After earning a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from Stanford Law School, Professor Bartels served as a Professor of Law at the University of Iowa College of Law from 1971 to 1981. He joined the faculty at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University in 1982 and has held the Charles M. Brewer Chair since 1986. Professor Bartels has taught a wide range of courses, focusing on criminal law and procedure and practical advocacy.
Outside of his academic career, Professor Bartels served as Special Assistant Attorney General of Iowa (1971-73), Deputy Chief for the Office of the U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona (1994-96), as Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona (1996-2006), and has served on the boards of several legal services organizations. He is a member of the Maricopa County Bar Association Diversity Committee and of the Boards of Directors of the Arizona Capital Representation Project and the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest.