Boalt Hall Hires Five New Professors As Major Expansion Continues

Attention: Law, Legal Affairs and Higher Education Reporters

Contact: Dan Brekke 510-643-6157

Berkeley, CA–Boalt Hall took a major stride in its ambitious plans to expand the size and breadth of its core faculty, hiring five professors to join the law school this fall. The appointments of the new tenured and tenure-track faculty signal a significant early success in Boalt’s overall goal of growing its core faculty by 40 percent in coming years.

Coming on board for the 2005-06 academic year are David Sklansky from the UCLA School of Law; Leti Volpp from American University Washington College of Law; Molly Shaffer Van Houweling from the University of Michigan Law School; Kenneth Bamberger from the firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in Washington, D.C.; and Erin Murphy from the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. They will augment Boalt’s teaching and research strengths in such areas as administrative law, corporations, criminal law, cyberlaw and intellectual property, evidence and immigration.

“It’s an absolute joy to announce the successful recruitment of these spectacular new colleagues,” said Dean Christopher Edley, Jr. “They will strengthen our teaching and research portfolios in an array of specialized fields. This influx of talent not only creates exciting learning opportunities for Boalt students, but also enhances our intellectual firepower as we tackle some of the most complex problems on the horizons of legal scholarship and practice.”

The five new faculty members joined Boalt on July 1. The fall semester starts Monday, August 22. Background on the new professors is as follows:

David Sklansky, a nationally renowned scholar and teacher of criminal procedure and evidence, has accepted a tenured position. Sklansky previously taught criminal law, criminal procedure and evidence at the UCLA School of Law, where he joined the faculty in 1994. Recipient of UCLA’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2000, he twice was voted the law school’s professor of the year. His teaching skills also met with great success with students at Boalt, where he was a visiting professor the past three semesters. A 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School, Sklansky briefly practiced labor law in Washington, D.C., and spent several years as a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles, where he specialized in white-collar fraud prosecutions.

Leti Volpp, a widely recognized young scholar in law and the humanities, has also accepted a tenured position. Volpp began teaching at the American University Washington College of Law in 1998 and has steadily gained national visibility. She visited at UCLA School of Law in 2004-05, and was a scholar-in-residence for Boalt’s Center for Social Justice in fall 2004. Volpp is a rising star in the fields of immigration law, citizenship, nationality, and law and culture. A 1993 graduate of Columbia Law School, Volpp holds numerous honors, including two Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellowships, a MacArthur Foundation Individual Research and Writing Grant, and the AALS Minority Section Derrick A. Bell, Jr., Award.

Molly Shaffer Van Houweling, a leading cyberlaw and intellectual property expert, joins Boalt as an acting professor of law, a tenure-track position. Van Houweling, who had been a faculty member at the University of Michigan Law School, was a visiting professor at Boalt in 2004-05. A 1998 Harvard Law School graduate, her teaching and research interests include intellectual property, law and technology, property, and constitutional law. Before joining the Michigan faculty, Van Houweling was president of Creative Commons, a nonprofit group that facilitates sharing of intellectual property.

Kenneth A. Bamberger, counsel with the firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in Washington, D.C., also has accepted a tenure-track position. Bamberger graduated from Harvard Law School in 1998 and was president of the Harvard Law Review. He clerked for Judge Amalya L. Kearse of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and for U.S. Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter. His appellate litigation and counseling practice involved issues arising from the regulation of business. His areas of primary interest are corporations, administrative law, and professional responsibility.

Erin Murphy, an expert in procedural and evidentiary questions related to criminal law, has accepted a tenure-track appointment. Murphy graduated in 1999 from Harvard Law School, where she was a notes editor of the Harvard Law Review. She then clerked for Judge Merrick B. Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Following her clerkship, she became a public defender in the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, spending three years in the trial division and two years in the appellate division. She led a widely watched constitutional challenge to the District of Columbia’s firearms law, and acquired expertise in the scientific and legal issues surrounding the admissibility of various types of forensic evidence.

This major expansion supports Boalt’s overall goals for remaining in the forefront of changes in the profession and the increasing specialization of legal research. This fall’s recruitment marks one of the largest single expansions of Boalt’s core faculty in recent decades.

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Additional media contacts: Boalt Hall Professor Philip Frickey: 510-643-4180