James Rasband
Dean; Hugh W. Colton Professor of Law

Dean Rasband joined the Law School faculty in 1995. Prior to entering academia, he served as a law clerk to Judge J. Clifford Wallace of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and practiced law at Perkins Coie in Seattle, Washington, where his practice focused on Indian treaty litigation.  Immediately prior to his appointment as dean, he was serving in university administration as the Associate Academic Vice President for Faculty.

Dean Rasband’s research and teaching has centered on public land and natural resources law and policy. He has published many articles and book chapters on these subjects and is coauthor, along with James Salzman at Duke University and Mark Squillace at the University of Colorado, of Natural Resources Law and Policy, an important casebook in the field.  He has taught courses in water law, wildlife law, public lands and natural resources law, torts, and international environmental law. He has also taught as a visiting professor at Murdoch University School of Law in Perth, Australia, and as a visiting fellow at T. C. Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. 

About the Hugh W. Colton Professorship

“The writer Bellamy Partridge concluded some years ago that ‘the country lawyer, as he existed between the days of Abraham Lincoln and Calvin Coolidge, is no more.’ But in the life of Hugh W. Colton, we find embodied the same independence, versatility, and boundless sense of public service that have long characterized that noble strand in the heritage of the legal profession: the country lawyer. This endowment will help keep that valuable heritage alive in the minds of our law students, for the long-range benefit of both city and country,” stated Bruce C. Hafen, former Dean of the J. Reuben Clark Law School.

Hugh Colton attended law school at George Washington University. Except for the time he was in the military, he was actively engaged in the practice of law, including natural resources, livestock and public lands, water law, commercial law, litigation, and other aspects of private practice throughout Utah and Colorado.

Contact: 348A JRCB, BYU Law School, Provo, UT 84602 • (801) 422-6383 • rasbandj@law.byu.edu
SSRN: Author Page
  • JD from Harvard Law School. Class of 1989.
    Cum Laude; Editor, Harvard Law Review
  • BA from Brigham Young University. Class of 1986.
    Magna Cum Laude
Research Interests:
  • Public Land Law and Policy
  • Public Trust Doctrine
  • Endangered Species Act
  • Antiquities Act
Classes Taught: International Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law, Torts, Water Law, Wildlife Law