Robert Levy

  • Professor of Law Emeritus
  • Kenyon College, B.A.
  • University of Pennsylvania, J.D.

Office: 433
Mondale Hall, 229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Emeritus Professor Robert J. Levy is an internationally known scholar in the areas of family law and of children and the law. He teaches family law, divorce negotiation, criminal law, and a criminal law sentencing workshop for visiting judges and students funded by the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation. In 1989, he became the first Dorsey & Whitney Professor of Law. He also was the Julius E. Davis Professor of Law for 1984-85. In 1996, he received the William L. Prosser Professorship at the Law School.

Professor Levy received a B.A. degree from Kenyon College. He graduated, magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was a Senior Editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. He joined the Law School faculty in 1959, after serving as a trial attorney for the Department of Justice.

He was the Ida Beam Visiting Professor at the University of Iowa Law School in 1979, a visiting distinguished scholar at Brooklyn Law School in 1988, and a summer visitor at University of Texas School of Law in 1969. He has visited at the St. Louis University Law School, has been a visiting scholar at the American Bar Foundation, a visiting lecturer at Fudan University Law School, People’s Republic of China, and at Uppsala University in Sweden. In 1967-68, he was a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in California and, in 1978, a lecturer at the Seminar on American Law and Legal Institutions in Austria. From 1967 to 1970, Professor Levy was the Reporter for the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act.

He is a member of the American Law Institute, an advisor to the Institute’s Project on Domestic Relations, a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and a member of the Council of the American Bar Association’s Family Law Section. He is an Advisor to the committee revising the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act.



  • Mental Health Aspects of Custody Law: National Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Child Custody Law (Carolina Academic Press, 2005) (general editor)
  • Legal and Mental Health Perspectives on Child Custody Law: A Deskbook for Judges (West Group, 1998) Elissa P. Benedek
  • Team-Teaching of Substantive Law and Practice Skills in Substantive Law Contexts: A Manual for “Learning-By-Doing” Exercises in Law School Courses and Continuing Legal Education Workshops (American Bar Association, 1996) Robert E. Keeton
  • Cases and Materials on Family Law (Little, Brown, 1st ed., 1966; 2d ed., 1976; 3d ed., 1985) Caleb Foote & Frank E. A. Sander
  • Statutory Supplement to Cases and Materials on Family Law (Little, Brown, 3d ed., 1985) Caleb Foote & Frank E. A. Sander
  • Criminal Law: Cases and Materials (Little, Brown, 1981) Caleb Foote
  • Juvenile Justice Standards Relating to Rights of Minors (American Bar Association - Ballinger Publishing Company, 1980) Barry Feld
  • Statutory Appendix to Cases and Materials on Family Law (Little, Brown, 1976) Caleb Foote & Frank E. A. Sander
  • Teaching Notes for Cases and Materials on Family Law (Little, Brown, 1976) Caleb Foote & Frank E. A. Sander
  • Cases and Materials on Social Welfare and the Individual (Foundation Press, 1971) Thomas P. Lewis & Peter W. Martin
  • Selected Materials on Family Law: Custody, the Unwed Mother, Adoption, Parental Neglect (American Bar Center, 1964)
  • Education for Professional Responsibility in the Law School (National Council on Legal Clinics, American Bar Center, 1962) (editor)

Journal Articles

  • Teaching Law Students, Judges, and the Community: Rational Sentencing Policies, 63 Journal of Legal Education 282 (2013)
  • Custody Investigations in Divorce-Custody Litigation, 12 Journal of Law & Family Studies 431 (2010)
  • The Dynamics of Child Sexual Abuse Prosecution: Two Florida Case Studies, 7 Journal of Law & Family Studies 57 (2005)
  • Ellman’s “Why Making Family Law is Hard”: Additional Reflections, 35 Arizona State Law Journal 723 (2003)
  • Custody Doctrines and Custody Practice: A Divorce Practitioner’s View, 36 Family Law Quarterly 79 (2002) Gary Skoloff
  • Discretionary Prosecution of Child Sexual Abusers: Adolescent Victims, 17 Bar-Ilan Law Studies 7 (2002)
  • Trends in Legislative Regulation of Family Law Doctrine: Millennial Musings, 33 Family Law Quarterly 543 (2000)
  • Memoir of an Academic Lawyer: Hague Convention Theory Confronts Practice, 29 Family Law Quarterly 171 (1995)
  • Expert Testimony in Child Sexual Abuse Cases: Effects of Expert Evidence Type and Cross-Examination, 18 Law and Human Behavior 653 (1994) Margaret Bull Kovera, Eugene Borgida & Steven Penrod
  • Rights and Responsibilities for Extended Family Members?, 27 Family Law Quarterly 191 (1993)
  • A Reminiscence About the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act - Some Reflections About Its Critics and Its Policies, 1991 Brigham Young University Law Review 43 (1991)
  • An Introduction to Divorce-Property Issues, 23 Family Law Quarterly 147 (1989)
  • Using “Scientific” Testimony to Prove Child Sexual Abuse: The Dorsey & Whitney Professorship Lecture, 23 Family Law Quarterly 383 (1989)
  • Custody Investigations as Evidence in Divorce Cases, 21 Family Law Quarterly 149 (1987)
  • Remarriage Following Divorce: Stressors and Well-Being of Custodial and Noncustodial Parents, 7 Journal of Family Issues 405 (1986) Cheryl Buehler, Janice Hogan & Beatrice Robinson
  • Custody Investigation in Divorce Cases: The New York Law Revision Commission Proposal in Perspective, 19 Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems 485 (1985)
  • Custody Investigations in Divorce Cases, 1985 American Bar Foundation Research Journal 713 (1985)
  • Comment on the Pearson-Thoennes Study and on Mediation, 17 Family Law Quarterly 525 (1984)
  • Rights of Parents, 1976 Brigham Young University Law Review 693 (1976)
  • Comments on the Legislative History of the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, 7 Family Law Quarterly 405 (1973)
  • Legislative Reform of Child Custody Adjudication: An Effort to Rely on Social Science Data in Formulating Legal Policies, 4 Law & Society Review 167 (1969) Phoebe Ellsworth
  • Family Law and Welfare Policies: The Case for “Dual Systems”, 54 California Law Review 748 (1966) Thomas P. Lewis
  • Protecting the Mentally Retarded: An Empirical Survey and Evaluation of the Establishment of State Guardianship in Minnesota, 49 Minnesota Law Review 821 (1965)
  • The Perilous Necessity: Nonlegal Materials in a Family Law Course, 15 Journal of Legal Education 413 (1963), reprinted in 3 Journal of Family Law 138 (1963)
  • Some Thoughts on “Antitrust Policy” and the Antitrust Community, 45 Minnesota Law Review 963 (1961)
  • Persuading the Jury with Facts Not in Evidence: The Fiction-Science Spectrum, 105 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 139 (1956) A. Leo Levin

Book Chapters

  • Custody Law and the ALI’s Principles: A Little History, a Little Policy, and Some Very Tentative Judgments, in Reconceiving the Family: Critique on the American Law Institute’s Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution 67 (Robin Fretwell Wilson, ed., Cambridge University Press, 2006)
  • Introduction to the Legal System, in Principles and Practice of Child and Adolescent Forensic Psychiatry 7 (Diane H. Schetky & Elissa P. Benedek, eds., American Psychiatric Publishing, 2001) Melvin J. Guyer
  • Supporting the Aged: The Problem of Family Responsibility, in Aging World: Dilemmas and Challenges for Law and Social Policy 253 (John Eekelaar & David Pearl, ed., Clarendon, 1989), reprinted in International Perspectives on Aging 85 (George J. Alexander, ed., M. Nijhoff, 1992)
  • Rights of Parents, in Proceedings of the University of Wisconsin Conference on Child Advocacy (Jack C. Westman, ed., University of Wisconsin-Extension, Health Sciences Unit, Dept. of Continuing Medical Education, 1976)
  • Protecting the Child and Preserving “Family Privacy”: Toward a New Approach to Juvenile Court Jurisdiction, in Child Care in Health and Disease 78 (Albert Dorfman, ed., Year Book Medical Publishers, 1968)
  • Family Law Clinical Seminar, in Education for Professional Responsibility in the Law School (Robert J. Levy, ed., National Council on Legal Clinics, American Bar Center, 1962)

Documents and Reports

  • Uniform Family Code: Final Report (National Technical Information Service, 1970) (reporter)
  • Uniform Marriage and Divorce Legislation: A Preliminary Analysis (1969) (prepared for the Special Committee on Divorce of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws)

Book Reviews

  • Book Review, 28 Family Law Quarterly 169 (1994) (reviewing Family Law (Harry D. Krause, ed., New York University Press, 1992))
  • Book Review, 24 Family Law Quarterly 305 (1990) (reviewing John DeWitt Gregory, The Law of Equitable Distribution (Warren, Gorham & Lamont, 1989))
  • Book Review, 16 Journal of Legal Education 97 (1963) (reviewing Frederick M. Rowe, Price Discrimination under the Robinson-Patman Act (Little, Brown, 1962))
  • Book Review, 108 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 164 (1959) (reviewing Bernard Schwartz, The Professor and the Commissions (Knopf, 1959))

Entries in Reference Works

  • Abortion, in Funk and Wagnalls New Encyclopedia (Leon L. Bram, Robert S. Phillips & Norma H. Dickey, eds., Funk & Wagnalls, 1983)
  • Adoption, in Funk and Wagnalls New Encyclopedia (Leon L. Bram, Robert S. Phillips & Norma H. Dickey, eds., Funk & Wagnalls, 1983)
  • Alimony, in Funk and Wagnalls New Encyclopedia (Leon L. Bram, Robert S. Phillips & Norma H. Dickey, eds., Funk & Wagnalls, 1983)
  • Bigamy, in 1 Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice 114 (Sanford H. Kadish, editor in chief, Free Press, 1983)
  • Divorce, in Funk and Wagnalls New Encyclopedia (Leon L. Bram, Robert S. Phillips & Norma H. Dickey, eds., Funk & Wagnalls, 1983)
  • Abortion - Social and Legal Aspects, in Encyclopedia Britannica (1969)

Other Publications

  • Caleb Foote: A Personal and Loving Remembrance, 12 Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law 127 (2007)
  • Marriage, Divorce and Property: Revolution; Partnership Approach Led to Major Changes, 16 National Law Journal, Nov. 29, 1993, at 12
  • Introduction, 26 Family Law Quarterly 1 (1992) (Special Issue on Divorce Practice and Procedure)
  • Editor’s Preface, 23 Family Law Quarterly [xv] (1989)
  • Some Child-For-Money Trades are Legal, 121 New Jersey Law Journal, Feb. 18, 1988, at 30
  • New Minnesota Divorce Act (National Practice Institute, 1978)
  • The Organization and Management of Law and Social Sciences Research, 52 North Carolina Law Review 999 (1974) (presentation) Julie Ann Fulton
  • Introduction, 18 South Dakota Law Review 531 (1973) (Symposium on the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act)
  • Church-State Disputants Sometimes Engender Disputes Principle Was Designed to Prevent, 29 Hennepin Lawyer 51 (1961)

Contact Information

University of Minnesota Law School

Walter F. Mondale Hall | 229 19th Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-625-5000

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