The University of California, Berkeley, is arguably one the top colleges in the world. Of late, however, it has been embroiled in a free speech debate over allowing guest speakers like former Breitbart senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos stemming back to earlier this year. The irony about many Berkeley students taking up arms (verbally) about certain speakers exercising their first amendment right on campus is that the University has long been a bastion of free speech going back to the 1960’s, and beyond.
The school caught a lot flak about its handling of such situations, but it is important to remember that the actions of some students and faculty do not represent the whole university. Thus, and so, we would all remember that amidst all the chaos of who should or should not be given the honor of speaking at such a prestigious campus, the young minds of tomorrow are continually being sharpened and honed by some of the great minds of today.
New Dean of Berkeley Law
The University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, commonly referred to as Berkeley Law and Boalt Hall, has just named legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky to be Dean of Berkeley Law, according to a press release. Chemerinsky begins his five-year term on July 1, 2017, after serving as the founding dean of UC Irvine School of Law for just shy of a decade.
Dean Chemerinsky has written 10 books (including the timely “Free Speech on Campus” which will be published sometime this summer) and hundreds of law review articles, as well as op-eds in national print media, Berkeley News reports. He also has a weekly column in our local newspaper, the Orange County Register.
“I believe he will be a phenomenal leader for our law school, someone who will ensure that Berkeley Law remains not only a powerhouse of legal scholarship and training, but also a community built on mutual respect and inclusion,” said UC Berkeley Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Carol Christ in a statement.
The Future of Berkeley Law
It is fair to say that Chemerinsky has much experience to bring to the table, having argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals, the press release notes. He also authored the casebook, “Constitutional Law,” a popular legal textbook which has seen wide circulation across the United States. It would seem that it is no accident Chemerinsky was named the United States’ most influential person in legal education by National Jurist magazine at the beginning of 2017. Especially when you consider the work he did at UCI Law, helping it become one of the best law schools in a number of areas. Now, his mission is Berkeley.
“I care deeply about the public mission of the law school and the public service it provides through its clinical and pro bono programs,” he said. “My goal as dean is to maintain the school’s excellence—be it in intellectual property, social justice or business law—and look for every opportunity I can to enhance it.”
Ronald G. Brower graduated from the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley in 1970. He has been practicing criminal law in Orange County since 1974. Attorney Brower a leading player in the Southern California legal scene and can give you the best possible criminal defense. Please contact us today.