Erwin Chemerinsky became the 13th Dean of Berkeley Law on July 1, 2017, when he joined the faculty as the Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law. Prior to assuming this position, from 2008-2017, he was the founding Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law, and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law, at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. Before that, he was the Alston and Bird Professor of Law and Political Science at Duke University from 2004-2008, and from 1983-2004 was a professor at the University of Southern California Law School, including as the Sydney M. Irmas Professor of Public Interest Law, Legal Ethics, and Political Science. From 1980-1983, he was an assistant professor at DePaul College of Law.
He is the author of fourteen books, including leading casebooks and treatises about constitutional law, criminal procedure, and federal jurisdiction. His most recent books are Presumed Guilty: How the Supreme Court Empowered the Police and Subverted Civil Rights (Norton 2021), and The Religion Clauses: The Case for Separating Church and State (with Howard Gillman) (Oxford University Press 2020). He also is the author of more than 200 law review articles. He is a contributing writer for the Opinion section of the Los Angeles Times, and writes regular columns for the Sacramento Bee, the ABA Journal, and the Daily Journal, and frequent op-eds in newspapers across the country. He frequently argues appellate cases, including in the United States Supreme Court. In 2016, he was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2017, National Jurist magazine again named Dean Chemerinsky as the most influential person in legal education in the United States. In January 2021, he was named President-elect of the Association of American Law Schools.