David S. Tanenhaus

Professor of History
James E. Rogers Professor of History and Law
Expertise: Juvenile Justice, Constitutional and Legal History


David S. Tanenhaus is an internationally recognized authority on the history and practice of juvenile justice. 

He is a professor in the UNLV history department and the James E. Rogers Professor of History and Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law. From 2004 to 2012, Tanenhaus served as editor of Law and History Review. He is now general editor, with Franklin E. Zimring, of NYU Press’s Youth, Crime, and Justice Series

Since coming to UNLV in 1997, he has taught courses on American legal and constitutional history, the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, children and society, and introductory surveys of U.S. History.

He has written extensively about legal and constitutional history. His books include Juvenile Justice in the Making (Oxford University Press, 2004) and The Constitutional Rights of Children: In re Gault and Juvenile Justice (University Press of Kansas, 2011). He co-edited, with Margaret K. Rosenheim, Franklin E. Zimring, and Bernardine Dohrn, A Century of Juvenile Justice (University of Chicago, 2002) and, with Franklin E. Zimring, Choosing the Future for American Juvenile Justice (NYU Press, 2014). He also served as the editor-in-chief of The Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States (MacMillan Reference USA, 2008). 

A passionate believer in connecting universities to communities, he serves as a Trustee of Nevada Humanities, participates in teacher institutes sponsored by the Center for Civic Education and the American Institute for History Education, and helps coordinate both the Philip Pro Lectureship in Legal History at the Boyd School of Law and the UNLV Constitution Day Public Lectureship.


  • Ph.D., American history, University of Chicago
  • MA, History, University of Chicago
  • BA, Grinnell College