Professor of Law, Emeritus and Former Dean
A leading scholar and teacher of constitutional law and co-author of the casebook Processes of Constitutional Decision-Making, Paul Brest now focuses on judgment and decision making and philanthropy. He is the co-author of Problem Solving, Decision Making, and Professional Judgment (2010) and Money Well Spent: A Strategic Guide to Smart Philanthropy (2008).
Professor Brest joined the Stanford Law School faculty in 1969 and served as dean from 1987 to 1999 before becoming president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in 2000. He returned to Stanford Law School in 2012, where, as an emeritus professor recalled to active duty, he is teaching Judgment and Decision-Making at the Law School and Impact Investing and Managing to Outcomes at the Graduate School of Business. Professor Brest is also collaborating with Professor Deborah Hensler in designing a law and public policy laboratory at Stanford Law School.
Professor Brest is a fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and holds honorary degrees from Northwestern University School of Law and Swarthmore College. Before joining the Stanford Law School faculty in 1969, he clerked for Judge Bailey Aldrich of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and Justice John M. Harlan of the U.S. Supreme Court, and did civil rights litigation with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in Mississippi.