David Faigman

Chancellor & Dean, William B. Lockhart Professor of Law and the John F. Digardi Distinguished Professor of Law


Chancellor and Dean David Faigman is the William B. Lockhart Professor of Law and the John F. Digardi Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California College of the Law, San Francisco and holds an appointment as Professor in the School of Medicine (Dept. of Psychiatry) at the University of California, San Francisco. He received both his M.A. (Psychology) and J.D. from the University of Virginia. Professor Faigman clerked for the Honorable Thomas M. Reavleyof the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

He is the author of over 60 articles and essays, and has published in a variety of outlets, including the Chicago, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Northwestern law reviews, Science, PNAS, Sociological Methods & Research and Nature Reviews Neuroscience. He is also the author of three books, Constitutional Fictions: A Unified Theory of Constitutional Facts (Oxford, 2008), Laboratory of Justice: The Supreme Court’s 200-Year Struggle to Integrate Science and the Law (Henry Holt & Co. 2004) and Legal Alchemy: The Use and Misuse of Science in the Law (W.H. Freeman,1999). In addition, Professor Faigman is a co-author/co-editor of the five-volume treatise Modern Scientific Evidence: The Law and Science of Expert Testimony (with Cheng, Murphy, Saks, Sanders & Slobogin). The treatise has been cited widely by courts, including several times by the U.S. Supreme Court. Professor Faigman was a member of the National Academies of Science panel that investigated the scientific validity of polygraphs, a member of the MacArthur Law and Neuroscience Network and served as a Senior Advisor to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology’s Report, “Forensic Science in Criminal Courts: Ensuring Scientific Validity of Feature-Comparison Methods.”


  • University of Virginia, School of Law
    J.D., Law

  • University of Virginia
    M.A., Psychology

  • State University of New York, College of Oswego
    B.A., Psychology and History


  • Honorary Distinguished Member
    Awarded by the American Psychology-Law Society.

  • Honorable Mention (2nd Place)
    Awarded in The Annual AALS Call for Scholarly Papers.

  • Roger and Madeline Traynor Prize
    Awarded by the University of Virginia, School of Law to acknowledge the best written work by a graduating student, University of Virginia, School of Law.

Selected Scholarship

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