Professor Ruthann Robson Named a “Best Law Teacher” in the Nation

A new book names City University of New York School of Law Distinguished Professor Ruthann Robson one of only 26 “best law teachers” in the United States. The book, What the Best Law Teachers Do (Harvard University Press, 2013), is the culmination of a four-year study that sought to identify extraordinary law teachers. The study details the attributes and practices of professors who have a significant, positive, and long-term effect on their students.

What the Best Law Teachers Do coverRobson has taught at CUNY School of Law since 1990 in the areas of constitutional law, sexuality and law, feminist legal theory, criminal procedure, and family law. In 2007, she was named University Distinguished Professor by the CUNY Board of Trustees. She is an expert on constitutional law and sexuality issues and is the co-editor of the Constitutional Law Professors Blog. Her latest book, Dressing Constitutionally: Hierarchy, Sexuality, and Democracy from Our Hairstyles to Our Shoes, was published in August 2013 by Cambridge University Press.

“We are so pleased that Professor Robson was featured as one of the best law teachers in the nation,” said CUNY School of Law Dean Michelle J. Anderson. “She is extraordinarily committed to her students and to their success. This recognition is well deserved.”

What the Best Law Teachers Do is authored by Professor Gerry Hess of Gonzaga University School of Law, Professor Sophie Sparrow of the University of New Hampshire School of Law, and Michael Hunter Schwartz, dean and professor of law at the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law. “The book describes how 26 amazingly dedicated and dazzlingly effective law teachers do their work,” said Schwartz.

According to Hess, “All of the teachers we studied are regarded as being among the most rigorous professors at their law schools who have high expectations of every student, yet they also are known for their kindness to their students. They foster self-confidence in their students and inspire in them a belief that they are capable of great things.  They get to know their students as people and manifest caring and respect for their students. These teachers model hard work, creativity, and humility.”


Founded in 1983, CUNY School of Law is the premier public interest law school in the country. The school trains lawyers to serve the underprivileged and disempowered and to make a difference in their communities. A greater percentage of graduates from CUNY Law choose careers in public interest and public service than any other law school in the nation. PreLaw magazine ranks CUNY Law as the #1 law school in the nation for public interest, and National Jurist ranks the Law School second in the nation for diversity. U.S. News & World Report ranks CUNY fourth in the nation for “Best Clinical Programs,” and in the top ten for diversity. The Princeton Review also ranks CUNY Law in the top ten in the nation for “Best Law Professors.” The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has praised CUNY Law School for being one of the few law schools in the country to prepare students for practice through integrated instruction in theory, skills, and ethics.