Academic Dean Morris Ratner (BA, Stanford University 1988; JD, Harvard Law School 1991) manages and supports the faculty and all academic programs, including clinics, centers, academic support, career development, and the legal writing program. In addition, he manages and supports associate and assistant deans responsible for degree programs or departments (e.g., Global Programs, the LLM, MSL, and HPL degrees, and the Library), oversees the Associate Academic Dean, and manages the classroom budget.
Consistent with the College’s mission and strategic plan and the vision of its Chancellor & Dean, Dean Ratner’s priorities include:
- Creating a cohesive student experience from admission through graduation that prepares students for professional success;
- Adapting the curriculum to anticipate technological and other changes in the practice of law;
- Collaborating with faculty and staff to develop innovative teaching methods, courses, and co-curricular programming;
- Supporting faculty research and faculty and staff professional development;
- Integrating faculty, students, alumni, and the wider community in which UC Hastings is situated;
- Promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion; and
- Fostering a culture of continuous and evidence-based self-reflection and improvement.
Dean Ratner joined the UC Hastings Faculty in 2012 after teaching at Harvard Law School as a visiting lecturer and then as a visiting assistant professor from 2009 to 2011. He teaches civil procedure, legal ethics, and the business of law practice, and produces scholarship at the intersection of those fields.
While at UC Hastings, Dean Ratner has received multiple awards for his teaching and scholarship, including Student Choice Award for Professor of the Year (twice) and the Rutter Award for Teaching Excellence, as well as the Fred C. Zacharias Memorial Prize for Scholarship in Professional Responsibility awarded by the AALS Section on Professional Responsibility.
Dean Ratner was a litigator at the San Francisco-based plaintiffs’ firm Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, where he was a partner for ten years and where he prosecuted product liability, environmental, mass personal injury, consumer, and human rights actions. Among other high-profile matters, he prosecuted and settled Holocaust-era slave labor, looted asset, dormant bank account and unpaid insurance claims against European companies, producing global settlements in those cases worth more than $7.5 billion.
Harvard Law School 1991
Stanford University 1988
Selected Presenter, Vanderbilt Law School's Branstetter Litigation & Dispute Resolution Program 2017 New Voices Workshop 2017
The Branstetter Program supports research and curriculum in civil litigation and dispute resolution. Held annually, the Branstetter New Voices Workshop brings together junior scholars, senior scholars, and Vanderbilt faculty in the areas of civil justice. Each year, junior scholars are selected via a blind review process to present at the New Voices Workshop.
Student Choice Award: Professor of the Year 2017
Conferred by the Associated Students of UC Hastings College of the Law
"Outstanding Contribution to UC Hastings" Award 2017
Conferred by UC Hastings College of the Law
Co-winner of the sixth annual Fred C. Zacharias Memorial Prize for Scholarship in Professional Responsibility 2015 2015
Awarded by the AALS Section on Professional Responsibility for Class Counsel as Litigation Funders, 28 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 271 (2015)
Rutter Award for Teaching Excellence 2015-2016
The William and Sally Rutter Award for Teaching Excellence - Outstanding Professor of the Year 2015-2016
Student Choice Award: Professor of the Year 2015 2015
Conferred by the Associated Students of UC Hastings
Visionary Service Award 2014
Conferred by the UC Hastings College of the Law Board of Trustees.
Class Conflicts 2017
Washington Law Review
Fordham Law Review
Hastings International & Comparative Law Review
Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics
Profit for Costs 2014
DePaul Law Review
Achieving Procedural Goals Through Indirection: The Use of Ethics Doctrine to Justify Contingency Fee Caps in MDL Aggregate Settlements 2013
Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics
Review of Litigation
The Legacy of Holocaust Class Action Suits: Have They Broken Ground for Other Cases of Historical Wrongs? (with Caryn Becker) 2006
Book chapter in Holocaust Restitution: Perspectives on the Litigation and Its Legacy (M. J. Bazyler & R. P. Alford, eds. 2005)
Factors Impacting the Selection and Positioning of Human Rights Class Actions in United States Courts: A Practical Overview 2003
New York University Annual Survey of American Law
Berkeley Journal of International Law