UC Hastings has several judges teaching this academic year in both the trial advocacy/civil litigation skills curriculum and the doctrinal courses. These professors sit on federal district, state superior, and bankruptcy courts, providing students the opportunity to learn law, ethics, and professionalism from one of the most esteemed subsets of the legal profession.
The school has long been closely connected to our many alumni on the bench. A UC Hastings education also offers a fantastic opportunity to study with adjunct professors who are former and current judges, notes Provost & Academic Dean Elizabeth L. Hillman, who sees judge professors as another way students gain practical skills to make an immediate impact in their profession.
“Studying with judges gives students exposure to experts who understand not only cutting edge issues of law, but how professional skills and legal knowledge make lawyers effective. Judges witness first-hand the oral advocacy and written submissions of attorneys, giving them a unique vantage point on the legal profession,” said Hillman.
Judge Teri L. Jackson, Adjunct Professor, is a Superior Court Judge of California, County of San Francisco and is teaching Trial Advocacy.
Judge Maria-Elena James, Adjunct Professor was appointed Magistrate Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in 1994. This term, she is teaching Judicially Supervised Settlement Conferences.
Judge William J. Lafferty, Adjunct Professor, is a United States Bankruptcy Judge in the Northern District of California, Oakland division. He is teaching Secured Transactions.
Judge Vaughn Walker, Adjunct Professor, served as a United States District Judge for the Northern District of California from 1990 to 2011; he was chief judge of that court from 2004 to 2011 and gained renown in his decision striking down Prop. 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage in 2010. He is teaching Introduction to Law for the Master of Studies in Law (MSL) students.
Judge Charles R. Breyer, Adjunct Professor, was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in 1997 by President Clinton. Judge Breyer is a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States and serves on its Executive Committee.
Judge Stephen Johnson ‘89, Adjunct Professor is a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of California and was appointed in 2010.
Judge A. James Robertson, Adjunct Professor has been a San Francisco Superior Court judge since 1995. He has served one year in the criminal division, four years as a civil trial judge and motion judge. He is currently serving as trial judge.
Judge Marsha Berzon, nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1998, has been a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, since 2000.
Judge Joseph Grodin was first appointed Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal in 1979; in 1981, he was elevated to presiding justice of that court, and in 1982 was appointed Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court, a position he held until January 1987.