James Gordon
Marion B. and Rulon A. Earl Professor of Law,
Assistant to the President for Planning and Assessment

James D. Gordon III is Marion B. and Rulon A. Earl Professor of Law and Assistant to the President for Planning and Assessment at Brigham Young University. He has served as Interim Dean and as Associate Dean for Faculty and Curriculum at the law school, and as Associate Academic Vice President for Faculty at BYU.

Students enjoy Professor Gordon’s fresh and creative teaching style. He infuses wit and wisdom into the classroom as well as into his writing. His book Law School: A Survivor’s Guide (HarperPerennial 1994) and essay How Not to Succeed in Law School, 100 Yale L.J. 1679 (1991), provide humorous insights into surviving law school. Professor Gordon has received a BYU Student Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Teaching, and has been named as a Professor of the Year at the law school several times. He has also received an Abraham O. Smoot Citizenship Award from the university.

Before joining the BYU faculty, Professor Gordon was an associate at the Salt Lake City law firm of Rooker, Larsen, Kimball & Parr. He served as a law clerk to Judge Monroe G. McKay of the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

About the Marion B. and Rulon A. Earl Professorship

The Marion B. and Rulon A. Earl Professorship honors the contributions and accomplishments of two brothers – lawyers, partners, and religious and civic leaders. Marion and Rulon represented the qualities of hard work, professional integrity, cooperation, and service that the Law School seeks to instill in its students. 

After starting the Las Vegas firm of Earl & Earl in 1946, Marion and Rulon went on to earn the respect of the legal community through more than four decades of service.

Marion worked hard for the people and the ideals that he cherished. He exemplified the adage that “you make a living by what you get; but you make a life by what you give.”

Rulon also led a life of service. He met life’s hurdles with a lesson he learned at a track meet during his youth: “All of us, young and old, rich or poor, will always have problems to solve, obstacles to overcome and hurdles, both low and high, to surmount. It helps to realize this fact early in life to learn that you don’t win many prizes or blue ribbons running around life’s hurdles.”

Contact: C-327 ASB, BYU Law School, Provo, UT 84602 • (801) 422-4919 • jim_gordon@byu.edu
Curriculum Vitae: View James Gordon's Curriculum Vitae here.
  • JD from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley. Class of 1980.
    Associate Editor, California Law Review
  • BA from Brigham Young University. Class of 1977.
    Summa Cum Laude, High Honors with Distinction, Edwin S. Hinckley Scholar
Research Interests:
  • Contracts
  • Securities Regulation
  • Law and Religion
  • Legal Education
Classes Taught: Professional Seminar, Professional Responsibility, Contracts, Securities Regulation, Business Associations