Arden Rowell

Professor of Law
University Scholar


Professor Rowell’s research interests revolve around risk regulation and human behavior. She has taught courses on environmental law, administrative law, behavioral law and economics, risk and the environment, law and sustainable economic development, and valuation. Her work has been published in student-edited law reviews and peer-reviewed journals including Science Magazine, Harvard Environmental Law Review, the Administrative Law Review, the Journal of Risk Analysis, and the University of Chicago Law Review.

From 2015-16, Professor Rowell was a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, and was a visiting researcher at Oxford University in 2015 and 2016. In 2015, she also completed a federal detail at the Environmental Protection Agency, and was named a University Scholar, a highly prestigious and competitive award program at the University of Illinois meant to recognize the university’s “very best teachers and scholars.” 

Before joining the Illinois faculty in 2010, Professor Rowell was a Bigelow Fellow and Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School, from which she also received her J.D. After law school, Professor Rowell practiced at Perkins Coie LLP in Seattle, where she focused her practice on catastrophic torts. Professor Rowell has a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology/archaeology, which she earned from the University of Washington at the age of 18. Before law school, she worked as an encyclopedia entry writer and as a video game tester. Recently, she and her husband released their first video game: a mobile risk communication application called “Mortality: the Game.”

Follow Professor Rowell on Twitter @ArdenRowell.


JD University of Chicago Law School
BA University of Washington

Areas of Expertise

Administrative Law
Environmental Law and Conservation
Psychology and Law
Tort Law


Administrative Law
Environmental Law and Policy
Law, Behavior & Social Science

Selected Publications

The New Status Quo of the Paris Agreement: The Psychological Impact of the 2 Degrees Aspiration, 5 EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF RISK REGULATION 49-54 (2016) (with Josephine van Zeben) (peer-reviewed).

Reregulation and the Regulatory Timeline, 101 IOWA LAW REVIEW 101-38 (forthcoming 2016) (with Peter Molk).

“Valuing Foreign Disasters in International Environmental Law,” in ROLE OF INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAW IN DISASTER RISK REDUCTION (eds. Jacqueline Peel and Davis Fisher) (with Lesley Wexler) (Brill, forthcoming 2016).

“Theories of Risk Management and Multiple Hazards: Thoughts for Engineers from Regulatory 2 Policy,” in MULTI-HAZARD APPROACHES TO CIVIL INFRASTRUCTURE ENGINEERING (Springer, forthcoming 2016).

Foreign Impacts and Climate Change, 39 HARVARD ENVIRONMENTAL LAW REVIEW 371 (2015).


Using and improving the social cost of carbon, 346 SCIENCE 1189-90 (5 December 2014) (with William Pizer, Matthew Adler, Joseph Aldy, David Anthoff, Maureen Cropper, Kenneth Gillingham, Michael Greenstone, Brian Murray, Richard Newell, Richard Richels, Stephanie Waldhoff, and Jonathan Wiener).

Time in Cost-Benefit Analysis, 4 IRVINE LAW REVIEW 1215-1240 (2014) (symposium).

Valuing Foreign Lives, 48 GEORGIA LAW REVIEW 499-578 (2014) (with Lesley Wexler). ·

Numeracy and Legal Decision Making, 46 ARIZONA STATE LAW REVIEW 191-230 (2014) (with Jessica Bregant).

Well-Being and Fair Distribution: A Book Review, 34 RISK ANALYSIS 1379 (2013) (peer reviewed) (reviewing Matthew Adler’s WELL BEING AND FAIR DISTRIBUTION: BEYOND COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS).


Allocating Pollution, 79 UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO LAW REVIEW 985-1049 (2012).