Hon. Gail L. Heriot

Professor of Law, University of San Diego School of Law

Topics: Federalism & Separation of Powers • Civil Rights • Free Speech & Election Law

Professor Heriot teaches and writes in the areas of civil rights, employment discrimination, product liability remedies, and torts.

Heriot clerked for the Honorable Seymour F. Simon on the Illinois Supreme Court. Prior to entering academia, she practiced with Mayer, Brown & Platt in Chicago and Hogan & Hartson in Washington, D.C. She also served as civil rights counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary and as associate dean and professor of law at the George Mason University School of Law. She joined the USD School of Law faculty in 1989.

Heriot is currently a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights. She was an editor of the University of Chicago Law Review. She is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Order of the Coif. She sits on the board of directors of the National Association of Scholars and the California Association of Scholars.

Heriot’s publications include “Lights! Camera! Legislation!: Grandstanding Congress Set to Adopt Hate Crimes Bill that May Put Double Jeopardy Protections in Jeopardy” in 10 Engage 4 (2009); “Affirmative Action in American Law Schools” in 17 Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues 237 (2008); and “The Politics of Admissions in California” in 2001 Academic Questions 29 (2001). As a frequent contributor to popular media outlets, she has written opinion essays including “The ABA’s ‘Diversity’ Diktat” inThe Wall Street Journal (April 28, 2008); “Hate Bill Threatens Innocent” in The Philadelphia Inquirer (July 22, 2009); and “Congress Tries to Break Hawaii in Two” in The Wall Street Journal (with Kirsanow) (February 28, 2010).


  • JD, 1981, University of Chicago
  • BA, 1978, Northwestern University


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