Robert J. Reinstein

Professor Emeritus

Robert J. Reinstein has served Temple Law School with his global vision, thoughtful leadership and constant dedication for nearly 40 years, fulfilling administrative, managerial, and academic roles as Vice President of the University, Dean of Temple Law School, and Professor of Law.

Professor Reinstein earned broad respect as Dean of the Law School from 1989 to 2008, spearheading many academic advancements and improvements to the school’s operations and facilities. Under his leadership, fundraising efforts increased the law school’s endowment from $4 million to over $57 million. During his tenure, the law school received over $100 million in total gifts and grants to date (cash receipts excluding pledges).

In addition, Reinstein increased the law school’s full-time faculty by twenty percent, adding thirteen new faculty chairs and professorships. More than seventy new endowed scholarship funds were established as well as a new public interest fellowship program. Also, in his former role as Vice President of Temple University, Reinstein expanded the University’s international programs, which now educate approximately 3,000 students on its campuses in Rome and Japan. Temple University Japan is the first foreign university to be accredited by the Japanese Ministry of Education and has undergraduate and graduate degree-granting programs in liberal arts, business, education and law. Temple Rome provides semester-abroad and summer programs in art, art history, liberal arts, business and law to about 600 U.S. students each year.

As Dean, Professor Reinstein directed the expansion and modernization of the law school’s facilities by creating a “smart” conference center, additional classrooms and administrative offices, and completing renovations of the law school building, including the Law Library. The law school was computerized through fifteen smart classrooms, an online library and service supports, and computers and Internet access for all faculty, administrators and staff.

During Reinstein’s tenure as Dean, the number and quality of student applications grew, with the incoming class average for LSAT scores rising to the 85th percentile. Temple Law gained nationwide recognition for its practical and academic training, and the school remains home to a trial team that won three national championships and consistently ranks in the top three of U.S. News and World Report. Reinstein’s many academic endeavors included the Integrated Trial Advocacy Program, the Master’s in Trial Advocacy, the Integrated Transactional Representation Program, the law school’s international law study programs in Japan, the Master’s in Transnational Law in Tokyo, Rome, Athens, and Tel Aviv, and the Master’s of Law Program for Chinese students in Beijing, which is China’s first and only foreign law degree-granting program. Dedicated to teaching both legal theory and preparing students for the “real world” practice of law, Temple Law School consistently reports job placement rates in excess of ninety percent.

Prior to his appointment as Vice President and Dean in 1989, Reinstein gained extensive experience in the legal profession. In 1968, he worked as a law clerk in the office of the Honorable Frank A. Kaufman and the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. In 1970, he joined the NAACP, where he served as a consulting attorney and participated in a number of successful class-action civil rights cases for seven years. From 1977 to 1978, he worked with the U.S. Department of Justice as a Senior Attorney in the Appellate Section of the Civil Rights Division and later, from 1979 to 1980, as the Chief of the General Litigation Section.

In addition to his legal practice, Reinstein served as a visiting professor of law from 1973 to 1997 at institutions including Georgetown University Law Center, University of Tel Aviv, and Temple University Japan. He has been a member of the Temple University faculty since 1969. In addition to his professorship, he served as University Counsel for Temple University from 1982 to 1989, advising the President, Board of Trustees, and other University officials on legal matters. He currently serves as Professor of Law.  He has also served pro bono as the Vice President of the Juvenile Law Center.

Reinstein has earned many awards for his work: He received the 2008 Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award from the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. In 2002, he was the recipient of the National Friendship Award, presented by the Prime Minister of China for the establishment of the Masters of Law Program for Chinese students; in addition, an endowed scholarship was created in his name in 1999 to commemorate his first ten years as Dean at Temple Law; and in 1996 he was awarded the National Urban League Whitney Young Award. He also received the American ORT Community Achievement Award in 1994 and an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Elizabethtown College.

Reinstein is the author of numerous articles on constitutional law, and two of his articles were recently cited by the United States Supreme Court.

Reinstein earned his Bachelor of Science degree with distinction from Cornell University (B.S., 1965) and his law degree cum laude from Harvard University School of Law (J.D., 1968). He is a member of the Maryland and Pennsylvania Bar Associations.


J.D. (cum laude), Harvard Law School
B.S., Cornell University

Research & Teaching Areas

Areas of Expertise

Selected Publications

Publications and Media Appearances

Awards and Recognition

  • Temple Law Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award (2018)
  • Global Temple Award (2010) awarded for his efforts in establishing Temple University’s reputation as a global university
  • National Friendship Award (2002)
  • Pennsylvania Preservation Society Award (2003) awarded for Barrack Hall
  • Philadelphia Preservation Society Award (2002) awarded for Barrack Hall
All Awards and Recognition