University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law Professor Robert Keiter was selected by the University of Wyoming College of Law to receive the institution’s “2019 Thurman Arnold Distinguished Supporter of the Law School Award.”
The award is given by the University of Wyoming to a recipient who has provided extraordinary service to the law school and the justice system in Wyoming. Keiter was honored in Laramie on April 5, 2019.
Keiter, director of the Wallace Stegner Center of Land, Resources and the Environment at the S.J. Quinney College of Law, is a leading expert on public land and natural resources law. He has published several books, including most recently: To Conserve Unimpaired: The Evolution of the National Park Idea and The Wyoming State Constitution. He has also written numerous book chapters and journal articles on public lands and natural resource law, addressing such topics as national parks, ecosystem management, wildfire policy, and biodiversity conservation. He serves as a trustee of the National Parks Conservation Association and the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, for which he served as president from 2013-2014.
At the S.J. Quinney College of Law, Keiter teaches natural resources law and constitutional Law. In 2008, he was named a University Distinguished Professor by the University of Utah. He is currently completing a project related to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Keiter said receiving the award from the University of Wyoming in April was particularly meaningful because of its namesake, Thurman Arnold.
Arnold was born and raised in Laramie, Wyoming. He returned there after serving in World War I and then finished law school at Harvard. Arnold served as mayor of Laramie and lectured at the University of Wyoming Law School, before moving east where he served in FDR’s Department of Justice and on the federal DC Circuit Court of Appeals, before founding the Arnold and Porter law firm, which continues to be a powerhouse DC law firm to this day, said Keiter.
Recognition from the University of Wyoming also provided Keiter with a homecoming of sorts.
He began teaching at the University of Wyoming in 1978 and stayed until 1993, when he left to join the S.J. Quinney College of Law. In Wyoming, he taught constitutional law, natural resources law, federal courts, administrative law and lawyering skills. He also supervised the Wyoming Legal Services clinic from 1978-1983.
And he was a faculty coach for 10 years of the law school’s student team in the ABA Client Counseling Competition, which won the regional competition five years and the national championship twice. He was appointed the first Winston Howard Distinguished Professor in 1991, served as interim dean in spring 1990, and received the Outstanding Teaching Award from the UW CoL in 1989.
Keiter is also featured in the most recent issue of the University of Wyoming magazine, Western Confluence: Natural Resource Science and Management in the West, which is a publication of the William D. Ruckelshaus Institute.