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Adam Winkler

Adam Winkler

Professor Adam Winkler is a specialist in American constitutional law, the Supreme Court, and gun policy. His book We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights (2018), was a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the American Bar Association’s Legal Gavel Award, the California Book Award, and received the Scribes Award. He is also the author of Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America (2011), which won no awards but was the subject of a question on the popular game show Jeopardy!. His scholarship has been cited in landmark Supreme Court cases on the First and Second Amendments, and he is one of the twenty most cited law professors in judicial opinions today. His popular writing has appeared in the New York TimesNew York Review of BooksWall Street JournalWashington PostLos Angeles TimesNew RepublicAtlanticSlateScotusblog, and Daily Beast. He is a frequent commentator about legal issues and has appeared on Face the NationCNNNBC Nightly NewsC-SPANNewshour, ABC NewsAll Things ConsideredMorning Edition, and Marketplace. He also served as co-editor of the Encyclopedia of the American Constitution (2d Edition).

The son of Academy Award-winning filmmaker Irwin Winkler, Adam was born and raised in Los Angeles. He is a graduate of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and New York University School of Law, which honored him with the Legal Teaching Award for outstanding alumni in legal academia. He also earned a master’s degree in political science (American Political Development) from UCLA under Professor Karen Orren. He clerked for David Thompson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and practiced law at Katten Muchin in Los Angeles, where he was on a litigation team that represented the late Michael Jackson in a highly publicized child-molestation case. This was more than enough to convince him to return to the ivory tower.

Prior to joining the UCLA faculty in 2002, Adam was the John M. Olin Fellow at the University of Southern California Law School’s Center in Law, Economics and Organization. He serves on the board of directors of the Brennan Center for Justice and the American Constitution Society.

About We the Corporations, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said, “It’s a good book.” And according to, “It is deeply shocking that We the Corporations is not boring.” See a synopsis, reviews and upcoming events for We the Corporations.

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Guest Appearances
May 19, 2021

Little Pistol vs. New York

Does the right to bear arms also include a conceal carry license?

March 21, 2018

Uncovering the secret history of how corporations gained their civil rights

Adam Winkler, author of We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights, shares what he learned from his investigation into how corporations have achieved constitutional protections.