UCLA School of Law > Faculty > All Faculty Profiles > Biography

Adam Winkler

Professor of Law

Adam Winkler B.S.F.S Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, 1990
J.D. New York University, 1993
M.A. Political Science, 1998
UCLA Faculty since 2002
Biography | Bibliography | Courses

Adam Winkler is a specialist in American constitutional law. His wide-ranging scholarship has touched upon a diverse array of topics such as the right to bear arms, corporate political speech rights, affirmative action, judicial independence, constitutional interpretation, corporate social responsibility, international economic sanctions, and campaign finance law.  His work has been cited and quoted in landmark Supreme Court cases, including opinions dealing with the Second Amendment and with corporate political speech rights. His commentary has been featured on CNN, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, and numerous other outlets.  He is a contributor to The Daily Beast and The Huffington Post.

Along with Professor Ken Karst of the law school and the late Pulitzer Prize-winning legal historian Leonard Levy, Adam edited the six-volume Encyclopedia of the American Constitution (2nd edition). His book for W.W. Norton titled Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America was published in 2011.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Adam went to the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University intending to join the CIA.  But after graduating in 1990 he took the more mundane path of going to law school.  He earned a law degree from New York University in 1993 and moved back to Los Angeles to practice law with noted criminal defense lawyer, Howard Weitzman, at Katten Muchin Zavis & Weitzman.  In Adam’s first case out of law school, he worked with Weitzman representing the late Michael Jackson in a highly publicized child-molestation case.  Adam was also part of the defense team that initially represented O.J. Simpson in the football player’s infamous murder trial.  This was more than enough to convince Adam to return to academia.

Adam clerked on the United States Court of Appeals and then received a master’s degree in political science from UCLA under the mentorship of Professor Karen Orren.  Prior to joining the UCLA faculty in 2002, he was the John M. Olin Fellow at the University of Southern California Law School’s Center in Law, Economics and Organization (2001-02).

Adam teaches Constitutional Law I, Professional Responsibility, Constitutional Theory, Gun Control and Firearms Policy.