Harry Scheiber

  • Stefan A. Riesenfeld Professor of Law and History (Emeritus)
    Chancellor's Emeritus Professor
    Faculty Director, Institute for Legal Research
  • hscheiber@law.berkeley.edu
  • Tel: 510-643-9788
  • 306 Law Building, Berkeley, CA 94720 MC:7200
  • Faculty Support Contact: Toni Mendicino

Harry Scheiber did postdoctoral work in law while a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He taught at Dartmouth from 1960 through 1971, and then became a professor of American history at UC San Diego. He served for eight years as chair and associate dean for the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program, and in 1994-5 was chair of the Berkeley campus Academic Senate. He joined the Berkeley Law faculty in 1980. From 2000 to 2001, Scheiber served as director of the Center for the Study of Law and Society.

Scheiber has held Guggenheim, Rockefeller, American Council of Learned Societies, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Social Science Research Council Fellowships. He was a Distinguished Fulbright Lecturer in Australia, and he has been president of the Agricultural History Society, the Council for Research in Economic History, and the ACLU of New Hampshire. From 1994 to 1995, he served as chair of the UC Berkeley Academic Senate. In 1998, he received an honorary doctorate of laws from Uppsala University in Sweden. He was elected in 1999 as an honorary fellow of the American Society for Legal History. In 2003 he was elected as fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Scheiber has written extensively in American legal history, especially on the history of law and public policy, on federalism, and on constitutional development. He has also led research projects and written on aspects of environmental law, especially Law of the Sea and ocean resources policy. His other research has been in the fields of modern judicial reform, Japanese-U.S. relations and ocean policy, and Japanese fisheries law and development. In addition, Scheiber has conducted seminars and research programs for the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and the California Sea Grant College program.

His primary books include Law of the Sea: The Common Heritage and Emerging Challenges; Legal Cultures and the Legal Profession; Inter-Allied Conflict and Modern Ocean Law Origins, 1945-52; American Law and the Constitutional Order; American Economic History; Ohio Canal Era–A Case Study of Government and the Economy; The Wilson Administration and Civil Liberties; The Old Northwest–Studies in Regional History; Perspectives on Federalism; Federalism and the Judicial Mind; The State and Freedom of Contract; Earl Warren and the Warren Court; Bringing New Law to Ocean Waters; and The Oceans in the Nuclear Age.

He teaches courses and seminars on American Legal History, American Federalism, Coastal and Ocean Law and Policy, and Jurisprudence and Social Policy.


A.B., Columbia University (1955)
M.A., Cornell University (1957)
Ph.D., Cornell University (1961)
D. Jur. Hon., Uppsala University, Sweden (1998)