Tue Mar 31 2015   

Faculty Profile

Barbara Atwood

Mary Anne Richey Professor Emerita of Law; Director, Family and Juvenile Certificate Program


E-mail:  Barbara Atwood
Office Number: 265
Office Phone: (520) 621-1912

Courses Taught:
Representing Children Workshop I co-teaches with Paul Bennett - Law 697j
Representing Children Workshop II (Substantial Paper Seminar) - Law 696N
Family Law - Law 612
Civil Procedure Practice - Law 603C
Introduction to Civil Procedure - Law 601B
Introduction to Legal & Civil Procedure - Law 601a
Child Welfare, Family Law, and the American Indian Child (in Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Montana) More info - Law 573A
Introduction Legal and Civil Procedure - Law 601b

Curriculum Vitae
SSRN Published Papers

Biographical Information

Professor Atwood is the Mary Anne Richey Professor of Law Emerita and Director of the Family and Juvenile Law Certificate Program at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. After graduating from the University of Arizona College of Law in 1976, she clerked for the late Mary Anne Richey, United States District Judge for the District of Arizona, and then worked as a Trial Attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. She taught at the University of Houston Law Center from 1981 to 1986 and returned to Arizona to join the University of Arizona law faculty in 1986. Professor Atwood's scholarship explores topics at the intersection of civil procedure and family law, with a particular focus on issues of voice and representation for marginalized groups. She has spoken at national and international conferences on child representation, child's voice, the Indian Child Welfare Act, and private ordering in family law. Her books include CHILDREN, TRIBES, AND STATES:  ADOPTION AND CUSTODY CONFLICTS OVER AMERICAN INDIAN CHILDREN (2010) and A COURTROOM OF HER OWN:  THE LIFE AND WORK OF JUDGE MARY ANNE RICHEY (1998). Professor Atwood was appointed to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 2006 by then-Governor Janet Napolitano and continues to serve as a Uniform Law Commissioner. She is currently the chair of the Family Law Arbitration Act Drafting Committee for the Uniform Law Commission. Professor Atwood is a Board member of the Arizona Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and served as president of that group in 2012. In 2013 she was appointed Judge Pro-Tem of the Tohono O'odham Nation.


University of Arizona, J.D. (1976) Graduation with Highest Distinction, Order of the Coif
Mary Baldwin College, B.A. (1969) Graduation with Honors

Admitted to Practice


Professional Work Experience

Mary Anne Richey Professor of Law Emerita, James E. Rogers College of Law, 2011 - present
Mary Anne Richey Professor of Law, James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona, 1998 - 2010
Professor of Law, University of Arizona College of Law, 1986 - 1998
Associate Dean, University of Arizona College of Law, 1989 - 1991
Acting Associate Dean, University of Arizona College of Law, 1988 - 1989
Assistant Professor of Law, University of Houston Law Center, 1981 - 1986
Visiting Associate Professor, University of Arizona College of Law, 1980 - 1981
Trial Attorney, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., 1978 - 1979
Law Clerk, Hon. Mary Anne Richey, U.S. District court, Tucson, Arizona, 1976 - 1978

Representative Publications

Hard Facts, Muddled Law:  Deciphering the Baby Veronica Decision, 93 B.U. L. Rev. Annex 3 (2013).
A New Uniform Law for Premarital and Marital Agreements, 46 Fam. L.Q. 313 (2012) (co-author, with Brian H. Bix).
Marital Contracts and the Meaning of Marriage, 54 Ariz. L. Rev. 11 (2012).
Representing Children Who Can't or Won't Direct Counsel: Best Interests Lawyering or No Lawyer at All?, 53 Ariz. L. Rev. 381 (2011).
Children, Tribes, and States: Adoption and Custody Conflicts Over American Indian Children (2010).
Achieving Permanency for American Indian and Alaska Native Children: Lessons from Tribal Traditions, 37 Capital U. L. Rev. 239 (2008).
The Voice of the Indian Child: Strengthening the Indian Child Welfare Act Through Children's Participation, 50 Ariz. L. Rev. 127 (2008).
Complete List of Publications


Fellow, American Bar Foundation 2003 - present
International Society of Family Law 2001 - present
Association of American Law Schools, Family and Juvenile Law Section
Vice-Chair (1987), Chair (1988), Executive Committee (1989 - 1990)
Arizona State Bar 1976 - present

Public Service

President, Arizona Association of Family and Conciliation Courts 2012
Member, Board of Directors, Arizona Family and Conciliation Courts 2009 - 2012
Arizona Supreme Court Admission on Motion Task Force 2009
Member, Academic Advisory Committee to ABA Standing Committee on Federal Judicial Improvements 2007 - 2009
Commissioner, National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws 2006 - present
Reporter, Uniform Representation of Children in Abuse, Neglect, and Custody Proceedings Act, National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws 2004 - 2007
Member, Arizona Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission 2001 - 2007; Vice-Chair, 2005; Chair, 2006
Member, United States Magistrate Judge Selection Committee for the District of Arizona 1997

Institutional Service

Member, University of Arizona General Counsel Search Committee 2009
Chair, College of Law Ad Hoc Named Professionships Committee 2008
Chair, College of Law Faculty Status Committee 2008 - 2009, 2003 - 2004, 2000 - 2001
Member, College of Law Faculty Personnel Committee 2005 - 2007
Co-organizer, Commemoration of 50th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education 2003 - 2004
University of Arizona Promotion and Tenure Committee 1998 - 2000
Chair, College of Law Clinical Professor Search Committee 1998
University of Arizona Provost Search Committee 1992


University of Arizona Alumni Association Extraordinary Faculty Award  2011
John Strong Teaching Award and SBA Teacher Of the Year  2011
Leslie F. and Patricia Bell Faculty Service Award  2010
Arizona Women Lawyers Association Alice Truman Award  2009
Sarah Sorin Award, Arizona Women Lawyers Association  2004
Graduate College Graduate and Professional Education Teaching and Mentoring Award  2004
Leslie F. and Patricia Bell Faculty Award  2001
Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of Arizona College of Law  1998
YWCA Women on the Move Award  1998
Soroptimists Women Helping Women Award  1998
Study Grant, Arizona Humanities Council  1992 - 1993
Sarah Weddington Award, Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona  1989


Last Updated: 09/12/2013