Paul D. Bennett

Charles E. Ares Professor of Law; Director of the Child and Family Law Clinic

Paul Bennett is the Director of the Child and Family Law Clinic. He joined the College of Law in 1996 as the first Director of the Child Advocacy Clinic which later became the multi-disciplinary Child and Family Law Clinic.  Professor Bennett was the overall Director of Clinics from 2015-2022.

In 2012 - 2013, Professor Bennett also co-directed the Law College's Veteran's Advocacy Law Clinic.  

In addition to Clinical Legal Education, Professor Bennett teaches classes in Professional Responsibility, Law and Humanities and Juvenile Law. In 2010, along with Professor Tom Mauet, Professor Bennett was chosen by Arizona Law students to receive the John Strong Teaching Award.  In 2020, Professor Bennett was selected Attorney of the Year at the Pima County Juvenile Court by the Court Appointed Special Advocates.  

Professor Bennett joined the Arizona faculty after teaching for several years at Cornell Law School. He graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, in 1973, and received his J.D. from Cornell Law School in 1976. After receiving his law degree, he practiced with the Orleans Legal Aid Bureau in Albion, NY; Chemung County Neighborhood Legal Services in Ithaca, NY; and later was a partner in the law firm of Holmberg, Galbraith, Holmberg, Orkin and Bennett in Ithaca, NY.

Professor Bennett has long been active in Arizona's efforts to upgrade the quality of representation for children in the Juvenile and Family Courts.   Professor Bennett has long advocated that, when children choose, they should be given a meaningful voice in the court proceedings that impact their lives.

Professor Bennett is a member of the Arizona Supreme Court’s Commission on Diversity, Equality and Justice.  In 2012 and 2017, as a member of the Commission, Professor Bennett authored the final reports of the Commission’s Bench Diversity Projects. These were the nation’s first comprehensive studies of diversity in a State Court System. The reports have influenced changes in judicial selection in-state and beyond.  Professor Bennett has also been involved in the Commission’s work dealing with racial and ethnic disparities in Juvenile Justice in Arizona.  

Professor Bennett is the Director of the Himelic Juvenile Detention Teaching Program in which law students teach weekend programs for children in lock up.  

Professor Bennett is the co-author with Professor Kenney Hegland of A Short and Happy Guide to Being a Lawyer, 2nd Edition (West Pub. 2022).

From 2004 - 2006, Professor Bennett co-chaired the State Bar of Arizona's Task Force on Professionalism and co-authored its final report. The Arizona Supreme Court and the State Bar of Arizona have adopted recommendations from the Report.  Professor Bennett was awarded the State Bar’s Presidents Award for his work with the task force.

Last, and most important, Professor Bennett is the grandfather of Hadyn, Damian, Soren, and Saskia, who, like all children have minds of their own.

Curriculum Vitae

Representative Publications


  • J.D. Cornell Law School
  • B.A. Bates College


  • John Strong Teaching Award
  • Arizona Wakonse Teaching Fellow
  • President's Award, State Bar of Arizona
  • Lifetime Community Service Award from HOMES, Inc. for work for people with disabilities
  • Pro Bono Service Award from the Tompkins County, NY Bar Association
Family Law (including Children's Rights)
The Legal Profession & Professional Responsibility