Morris Ratner

Provost & Academic Dean, Professor of Law


Provost & Academic Dean Morris Ratner (BA, Stanford University 1988; JD, Harvard Law School 1991) manages and supports the faculty and all academic programs, including clinics, centers, academic skills instruction and support, career development, and the legal writing program. In addition, he manages and supports associate and assistant deans responsible for degree programs or departments (e.g., Global Programs, the LLM, MSL, and HPL degrees, and the Library), oversees the Assistant Dean of Students/student affairs, and manages the largest cluster of budgets at UC Law SF. (Provost Ratner has served in this role since 2017. In 2021, the UC Law SF Board of Directors and Chancellor & Dean reappointed him for a second term.)

Consistent with the College’s mission and strategic plan and the vision of its Chancellor & Dean, Provost Ratner’s priorities include:

  • Creating a cohesive student experience from admission through graduation that prepares students for professional success;
  • Adapting the curriculum to anticipate technological and other changes in the practice of law;
  • Collaborating with faculty and staff to develop innovative teaching methods, courses, and co-curricular programming;
  • Supporting faculty research and faculty and staff professional development;
  • Integrating faculty, students, alumni, and the wider community in which UC Law SF is situated;
  • Promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging; and
  • Fostering a culture of continuous and evidence-based self-reflection and improvement.

Provost Ratner joined the UC Law SF Faculty in 2012 after teaching at Harvard Law School as a visiting lecturer and then as a visiting assistant professor from 2009 to 2011. He teaches civil procedure, legal ethics, and the business of law practice, and produces scholarship at the intersection of those fields.

While at UC Law SF, Provost Ratner has received multiple awards for his teaching and scholarship, including Student Choice Award for Professor of the Year (twice) and the Rutter Award for Teaching Excellence, as well as the Fred C. Zacharias Memorial Prize for Scholarship in Professional Responsibility awarded by the AALS Section on Professional Responsibility. Provost Ratner was the lead investigator on a major grant awarded by AccessLex that funded a multi-year study of the determinants of success on the bar exam.

Provost Ratner co-chaired the strategic planning committee with Chief Financial Officer David Seward that produced UC Law SF’s current operational strategic plan, which the law school has been implementing since the Board of Directors and Chancellor & Dean adopted it in 2020. He has also spearheaded supplemental strategic planning efforts to address new challenges and opportunities since 2020.

Before transitioning to academia, Provost Ratner was a litigator at the San Francisco-based plaintiffs’ firm Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, where he was a partner for ten years and where he prosecuted product liability, environmental, mass personal injury, consumer, and human rights actions. Among other high-profile matters, he prosecuted and settled Holocaust-era slave labor, looted asset, dormant bank account and unpaid insurance claims against European companies, producing global settlements in those cases worth more than $7.5 billion.


  • Harvard Law School
    J.D., Law

  • Stanford University
    B.A., Economics


  • Subject of UC Law SF Faculty Resolution of Appreciation
    Honored with "resolution of appreciation" adopted by the UC Law SF faculty in Spring 2022 for efforts to steer the academic program through the pandemic.

  • Submission of Final Report for AccessLex Institute Grant
    Submitted final report titled "Determinants of Success on the Bar Exam: One Law School’sExperience 2010-2022" with co-authorsStephen N. Goggin,Stefano Moscato,Margaret Greer,& Elizabeth McGriff. The report analyzes 13 years of data to identify academic program design choices that positively impacted student success on the California Bar Exam. Visit the AccessLex website to obtain more information about the report.

  • AccessLex Grant Awardee
    Awarded grant by AccessLex to study bar success interventions that improve bar passage rates, with special emphasis on diverse students.

  • Selected Presenter, Vanderbilt Law School's Branstetter Litigation & Dispute Resolution Program 2017 New Voices Workshop
    The Branstetter Program supports research and curriculum in civil litigation and dispute resolution. Held annually, the Branstetter New Voices Workshop brings together junior scholars, senior scholars, and Vanderbilt faculty in the areas of civil justice. Each year, junior scholars are selected via a blind review process to present at the New Voices Workshop.

  • Student Choice Award: Professor of the Year
    Conferred by the Associated Students of UC Law SF College of the Law

  • "Outstanding Contribution to UC Law SF" Award
    Conferred by UC College of the Law, San Francisco

  • Co-winner of the sixth annual Fred C. Zacharias Memorial Prize for Scholarship in Professional Responsibility 2015
    Awarded by the AALS Section on Professional Responsibility for Class Counsel as Litigation Funders, 28 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 271 (2015)

  • Rutter Award for Teaching Excellence
    The William and Sally Rutter Award for Teaching Excellence - Outstanding Professor of the Year 2015-2016

  • Student Choice Award: Professor of the Year 2015
    Conferred by the Associated Students of UC Law SF

  • Visionary Service Award
    Conferred by the UC College of the Law SF Board of Trustees.

Selected Scholarship