Last updated on: 6/5/2017 | Author:

Erwin Chemerinsky, JD Biography

Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law at Berkeley Law at the University of California, Berkeley
Pro to the question "Should Teachers Get Tenure?"

“No one disputes that education is unequal in California and the United States. Poorer children and children of color are disadvantaged in the educational system. But the tenure system for teachers is not responsible for this, nor will altering it improve education for those who most need reform…

Every year, the states with the highest student performance are states, like Maryland and Massachusetts, with robust protection of teachers. One of the key reasons they are successful is that these states do a better job at getting resources to the neediest students and creating a climate where teachers have the support needed to succeed and therefore stay in the profession.

The problem of inner-city schools is not that the dedicated teachers who work in them have too many rights, but that the schools have inadequate resources, the students who go to them are disadvantaged in many ways, and the schools are surrounded by communities that are dangerous, lack essential services and are largely segregated both by race and class. Taking away from teachers the modest job security accorded by tenure will address none of these problems.”

“Misguided Attack on Tenure Sidetracked,”, Apr. 21, 2016

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law, Berkeley School of Law, University of California, Berkeley, July 1, 2017-present
  • Columnist, Sacramento Bee
  • Monthly Columnist, ABA Journal
  • Contributor, Daily Journal
  • Lecturer, BAR/BRI, 1986-present
  • Former Founding Dean and Distinguished Professor of the School of Law at the University of California, Irvine, 2008-June, 2017
  • Former Columnist, Orange County Register
  • Alston and Bird Professor of Law and Political Science, Duke University, 2004-2008
  • Professor, University of Southern California Law School, 1983-2004
  • Associate Professor, DePaul University College of Law, 1983-1984
  • Assistant Professor, DePaul University College of Law, 1980-83
  • Director, Northwestern University, National High School Institute in Speech, Forensics Division, 1981-82
  • Attorney, Dobrovir, Oakes, and Gebhardt (Washington, DC), 1979-1980
  • Attorney, Attorney General’s Program for Honor Law Graduates, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Frauds Section, 1978-79
  • JD, cum laude, Harvard Law School, Harvard University, 1978
  • BS, Northwestern University, 1975
  • Named by National Jurist in Jan. 2017 as the most influential person in legal education in the United States
  • Elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016
  • Received the 2014 Hubert Humphrey First Amendment Award from the Anti-Defamation League
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should Teachers Get Tenure?