Professor RonNell Andersen Jones is a University Distinguished Professor and the Lee E. Teitelbaum Chair in Law at the University of Utah. She is an Affiliated Fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project.
A former newspaper reporter and editor, Andersen Jones is a First Amendment scholar who researches and writes on legal issues affecting the press and on the intersection between media and the courts, with an emphasis on the U.S. Supreme Court. Her work is particularly concerned with the role of the press in American democracy and the underdeveloped doctrines for identifying and safeguarding constitutionally protectable press functions in a changing media and political landscape. Her scholarly work has appeared in dozens of books and journals, including Northwestern Law Review,Michigan Law Review, UCLA Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, and the Harvard Law Review Forum.
Andersen Jones has been widely recognized for her classroom innovations and personal mentoring. In 2021, her First Amendment seminar was the subject of a feature in The New Yorker. In 2022, she received the Peter W. Billings Excellence in Teaching Award. Before joining the faculty at the University of Utah, she was Professor of Law and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Research at Brigham Young University, where she was twice named Professor of the Year and received the alumni teaching award. Before that, she was a Distinguished Faculty Fellow at the University of Arizona, where she team-taught an annual course about the U.S. Supreme Court with Justice O’Connor. Prior to entering academia, she was an attorney in the Issues & Appeals section of Jones Day, where her work focused on Supreme Court litigation and included major constitutional cases.
For the 2023-2024 academic year, she is a Senior Visiting Research Scholar at the Knight First Amendment Institute. Her research project, in collaboration with Sonja West, will explore how law and policy can better protect journalism and core press functions. They will engage scholars and practitioners in law, media studies, technology, history, and political science in a series of workshops and blog posts, leading up to a symposium in the spring of 2024 at Columbia University.