Eric Berger Earl Dunlap Distinguished Professor of Law
Professor Eric Berger joined the faculty in 2007. He received his B.A. with Honors in History from Brown University, and his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a Kent Scholar and an Articles Editor on the Columbia Law Review. After law school, Professor Berger clerked for the Honorable Merrick B. Garland on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He then practiced in Jenner & Block's Washington, D.C. office, where he worked on litigation in several state and federal trial and appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Professor Berger's matters there included cases involving lethal injection, same-sex marriage, the detention of foreign nationals at Guantanamo Bay, and internet obscenity.
Professor Berger teaches Constitutional Law I (structure), Constitutional Law II (rights), Constitutional History, Federal Courts, First Amendment, and Statutory Interpretation. He also teaches a class for undergraduates on Legislation and Regulation. He has been voted Professor of the Year by the upperclass law students seven times. He has also received the College Distinguished Teaching Award (in 2010), the Law Alumni Council Distinguished Faculty Award (in 2018), and the John H. Binning Award for Excellence (in 2019).
Professor Berger's scholarship focuses on constitutional law. Much of his work explores judicial decision making in constitutional cases, with special attention to deference, fact finding, rhetorical strategies, and other under-theorized factors that help shape judicial opinions in constitutional cases. His article Individual Rights, Judicial Deference, and Administrative Law Norms in Constitutional Decision Making, 91 B.U. L. REV. 2029 (2011), was named the 2011 winner of the American Constitution Society's Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law. Professor Berger has also written extensively about lethal injection litigation.
Professor Berger has testified in the Nebraska legislature about a variety of constitutional issues, including free speech, lethal injection, and the process for amending the U.S. Constitution. He is also the faculty advisor to the Law College's chapter of the American Constitution Society and to the Community Legal Education Project, which sends law students into Lincoln schools and community centers to teach about the Constitution.
Professor Berger has also published two video lecture courses about constitutional law with Wondrium (also known as The Great Courses). The first, Law School for Everyone: Constitutional Law (2019), is a twelve lecture course introducing some of the topics and questions students would encounter in an introductory class on constitutional law. The second, The Constitution Through U.S. History (2022), is a twenty-four lecture course exploring the role of constitutional issues in American political, social, and cultural history from the founding to the present.
Professor Berger served as Associate Dean for Faculty from 2016 to 2020.