Bryan Adamson

Professor of Law
Curriculum Vitae


Sullivan Hall 120
(206) 398-4412


B.S in Mass Communication and Ph.B in Interdisciplinary Studies, Miami University/Ohio
M.A., Purdue University
J.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Law


Mass Media Law and Policy
First Amendment
Civil Litigation
Consumer Rights
Legal Financial Obligations


Professor Adamson joined Seattle University School of Law as its Director of Clinical Programs, during which he founded the Law School's first predatory lending clinic, community development and entrepreneurship clinic, and its mortgage mediation practicum. He currently teaches the Consumer Advocacy Clinic, Protest, Policing and the First Amendment, and Mass Media Law and Policy. In his role as a clinical professor, he has served nationally on the boards of the Society of American Law Teachers, the Clinical Legal Education Association, and in numerous roles in the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). Bryan is a former Chair of the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education, its Clinicians of Color Committee, co-chair of its Taskforce on the Future of Clinical Legal Education, co-planner of several AALS Clinical programs or workshops, and is a frequent law school reaccreditation site visitor on behalf of the American Bar Association. He has presented to local and national communities on predatory lending, race and media, civil rights and procedure, and legal education. With other civil procedure and constitutional law scholars, Professor Adamson was also an Amicus Advisor on the Supreme Court's companion case to United States v. Windsor, Perry v. Hollingsworth, and on CLEA's Grutter v. Bollinger Amicus Brief. In 2016, for his national work as a Clinician, Professor Adamson was awarded the prestigious William Pincus Award for Excellence in Clinical Legal Education by the Association of American Law Schools.

Since 2004, he has published over 15 law review articles on topics such as standards of appellate review in the context of civil rights cases; President Obama, Muslim rumors and rumor management; and on race and media. "'Thugs,' ‘Crooks,' and ‘Rebellious Negroes:' Racist and Racialized Distortions in Media Coverage of Michael Brown and the Ferguson Demonstrations" was recently issued in the Harvard Journal on Racial & Ethnic Justice, and Reconsidering Pre-Indictment Media Publicity: Racialized Crime News, Grand Juries and Tamir Rice, appears in the Alabama Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Law Review. His article, The ‘Blurred Lines' of Marvin Gaye's ‘Here, My Dear': Music as a Tortious Act, Divorce Narrative and First Amendment Totem is forthcoming in the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal. For his prolific writing, in 2016, Professor Adamson was awarded Seattle University's Provost's Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship.

In addition to his teaching and writing, Professor Adamson's serves as a board member and Public Policy Chair of the Greater Seattle Business Association (an LGBT small business and civil-rights chamber of commerce), and as a member of the City's Our Best Advisory Committee and the King County Prosecutor's Office African American Council-both of which focus upon improving outcomes for and diminishing criminal system encounters of minority youth. Bryan has been active in his local community as a Board Member of the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission, and founding Board Member of the Northwest Consumer Law Center.

Before joining the Law School, Professor Adamson was a faculty member at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. In addition to his teaching at Case Law, Professor Adamson served as Assistant Dean for Student Services. Prior to full time teaching, Professor Adamson practiced as a litigation attorney for the Cleveland firm of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey (now Squire Patton and Boggs) and as an Assistant Prosecutor with Cuyahoga County (Cleveland, OH).



"Thugs," "Crooks," and "Rebellious Negroes": Racist and Racialized Distortions in Media Coverage of Michael Brown and the Ferguson Demonstrations 32 HARV. J. ON RACIAL & ETHNIC JUSTICE 189 (2016) (examines media accounts of Michael Brown's death and subsequent protests as privileging White majoritarian ideologies of social order, pro law enforcement, and color-blindness over institutional racism, implicit bias and African-American socio-political grievance)

Ricci v. DeStefano: Procedural Activism(?), 40th Anniversary Issue, Volume 24 THE NATIONAL BLACK LAW JOURNAL (UCLA)(2011)(critiques remand and evidentiary procedure)

Lead Article, The Homeowners' Illusory Safety Net: Mortgage Broker Surety Liability 47 GONZ. L. R. 1 (2011) (critiques inadequate surety provisions to protect homeowners against mortgage brokers)

Lead Article, Critical Error: The Supreme Court's Refusal To Recognize Intentional Race Discrimination Findings as Constitutional Facts 28 YALE L. & POL. REV.1 (2009)(critiques Supreme Court's inconsistent application of constitutional fact doctrine)

Rule 52(a) As An Ideological Weapon? 34 FLA. STATE UNIV. L. REV. 1026 (2007) (examines three appellate cases and use of fact typology to determine standard of appellate review)

A Thousand Humiliations: What Brown Could Not Do 9 ST. MARY'S LAW REV. ON MIN. ISSUES 187 (FEB. 2007)(asserts that entrenched residential segregation, politics, and highway construction policy explains continued education disparities)

The H'aint In The (School) House: Brown v. Board of Education, Interest Convergence Re-contextualized, and Continuing the Struggle for Racial Justice 43 CAL. WESTERN L. REV. 1 (FALL 2006)(illustrates impact of suburbanization and state politics on continued education disparities)

All Facts Are Not Created Equal 13 TEMPLE POL. & CIV. RIGHTS L. REV. 629 (2004)(examines Sixth Circuit's Grutter v. Bollinger treatment of standard of review)


The ‘Blurred Lines' of Marvin Gaye's ‘Here, My Dear': Music as a Tortious Act, Divorce Narrative and First Amendment Totem, CARDOZO ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL, VOL. 36 (forthcoming)

Reconsidering Pre-Indictment Media Publicity: Racialized Crime News, Grand Juries and Tamir Rice, 8 ALA. CIV. RTS. & CIV. LIBERTIES L. REV. 1 (2017) (examining wisdom of grand jury access to pre-decisional media publicity)

Michael Sam: Upending Heteronormativity With a Piece of Cake 17 TEXAS REV. OF ENTER'T AND SPORTS L. (2015-16) (media construction of masculinity and responses to Michael Sam draft)

"A Criminal Practitioner's Guide to the Media in Client Representation," book chapter in MEDIA COVERAGE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE CASES 139 (Andrew e. Taslitz, ed.), American Bar Assn (2013)(constitutional, federal and state law explication of media law for reporters and lawyers)

The Muslim Manchurian Candidate: Barack Obama, Rumors, and Quotidian Hermeneutics VOLUME 25, ISSUE 4, JOURNAL OF CIVIL RIGHTS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (2011)(Explores media treatment of accusations of President Obama's race, religion, and ethnicity, how rumors are discussed in everyday conversations, and effective rumor management and debunking)


"Case Rounds: Time-Keeping, Client Billing and Ethics," chapter in THEORY AND PRACTICE IN CLINICAL PEDAGOGY (Elliott Milstein, Ann Shalleck, Susan Bryant, eds.), Carolina Press (2014)

Clinical Faculty in the Legal Academy: Hiring, Promotion, and Retention 62 J. OF LEGAL EDUC. 4 (VOL. 1) (2012)(advocate status equity between clinical professors and traditional law school professors) (with Calvin Pang, Bradford Colbert, Kathy Hessler, Katherine Kruse, Robert Kuehn, Mary Helen McNeal and David Santacroce)*

The Status Of Clinical Faculty In The Legal Academy: Report Of The Task Force On The Status Of Clinicians And The Legal Academy, 36 J. Legal Prof. 353 (Spring 2012) (republication of Clinical Faculty)

Can the Professor Come Out To Play? Scholarship, Teaching, and Theories of Play 58 J. of Legal Educ. 481 (2008) (extols effectiveness of games and play in law school learning)(with John Mitchell, Marilyn Berger, Lisa Brodoff, Paula Lustbader and Anne Enquist)


Huffington Post, "Donald Trump's Incitement to Lawless Action, True Threats, and the First Amendment," Politics, Mar 21 2016
Cleveland Plain Dealer, "Chic Again? Add Chic To The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Already!" Dec 12 2014
Huffington Post "Don't Understand the Connection Between Tamir Rice's Killing and His Parents' History? Join the Club" Black Voices, Dec 2 2014
Seattle Times,"After Ferguson, Crawl Out Of Safe Comfort Zones," Nov 25 2014
The Everett Herald, "How To Lighten Slide Victims' Financial Burden," Apr 20 2014
Seattle Times,"The Racial Self-Policing That African American Men Already Do," Jul 29 2013


Gay Rights: Amicus Advisor, Hollingsworth v. Perry, Appellate Brief drafted by Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP 2010 and 2013 (supporting trial court's finding against Proposition 8 unconstitutionality based upon appropriate appellate standard of review doctrine)(cited in Justice Alito's United States v. Windsor dissent)

Civil Rights: Researcher, co-author, Amicus Brief on behalf of Clinical Legal Educ. Ass'n (CLEA) in Grutter v. Bollinger 2002 (supporting Univ. of Michigan affirmative action program)