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Rod Smolla

Dean and Professor of Law

B.A., Yale University 

J.D., Duke University


Email: [email protected]

Phone: 302.477.2278


Dean Rod Smolla came to Delaware Law School after serving as a visiting professor of law at the University of Georgia School of Law. He has previously served as the dean of University of Richmond School of Law and Washington and Lee University School of Law, and as president of Furman University in Greenville, S.C.

A native of the Chicago area, Smolla graduated first in his class from Duke University School of Law and earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University.  He has authored and edited many books for general audiences, legal treatises, law school casebooks, law review articles, and pieces for newspapers and magazines. The FX television network turned his book Deliberate Intent: A Lawyer Tells the True Story of Murder by the Book into a movie with Timothy Hutton in the role of Smolla.

His book Free Speech in an Open Society won the William O. Douglas Prize, which recognizes distinguished contributions to freedom of speech.

An active litigator, Dean Smolla has presented oral arguments in state and federal courts throughout the nation, including the U.S. Supreme Court.  His many service activities include eight years as a Director of the Media General Corporation, service on the Executive Committee of the Board of the American Arbitration Association, and an appointment as a Commissioner on the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education.  He has taught a wide variety of courses in the law school curriculum, and has been the recipient of many teaching awards.


Constitutional Law