Josephine Gittler

Wiley B. Rutledge Professor of Law

Professor Josephine Gittler is currently the Wiley B. Rutledge Professor of Law. She received her law degree from Northwestern University School of Law. When Professor Gittler joined the University of Iowa College of Law in 1973, she became the first female member of the faculty.

Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Gittler was a police legal advisor, a special prosecutor, and served as a law clerk to federal and state judges at both the trial and appellate levels.

Professor Gittler is also a Professor of Health Management and Policy at the University of Iowa College of Public Health and a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Iowa College of Medicine and Professor of Nursing at the University of Iowa College of Nursing (secondary appointments). 

In 1981, Professor Gittler founded, with Dr. John C. MacQueen, the National Health Law and Policy Resource Center (formerly the National Maternal and Child Health Resource Center). The Resource Center is a nationally recognized "think tank" that conducts interdisciplinary research, provides education and training and furnishes technical assistance to public health agencies and to other agencies, institutions and organizations. The Resource Center has a program on maternal and child health, a program on aging and an institute on conflict management.

In her capacity as Co-Director and Director of the Resource Center, Professor Gittler has administrated a number of federally funded projects primarily related to maternal and child health and children with special needs and their families. In connection with these projects, she has provided education and training to health care agencies, programs and facilities in over thirty states and the District of Columbia.

Professor Gittler served as Coordinator and Reporter for the Iowa Supreme Court Guardianship and Conservatorship Task Force. She is Co-Director of the Institute on Guardianship and Conservatorship, a collaborative effort of the University of Iowa and Drake University law schools. 

She has extensive training and experience in conflict management, particularly interest-based/problem-solving negotiation and mediation. She has served as a staff mediator for the Justice System of Atlanta and provided mediation services in cases referred by state courts in the metropolitan Atlanta area, and in special education disputes throughout the country.

Because of Professor Gittler’s experience with respect to the legislative process and statutory drafting and legislative advocacy, she has played a major role in the enactment of legislation at the federal and state levels. She has served as chief counsel of a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, and she served as special counsel to a study committee of the Iowa General Assembly. She also has been a consultant to members of Congress and their staffs, as well as members of the Iowa General Assembly and their staffs.

She is the author, co-author, or co-editor of over 70 publications. These publications deal primarily with issues regarding health care law and regulation, and the organization, financing and delivery of health and health related services. They also deal with juvenile delinquency, child maltreatment, and the organization, financing, and delivery of services for children and families. In addition they deal with surrogate decision-making and guardianship and conservatorship. 

Professor Gittler has received awards for her achievements including public service awards from the Association of Maternal and Child Health for her leadership in national and state advocacy efforts and from Iowa AARP for her leadership in national and state advocacy efforts on behalf of vulnerable populations. 

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Research and Teaching: 

  • Health Law and Policy
  • Elder Law and Policy
  • Children, Families and the Law (child maltreatment, juvenile delinquency and the child welfare and juvenile justice systems) 
  • Alternate Dispute Resolution (negotiation and mediation)
  • Legislative Process and Statutory Interpretation and Drafting
Boyd Law Building entrance
BA, Barnard College, 1965
JD, Northwestern University, 1968