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Professor Ruth L. Kovnat

Ruth L. Kovnat

Emeritus Professor of Law
A.B. 1959, Bryn Mawr College
LL.B. 1967, Southern Methodist University
Member of the Pennsylvania Bar

Contact Information

 Ph.: 505-277-4738
 Office: 3243


When Ruth Kovnat became a tenure-track professor at Temple University School of Law in 1971, she was the school's first female law professor and among the first wave of female law professors in the nation. Four years later, she joined the faculty at the UNM School of Law. Although she has concentrated her scholarship in Environmental, Constitutional Law, and Federal Jurisdiction, Kovnat has studied and taught a wide range of legal topics and contributes that knowledge to the faculty. In 1999, she became an emerita professor and now teaches two courses a year.

In addition to teaching, Kovnat served as associate dean for academic affairs from 1991-1994.

She is on the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty and is a past member of the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission. She also studied water quality issues in Albuquerque's South Valley as a member of the South Valley Task Force. Kovnat received the Governor's Award for Outstanding New Mexico Women.

Kovnat has published a number of articles on environmental issues and will soon publish a work on environmental regulation in Indian Country.

Courses Previously Taught

  • Civil Procedure I
  • Comparative Constitutional Law: Religious Pluralism
  • Constitutional Law Topics
  • Federal Jurisdiction
  • Introduction to Constitutional Law


Disposal and Transportation Issues under Environmental Regulations-Control and Conflict-The Case of the Waste Isolation Pilot Project, in Sandia Laboratories Technical Completion Rep. #WERC89-072 (1991) (co-authored with C. DuMars).

Solid Waste Regulation in Indian Country, 21 N.M. L. Rev. 121 (1990).

Constitutional Torts and the New Mexico Tort Claims Act, 12 N.M. L. Rev. 1 (1983).

Medical Malpractice Legislation in New Mexico, 7 N.M. L. Rev. 5 (1976).

Torts: Sovereign and Governmental Immunity in New Mexico, 6 N.M. L. Rev. 249 (1976).

Legal Aspects of Delaware Wasteline, in Franklin Institute Science Information Service (1969) (co-authored with E.F. Murphy).

Continuing Labor Law, Chapter on Section 8(B)(7) of the National Labor Relations Act (1967) (student contributor).

Book Reviews

Book Review, 28 Nat. Resources J. 883 (1988) (reviewing Mark Squillace, Air Pollution (1988)).

Book Review, 27 Nat. Resources J. 757 (1987) (reviewing Thomas M. Hoban & Richard O. Brooks, Green Justice, the Environment and the Courts (1987)).

Book Review, 27 Nat. Resources J. 955 (1987) (reviewing Agent Orange on Trial-Mass Toxic Disasters in the Courts (Peter H. Schuck ed., 1986).

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