Vikram David Amar

Dean of the University of Illinois College of Law
Iwan Foundation Professor of Law

About

Amar joined Illinois in 2015 from the University of California, Davis School of Law, where he was a professor of law and, since 2008, served as the associate dean for academic affairs. During his seven years as associate dean, Amar was extensively involved in faculty hiring, tenure, and promotions; clinical programming; admissions; career services; and curricular development. In addition to teaching at Davis, Amar was a professor of law at UC Hastings and also a visiting professor of law at UC Berkeley and UCLA.

Amar is a national authority in constitutional law, federal courts, and civil procedure. He has written a number of books and scores of articles in leading law journals. He is a co-author (along with William Cohen and Jonathan Varat) of Constitutional Law: Cases and Materials (Foundation Press, 14th ed. 2013) and a co-author on a number of volumes of the Wright & Miller Federal Practice and Procedure Treatise (West Publishing Co.). He is also the co-author of a one-volume treatise on American Civil Procedure. He writes a biweekly column on constitutional matters for Justia.com, is a frequent commentator on local and national radio and TV, and has penned dozens of op-ed pieces for major newspapers and magazines.

A strong proponent of public and professional engagement, Amar is an elected member of the American Law Institute and has served as a consultant for, among others, the National Association of Attorneys General, the United States Department of Justice, the California Attorney General’s Office, the ACLU of Southern California, and the Center for Civic Education. For one year he chaired the Civil Procedure Section of the Association of American Law Schools.

Amar earned his bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and his juris doctor from Yale Law School, where he was an articles editor for the Yale Law Journal. He then clerked for Judge William A. Norris of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the United States Supreme Court before joining Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where he handled a variety of complex civil and white collar criminal matters. Amar appears to be the first person of South Asian heritage to have clerked at the U.S. Supreme Court, and is at present the only person of South Asian descent serving as a dean of a major American law school. Follow Dean Amar’s bi-weekly column on Justia.com and read archived posts from his FindLaw.com column.

Education

JD Yale Law School
AB University of California, Berkeley

Areas of Expertise

Civil Procedure
Constitutional Law
Federal Courts

Courses

Basic Constitutional Law & Individual Rights
State Constitutional Law and Contemporary Public Policy

Selected Publications

Books

FEDERAL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE, JURISDICTION 3D Vol.17 (with Charles A. Wright, Arthur R. Miller and Edward H. Cooper, St. Paul: West Group, 2006) (with 2014 Pocket Part)

FEDERAL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE, JURISDICTION 3D Vol.17A (with Charles A. Wright, Arthur R. Miller and Edward H. Cooper, St. Paul: West Group, 2006) (with 2014 Pocket Part)

FEDERAL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE, JURISDICTION 3D Vol.17B (with Charles A. Wright, Arthur R. Miller and Edward H. Cooper, St. Paul: West Group, 2006) (with 2014 Pocket Part)

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS (with William Cohen and Jonathan D. Varat, 14 th ed., Westbury, N.Y.: Foundation Press, 2013) (with 2014 Supp.)

CONCISE EDITION OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS (with William Cohen and Jonathan D. Varat, 14 th ed., Westbury, N.Y.: Foundation Press 2014) (with 2013 Supp.)

Articles and Essays

Standing Up for Direct Democracy: Who Can Be Empowered to Defend Initiatives in Federal Court?, 48 U.C. DAVIS L. REV. 473 (2014)

The Case for Reforming Presidential Elections by Sub-Constitutional Means: The Electoral College, the National Popular Vote Compact and Congressional Power, 100 GEORGETOWN L. J. 237 (2011)

How Senate Confirmation Hearings Should Better Educate Senators and the American Public: The Instructional Necessity of Case-Specific Questioning, 61 HASTINGS L.J. 1407 (2010)

Lessons from California’s Unusual Non-Unitary Executive Branch, 59 EMORY L. J. 469 (2009)

When Avoiding Federal Questions Shouldn’t Evade Federal Review, 12 GREEN BAG 2D 381 (2009) (with Alan Brownstein)

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