Chemerinsky became dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law in July 2017 when he joined the faculty as the Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law. Prior to coming to Cal, he was the founding dean at the UC Irvine School of Law and professor of first amendment law. In January 2017, National Jurist magazine named him the most influential person in legal education in the United States.
As a professor and legal scholar, Chemerinsky embodies the role of a public intellectual. He is the author of 10 books and co-author of the new release Free Speech on Campus, which argues that campuses must provide supportive learning environments for an increasingly diverse student body without restricting the expression of ideas. In addition, he has published 200 law review articles and writes a weekly column for the Orange County Register, monthly columns for the ABA Journal and the Daily Journal, and regular op-eds in newspapers across the country. He frequently argues appellate cases, including in the United States Supreme Court.
Chemerinsky graduated from Northwestern University in 1975 and received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1978. Prior to his deanship at Irvine, he was a professor at Duke Law School and the University of Southern California Law School.
In 2016, he was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.