  Trust officer, 1929-38, Executive Vice-President, 1939-40, International Trust Company.  Instructor, University of Denver College of Law, 1937-40.  After retiring as the Law School’s longest serving Dean, continued to serve as Professor, 1963-64.  President, Colorado Bar Association, 1963-64.

1964-1968.  John W. Reed, AB, William Jewell College, 1939; LLB, Cornell University, 1942.  Private practice, Kansas City, Missouri, 1946-49.  Associate Professor, 1949-53; Professor, 1953-64, 1968-85, and Thomas M. Cooley Professor of Law, University of Michigan, 1985-87.  Dean and Professor of Law, Wayne State University School of Law, 1987-1992.

1968-1973.  Don W. Sears, BS, 1946; JD 1948, Ohio State University.  Private practice, Toledo, Ohio, 1949-50.  Assistant Professor, 1950-52, Associate Professor, 1952-55, Professor 1955-88, University of Colorado Law School .  Professor Emeritus since 1988.

1974-1979.  Courtland H. Peterson, B.A., 1951; LL.B., 1953, University of Colorado.; M.C.L., 1959, University of Chicago; Dr.Jur., 1963, University of Freiburg.  Private practice, Denver, Colorado, 1953-54.  Assistant Professor, 1959-61, Associate Professor, 1961-63, Professor 1963-91, Rosenbaum Professor, 1991-94, and Doman Professor of International Law, 1994-96, University of Colorado Law School.  Doman Professor Emeritus since 1996.

1979-1981.  Thomas G. Brown, B.S., 1956; JD, 1965, University of Colorado.  Private practice, Denver, 1964-79 and since 1981. Dean and Professor of Law, University of Colorado Law School, 1979-81.

1981-1987.  Betsy Levin, AB, 1956, Bryn Mawr College; LLB, 1966; LLD, 1992, Yale University.  Director of Education Studies, The Urban Institute, Washington, D.C., 1968-73; Associate Professor, 1973-76, Professor, 1976-79, Duke University School of Law; General Counsel, U.S. Department of Education, 1980-81.  Executive Director, Association of American Law Schools, 1987-92; Visiting Professor, Nova Southeastern University, since 2001.

1988-1995.  Gene R. Nichol, Jr., BA, 1973, Oklahoma State University; JD, 1976, University of Texas.  Assistant Professor, 1978-81, Associate Professor, 1981-83, University of West Virginia.  Visiting Associate Professor, 1983-84, College of William and Mary; Professor, 1984-85, University of Florida; Cutler Professor of Law, 1985-88, College of William and Mary School of Law; Dean and Professor of Law, University of North Carolina, 1999-2005.  President, College of William & Mary since 2005.

1996-2003.  Harold  H. Bruff, BA, 1965, Williams College; JD, 1968, Harvard.  Assistant Professor, 1971-72, Associate Professor, 1973-76, Professor, 1977-79, Arizona State University.  Senior Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel, 1979-81; Reddit Professor of Law, 1983-92, University of Texas; Rothschild Research Professor, 1992-96, George Washington University; Charles Inglis Thomson Professor of Law, University of Colorado, 1996-2011; Rosenbaum Chair since 2011.

2003-2011.  David H. Getches, AB, 1964, Occidental College; JD, 1967, University of Southern California.  Private practice, San Diego, California, 1968-70.  Founding Executive Director, Native American Rights Fund, 1970-77; Private practice, Boulder, Colorado, 1978-79. Visiting Associate Professor, 1978-79, Associate Professor, 1979-87, Professor, 1987, Raphael J. Moses Professor of Natural Resources Law since 1994. Executive Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources, 1983-87.

2011-2016.  Philip J. Weiser, BA, 1990, Swarthmore College; JD, 1994, New York University School of Law. Thomson Professor of Law, and Executive Director and Founder of the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado. Associate Professor, 1999-2006, Professor, 2006-present, University of Colorado Law School; Visiting Professor, 2006, University of Pennsylvania School of Law; Visiting Professor, 2008, New York University School of Law; 2009-2010, Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the United States Department of Justice, Antitrust Division; 2010-2011, Senior Advisor for Technology and Innovation to the National Economic Council Director at the White House.

2016-2021.  S. James Anaya, 1980, University of New Mexico; JD, 1983, Harvard Law. Regents’ Professor and James J. Lenoir Professor of Human Rights Law and Policy, University of Arizona, Rogers College of Law 1999-2016. Professor  of  Law,  University  of  Iowa  College  of  Law, 1988-1999. United Nations Special  Rapporteur  on  the rights  of  indigenous  peoples–Appointed  by  the  UN Human  Rights  Council  (the  47-member  inter-governmental  body), 2008-2014. Duties included monitoring conditions of indigenous peoples worldwide; investigating allegations of human rights violations against   them,   including   through   country   visits;   and   making   appropriate recommendations to the Council, governments, and others. For his work, Anaya was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

2021-present. Lolita Buckner Inniss, AB, 1996, Princeton University; JD, 2000, University of California, Los Angeles School of Law; LLM, 2006, Osgoode Hall Law School of York University; PhD, 2011, York University. University Distinguished Professor, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor of Law, and Robert G. Storey Distinguished Faculty Fellow, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, 2017-2021. Professor of Law, Cleveland State University, 1998-2017. Elihu Root Visiting Professor of Women’s Studies, Hamilton College, 2012-2014. Visiting Associate Professor, Pace Law, 2009. Adjunct Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 2006-2007. Martin Luther King Jr./Cesar Chavez/Rosa Parks Visiting Associate Professor, Wayne State University Law School, 1997-1998. Visiting Associate Professor, Widener University Law School, 1995-1997. Immigration Clinic Director and Clinical Associate Professor, Adjunct Professor, Seton Hall University Law School, 1993-1995.