Study Hall

Selected Faculty Scholarship

Award-Winning Excellence

Faculty Honors:

From trailblazing scholarship and extraordinary teaching to visionary leadership and meaningful mentoring, Berkeley Law faculty members have been festooned with a bevy of prestigious national and campus-wide honors this year.

Professor Jennifer Urban giving this year’s Benjamin Ide Wheeler Society Lecture
SELECTED SCHOLAR: Professor Jennifer M. Urban ’00, chair of the California Privacy Protection Agency, was chosen to give this year’s Benjamin Ide Wheeler Society Lecture. Photo by Keegan Houser

Lauren Edelman ’86 was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a leading honorary society and independent research center for leaders from varied disciplines to address major challenges. A past Law and Society Association president and Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, Edelman confronts the revealing interplay between organizations and their legal environments.

Osagie K. Obasogie won a coveted Guggenheim Fellowship to further his groundbreaking scholarship probing the intersection of race, medicine, and the law. He plans to use the opportunity to expand his work on “excited delirium,” a vague and controversial term often used by medical examiners as well as coroners to explain why community members die in police custody.
Professor Victoria Plaut stands smiling outside a building
IN CHARGE: Professor Victoria Plaut was recently named UC Berkeley’s new vice provost for the faculty. Photo by Neil Freese
An expert on the psychological science of diversity, Victoria Plaut was named UC Berkeley’s new vice provost for the faculty. On Aug. 15, she began oversight of building, supporting, and maintaining the faculty in close collaboration with deans, department chairs, and others. Plaut recently chaired the Academic Senate’s Budget and Interdepartmental Relations Committee.
Civil procedure expert Andrew Bradt won UC Berkeley’s Distinguished Teaching Award, one of just five campus educators recognized this year. The award honors teaching that incites intellectual curiosity, engages students deeply in the enterprise of learning, makes them aware of key relationships between the academy and the world at large, and inspires colleagues.
Abbye Atkinson, an authority on credit, debt, and inequality, is the first recipient of the American Constitution Society’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg Scholar Award. The award honors a top scholar in the early stages of their career who has shown scholarly excellence, the ability to imagine how society can be more just and more equal, and the determination to pursue that goal.
Robert Merges received the PatCon Extraordinary Achievement Award for his leading scholarship about the patent system. The Patent Conference (PatCon) is the world’s largest annual gathering for experts in the field to share their research and explore new developments. Merges is America’s second-most cited intellectual property scholar, according to a recent study.
Policy Advocacy Clinic Associate Director Stephanie Campos-Bui ’14 won the university’s Chancellor Award for Community-Engaged Teaching, which honors those who lead students in community-based courses or research. Her work on abolishing fines and fees in California’s juvenile and criminal legal systems helped accelerate a movement to eliminate them nationwide.
Calvin Morrill was one of two winners of the Law and Society Association’s 2022 Stan Wheeler Mentorship Award. A longtime leader in graduate sociolegal studies, Morrill has served on 44 Ph.D. committees and chaired over half of them. Many of the people he supervised have co-authored publications with him and become leading researchers, scholars, and teachers.
Jennifer M. Urban ’00 gave UC Berkeley’s annual Benjamin Ide Wheeler Society Lecture in July. Director of policy initiatives at the school’s Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic, she discussed the public’s growing privacy demands, how legislative efforts are responsive to those concerns, and the challenges of protecting privacy rights in a data-hungry age.

Faculty Papers:

Berkeley Law’s public mission demands scholarship that tackles pressing matters facing society, and its professors continue to meet that obligation head-on. Here are some examples of recent faculty papers that confront key issues within finance, privacy, refugee migration, corporate governance, artificial intelligence, and much more.

Professor Chris Hoofnagle seated at an outdoor table holding his latest book
QUANTUM LEAP: Professor Chris Hoofnagle, the faculty director of UC Berkeley’s Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity, with his latest book. Photo by Brittany Hosea-Small

Turning the Page


rue to form, Berkeley Law’s prolific faculty cranked out 39 compelling books last year that explore a wide swath of meaningful issues. At a spring celebration of those publications, colleagues shared their perspective on several of them — and why they resonate. Here are just three examples:

In Law and Policy for the Quantum Age, Professor Chris Hoofnagle and co-author Simson Garfinkel detail how the rise of quantum technologies will affect countries and their citizens. They describe the history of these technologies, how they work, how they may be used for future national defense, and how companies may (or may not) profit from them.

“Chris has been helping people understand law and tech for many years now,” said Berkeley Law professor and privacy law expert Paul Schwartz, who praised his colleague’s “witty, easy to read book that enables people from different disciplines to understand the interplay between them.”

In Contested Ground: How to Understand the Limits of Presidential Power, Professor Daniel Farber synthesizes history, politics, and settled law while illuminating issues that stoke hotly contested debates about the limits of and checks on presidential authority — and describing how crucial it is for the same rules to apply to all presidents.

“This book provides an explanation for people who care about their country, their democracy, and how the world works in concrete, clear, and meaningful prose,” said fellow professor and constitutional law scholar Jennifer Chacón. “It’s clear what a wonderful teacher Dan must be.”

In Justice, Justice Thou Shalt Pursue: A Life’s Work Fighting for a More Perfect Union, Professor Amanda Tyler — a former clerk and close friend of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — offers a curation of her legacy. Divided into five parts, the book opens with an edited transcript of Tyler’s 2019 interview with Ginsburg at UC Berkeley for the first Herma Hill Kay Memorial Lecture.

“I was struck by how well these different parts of the book fit together, the impact of Justice Ginsburg’s amazing life and career, how well-edited this book was, how Justice Ginsburg was such a passionate voice for justice, and how much we miss her,” Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky said. — Andrew Cohen