Jill Adams has been a member of the School of Law faculty since 1988. She received her B.A. with Highest Honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1974. She next studied at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, receiving her M.A.T. in 1978. Before finishing her masters, she taught high school English at two schools run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, one in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the other on the Choctaw Reservation near Philadelphia, Mississippi. A legal dispute about the sovereignty of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw, which was heard in the U.S. Supreme Court while she was teaching on the reservation, sparked her interest in law. In 1979, she enrolled in law school at the University of New Mexico where she was supervisory editor of the law review. She graduated from there in 1982 (summa cum laude and Order of the Coif).
Professor Adams clerked for two years for the Hon. Juan G. Burciaga of the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico. After leaving her clerkship, she practiced with the firm of Rodey, Dickason, Akin & Robb, P.A., in Albuquerque. In 1986, she moved to Carbondale, where she practiced law until she joined the faculty in 1988. Professor Adams teaches Civil Procedure and Employment Discrimination. She also has headed the school's Academic Support Program since 1999.
Her research interests include issues in civil procedure, employment discrimination law, and civil rights, with an occasional foray into Indian law. Professor Adams is active in community and university affairs. She served as secretary to the Faculty Senate from 1997 to 1999 and serves on numerous university committees. She has been involved with the Women's Center, a not-for-profit corporation providing services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault for a number of years and served as its president from 1997 to 2001.