Faculty Directory
Faculty Directory

Robert Stein

  • Everett Fraser Professor of Law

University of Minnesota, B.S.L., J.D. summa cum laude
Uppsala University, Sweden, LL.D. (Hon.)

Office: 416
Mondale Hall, 229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Professor Robert A. Stein (’61) joined the faculty as Everett Fraser Professor of Law in the fall of 2006. He teaches a Seminar on the Rule of Law, a course on the Great Cases that have Shaped the Nation, a course on Estate Planning, and a Seminar on Estate Planning and Drafting.

Previously, from 1994 to 2006, Professor Stein was the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the American Bar Association (ABA). He was responsible for management of the world’s largest professional membership association, with more than 400,000 members and a 900-person staff at the ABA’s headquarters in Chicago and in its Washington, D.C., office.

Prior to that, Professor Stein was Dean of the Law School from 1979 to 1994 and was the first William S. Pattee Professor of Law from 1990 until 1994. Before becoming Dean of the Law School, Professor Stein was Vice President for Administration and Planning of the University from 1977 to 1979. Professor Stein joined the faculty of the Law School in 1964.

Professor Stein was a visiting professor at the University of Chicago Law School in 1975-76 and UCLA Law School in 1969-70. He was a visiting scholar at the American Bar Foundation in 1975-77. He also served as the University’s representative to the NCAA, the Big Ten, and the WCHA. He continued to be involved with the NCAA even after leaving the University in 1994, serving on the NCAA’s Division I Infraction Appeals Committee.

Professor Stein is Of Counsel to the law firm of Gray Plant Mooty. He is a Commissioner from Minnesota to the Uniform Law Commission, and was president of the National Conference from 2009-11. He has been a member of the Council of the American Law Institute for more than 25 years, and served on its Executive Committee and as an advisor to several of the Institute’s Restatements.

Professor Stein is a nationally recognized authority in the areas of estate planning, trusts, and probate law. He is an Academic Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and an Academician in the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law. He is also a Fellow in the American College of Tax Law.

Professor Stein holds leadership positions in numerous organizations. He is Co-Chair of the International Bar Association Rule of Law Action Group and previously served as Chair of the London-based IBA’s Professional and Public Interest Division. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Friends of Uppsala University; he is a delegate in the American Bar Association’s policy-making House of Delegates; and, he has been Co-Chair of the Minnesota Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. He is Past President of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association and served as a charter member of the Minnesota Law Review Advisory Board.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors for several companies, including Great Northern Iron Ore Properties, and Educational Credit Management Group.



Estate Planning

Estate Planning and Drafting

New Developments in Trust Law



  • Forming a More Perfect Union: A History of the Uniform Law Commission (LexisNexis, 2013) Robert Stein
  • Great Cases that Shaped and Shocked the Nation (Thomson/West, 1st ed., 2007; 2d ed., 2011) Robert Stein
  • Law School Success in a Nutshell: A Guide to Studying Law and Taking Law School Exams (Thomson/West, 1st ed., 1996; 2d ed., 2008) (translated into Chinese) Ann Burkhart and Robert Stein
  • Stein on Probate: Administration of Decedents Estates under the Uniform Probate Code as Enacted in Minnesota (Mason Pub. Co., 1st ed., 1976; Butterworth Legal Publishers, 2d ed., 1986; Michie, 3d ed., 1996; LexisNexis, 4th ed., 2004) (annual supps. 1997-2002) (editor) Robert Stein
  • In Pursuit of Excellence: A History of the University of Minnesota Law School (Mason Pub. Co., 1980) Robert Stein
  • Estate Planning under The Tax Reform Act of 1976 (West Pub. Co., 2d ed., 1978) A. James Casner and Robert Stein

Book Chapters

  • The Minnesota-Uppsala Exchange: A Retrospective on 25 Years of Success, in Uppsala-Minnesota Colloquium: Law, Culture and Values 9 (Mattias Dahlberg, ed., Iustus, 2009) Robert Stein

Journal Articles

  • Rule of Law: What Does It Mean?, 18 Minnesota Journal of International Law 293 (2009) Robert Stein
  • Strengthening Federalism: The Uniform State Law Movement in the United States, 99 Minnesota Law Review 2253 (2015) Robert Stein
  • The Stein Lecture: A Conversation between Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Professor Robert A. Stein, 99 Minnesota Law Review 1 (2014) Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Robert Stein
  • National Security and the Constitution: A Conversation Between Walter F. Mondale and Robert A. Stein, 98 Minnesota Law Review 2011 (2014) Walter F. Mondale, Robert Stein and Monica C. Fahnhorst
  • Building a Strong Foundation: Justice John Simonett and Constitutional Law in Minnesota, 39 William Mitchell Law Review 768 (2013) Robert Stein
  • Teaching the Rule of Law, 18 Minnesota Journal of International Law 403 (2009) Robert Stein
  • Causes of Popular Dissatisfaction with the Administration of Justice in the Twenty-First Century, 30 Hamline Law Review 499 (2007) Robert Stein
  • The Future of the Legal Profession, 91 Minnesota Law Review 1 (2006) Robert Stein
  • Multidisciplinary Practices: Prohibit or Regulate? 84 Minnesota Law Review 1529 (2000) Robert Stein
  • What the Legal Profession Expects of Law Schools: A Response, 34 Indiana Law Review 15 (2000) Robert Stein
  • Probate Reformation: The Impact of the Uniform Laws, 23 Probate Lawyer 1 (1997) (1997 Joseph Trachtman lecture) Robert Stein
  • From Tax-Favored to Tax-Penalized: The Challenge of Estate Planning for Qualified Plan Benefits in the Face of Shifting Federal Tax Policy, 79 Iowa Law Review 1127 (1994) Robert Stein
  • The Future of Legal Education, 75 Minnesota Law Review 945 (1991) Robert Stein
  • The Demography of Probate Administration, 15 University of Baltimore Law Review 54 (1985) Robert Stein and Ian Fierstein
  • The Role of the Attorney in Estate Administration, 68 Minnesota Law Review 1107 (1984) Robert Stein and Ian Fierstein
  • New Survey of Professionals Finds Broad Support for the “Estate Planning Team” Idea, 8 Estate Planning 354 (1981) Robert Stein and Jane Dunn
  • Use of Insurance Proceeds in Irrevocable Trust for Payment of Death Costs, 3 Notre Dame Estate Planning Institute 71 (1979) Robert Stein
  • In Pursuit of Excellence — A History of the University of Minnesota Law School, Part VI: The Auerbach Years — A Time of Building, Controversy and Frustration, 63 Minnesota Law Review 1101 (1979) Robert Stein
  • In Pursuit of Excellence — A History of the University of Minnesota Law School, Part V: The Lockhart Years — A Time of Achievement and Challenge, 63 Minnesota Law Review 809 (1979) Robert Stein
  • In Pursuit of Excellence — A History of the University of Minnesota Law School, Part IV: The Pirsig Years — A Time of Transition, 63 Minnesota Law Review 299 (1979) Robert Stein
  • In Pursuit of Excellence — A History of the University of Minnesota Law School, Part III: The Fraser Years — A Time of Excellence and Innovation, 62 Minnesota Law Review 1161 (1978) Robert Stein
  • In Pursuit of Excellence — A History of the University of Minnesota Law School, Part II: The Vance Years — A Time of Ascendancy, 62 Minnesota Law Review 857 (1978) Robert Stein
  • In Pursuit of Excellence — A History of the University of Minnesota Law School, Part I: The Pattee Years — A Time of Accommodation, 62 Minnesota Law Review 485 (1978) Robert Stein
  • Probate Administration Study: Some Emerging Conclusions, 9 Real Property, Probate and Trust Journal 596 (1974) Robert Stein

Documents and Reports

  • Report of the AALS Special Committee on Problems of Substance Abuse in the Law Schools, 44 Journal of Legal Education 35 (1994) Robert Stein

CLE Materials

  • The Probate Explosion of 1985 (National Practice Institute, 1985) Robert Stein, Judge Melvin J. Peterson, John Zangs and Steve Brand
  • Administration of a Minnesota Decedent’s Estate (National Practice Institute, 1984) Robert Stein, Judge Melvin J. Peterson and John Zangs
  • Handling a Minnesota Decedent’s Estate (National Practice Institute, 1982) Robert Stein, Judge Melvin J. Peterson and John Zangs
  • Probate and Inheritance Tax: 1979 (National Practice Institute, 1979) Robert Stein, Judge Melvin J. Peterson and John Zangs
  • Probate and Inheritance Tax: 1978 (National Practice Institute, 1978) Robert Stein, Judge Melvin J. Peterson and John Zangs
  • Estate Administration under the 1975 Probate Code (Minnesota Practice Institute, 1976) Robert Stein and Judge Melvin J. Peterson
  • Minnesota Estate Administration (Larry Johnson & Raymond Reister, eds., Minnesota State Bar Association, 1968) (associate editor with William Green) Robert Stein

Other Publications

  • Distinguished Scholar, Dedicated Teacher, and now Justice: David R. Stras, 95 Minnesota Law Review Headnotes 116 (2011) (tribute to Justice David Stras) Robert Stein
  • In Memoriam: Judge Donald P. Lay, 92 Iowa Law Review 1577 (2007) Robert Stein
  • Independence of the Judiciary, State Bar of South Dakota Newsletter 9 (July 2006) Robert Stein
  • Executive Director’s Report, ABA Journal (monthly publication, vols. 82-92, 1996-2006) Robert Stein
  • President’s Column, Minnesota Magazine (bi-monthly publication, 2005-2006) Robert Stein
  • Minute in Remembrance of William B. Lockhart, in Minutes in Remembrance, 1976-1997: Officers and Members of Council Deceased 1976-1997 (American Law Institute, 1998) Robert Stein
  • The Dean of Deans, 92 Minnesota Law & Politics 24 (1998) Robert Stein
  • Foreword, Net Law: How Lawyers Use the Internet (Paul S. Jacobsen, ed., Songline Studios, 1997) Robert Stein
  • Maynard Pirsig Lives On, 23 William Mitchell Law Review 801 (1997) Robert Stein
  • Roger Noreen—Remarkable Friend of Legal Education, 89 Law Library Journal 600 (1997) Robert Stein
  • Trina Grillo—A Passionate Advocate for Justice, 81 Minnesota Law Review 1377 (1997) Robert Stein
  • A Tribute to Irving Younger, 73 Minnesota Law Review 815 (1989) Robert Stein
  • Introduction: Women and the Constitution, 6 Law and Inequality vii (1988) Robert Stein
  • A Tribute to Professor Steven M. Block, 69 Minnesota Law Review 722 (1985) Robert Stein
  • Robert C. McClure: A Tribute on His Retirement, 69 Minnesota Law Review 1217 (1985) Robert Stein
  • A Tribute to Robert F. Grabb, 68 Minnesota Law Review 897 (1984) Robert Stein
  • Arlette M. Soderberg: A Tribute on Her Retirement, 67 Minnesota Law Review xv (1983) Robert Stein
  • Foreword: Carl A. Auerbach: A Tribute, 68 Minnesota Law Review 255 (1983) Robert Stein
  • Specialization in the Probate Bar, 13 American Bar Foundation Research Reporter 1 (1979) Robert Stein
  • Probing the Probate Administration Process, 8:2 Florida Bar Real Property, Probate and Trust Section Newsletter 1 (Jan./Feb. 1977) Robert Stein
  • Multi-State Probate Administration Study: Journey into the Known and Unknown, 5:1 Probate and Property 11 (Spring 1976), reprinted in 2 Probate Notes 14 (1976) Robert Stein
  • To Make the Probate Process as Simple and Inexpensive as Can be Done, 32 Bench & Bar of Minnesota 21 (Nov. 1975) Robert Stein
  • Probate Administration: Distinguishing Fact from Fiction, 3:1 Probate and Property 3 (Summer 1974) Robert Stein
  • Profile of Probate Administration in Minnesota, 30 Bench & Bar of Minnesota 5 (Jan. 1974) Robert Stein
  • New Law School Building… A Year of Decision, 42:2 Hennepin Lawyer 4 (Nov.-Dec. 1973) Robert Stein

Contact Information

University of Minnesota Law School

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

P: 612-625-1000

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