David Orentlicher

Director, UNLV Health Law Program
Professor, UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law
Expertise: Health Law, Constitutional Law, Presidential Power


David Orentlicher is the Cobeaga Law Firm Professor of Law and director of the UNLV Health Law Program. Nationally recognized for his expertise in health law and constitutional law, Orentlicher has testified before Congress, had his scholarship cited by the U.S. Supreme Court, and has served on many national, state, and local commissions.

Orentlicher came to UNLV Law from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and Indiana University School of Medicine. He is a member of the American Law Institute and a former president of the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics. Additionally, Orentlicher previously directed the American Medical Association's Division of Medical Ethics, where he drafted the AMA’s first patient’s bill of rights and many other guidelines relied upon by courts and government agencies, and he has practiced both law and medicine.

Orentlicher has published numerous articles and essays on a wide range of topics, including health care reform, physician aid in dying, reproductive decisions, affirmative action, and presidential power. His work has appeared in leading professional journals, such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), as well as in the New York TimesTime MagazineUSA TodayCNN Opinion, the Chicago Tribune, and other major newspapers.


  • M.D., Harvard Medical School
  • J.D., Harvard Law School

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health & medicine, law, politics (national)

David Orentlicher In The News

October 23, 2020
Over the past month, the Senate has rushed to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court. Both Republicans and Democrats have claimed that the other is inappropriately reshaping, or considering reshaping, the Court. But how did the Supreme Court get so caught up in politics? And is there a way out?
Washington Post
September 24, 2020
The Supreme Court is a distinctly American institution. Other nations have similar courts, but they tend to be lower-profile entities. In many, judicial turnover is a matter of bureaucratic routine, not party politics.
U.S. News & World Report
September 23, 2020
Filling Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court immediately sparked a bitter partisan fight.
The Conversation
September 23, 2020
Filling Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court immediately sparked a bitter partisan fight.

Articles Featuring David Orentlicher

student wearing face covering sits on ground, using laptop
Campus NewsOctober 9, 2020
Diversity, safety, and success become the foundation for UNLV.
gavel and stethoscope
Campus NewsFebruary 20, 2020
Law school to hosts conference with nonpartisan experts on health care reform in its continued quest to serve as a reliable public resource.
A man in a greay suit and a woman in a black jacket stare at each other across a table.
Campus NewsSeptember 26, 2019
Boyd’s Health Law concentration feeding a high-demand area that will only have more, and more complex needs, as more doctors start to work in the state.
series of pages with redacted passages
ResearchApril 22, 2019
UNLV law professor David Orentlicher breaks down how lawmakers will assess the Mueller Report.