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Amelia Smith Rinehart

William J. Maier, Jr. Dean 
Professor of Law


  • B.S., Tulane University
  • M.S., Tulane University
  • J.D., University of Chicago Law School


Amelia Smith Rinehart is the 18th Dean of the West Virginia University College of Law. She was previously the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and a Professor of Law at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, whose faculty she joined in 2010 following two years as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at Florida State University. 

Prior to entering the legal academy, Dean Rinehart practiced law for several years at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe L.L.P. in New York, and Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrère & Denègre L.L.P. in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she specialized in intellectual property litigation, procurement, and counseling. She is a registered patent attorney and her scholarship focuses on patent law and theory.

Dean Rinehart received her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 2002. She received a Master of Science in biomedical engineering from Tulane University in 1997, and a Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering, summa cum laude, with Departmental Honors from Tulane University in 1996. Prior to attending law school, Dean Rinehart worked as an engineer at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Dean Rinehart teaches Contracts, Patent Law, Intellectual Property Survey, and Leadership and the Law. She lives in Morgantown with her two children and enjoys  reading, live music, and outdoor trails.

Publications, Research, and Intellectual Contributions

  • #Squadgoals: A Response To Seth Waxman, 17 CHICAGO-KENT JOURNAL OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY 490 (2018)
  • E. Bement & Sons v. National Harrow Co.: The First Skirmish Between Patent Law And The Sherman Act, 68 SYRACUSE LAW REVIEW 81 (2018).
  • Holmes on Patents, 98 JOURNAL OF THE PATENT & TRADEMARK OFFICE SOCIETY 898 (2016).
  • Myriad Lessons Learned, 5 U. C. IRVINE LAW REVIEW 1147 (2015).
  • The Federal Question in Patent-License Cases, 90 INDIANA LAW JOURNAL 659 (2015).
  • Patent Cases and Public Controversies, 89 NOTRE DAME LAW REVIEW 361 (2013).
  • Patents as Escalators, 14 VANDERBILT JOURNAL OF ENTERTAINMENT & TECHNOLOGY LAW 81 (2011), reprinted in LAW AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP (Robert Litan & Anthony Luppino ed., Elgar 2013).
  • Contracting Patents: A Modern Patent Exhaustion Doctrine, 23 HARVARD JOURNAL OF LAW & TECHNOLOGY 463 (2010), reprinted in INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW REVIEW (Karen B. Tripp ed., West 2011) .

Teaching Experience

S. J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah

  • Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, 2019–present
  • Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development, 2016–2019
  • Professor of Law (with tenure), 2015–Present
  • Associate Professor of Law, 2010–2015

Florida State University College of Law

  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, 2008–2010

Legal Experience

  • Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrère & Denègre, L.L.P. Associate (Baton Rouge, New Orleans), 2005–2009.
  • Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, L.L.P. Associate, Summer Associate (New York), 2001–2005.
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology Summer Law Clerk, 2000.
  • Lockheed Martin Space Systems at Johnson Space Center Experimental Engineer, 1999.
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