Professor Hines completed his phased retirement in 2014, but he intends to keep teaching part-time in the next few years. He is currently completing a major article, co-authored with Laura J. Hines, on the "Federal Constitutionalization of Punitive Damage Limits." This article reviews in detail how over 500 state and federal courts have implemented the new due-process-based federal "Guideposts" intended to prevent unconstitutional excessiveness in the size of punitive damage awards since these limitations were last restated and refined by the U.S. Supreme Court in State Farm Insurance Co. v. Campbell 2003.
N. William Hines joined the faculty at the College of Law in 1962 as an Assistant Professor and Director of the Agricultural Law Clinic. In 1973 he was named the Joseph F. Rosenfield Distinguished Professor of Law, and in 1976 assumed the role of Dean of The College of Law. He served 28 years as Iowa law dean, making him the longest serving dean of a College in the history of the University of Iowa.
While in law school at The University of Kansas (JD 1961), Professor Hines served as Associate Editor and Notes & Comments Editor of the Kansas Law Review. During his senior year he served concurrently as a clerk to Justice Walter A. Huxman of the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. Upon graduation he served as a Graduate Teaching Fellow at Harvard Law School for one year. His scholarship has focused on Property Co-ownership, Estate Planning, and Environmental Law.
He served as President of AALS in 2005.