Samuel Ernst, Professor of Law and Faculty Chair

Samuel Ernst

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs


Samuel F. Ernst is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at Golden Gate University School of Law, where he teaches in the areas of contracts, patent law, copyright law, and torts.

Professor Ernst has published extensively in the areas of intellectual property and contract law as they relate to innovation policy, consumer protection, the courts, and legal history. Prior to entering academia Professor Ernst was a partner at the international law firm of Covington & Burling in San Francisco, practicing intellectual property and appellate litigation while maintaining an active pro bono practice focusing on veterans disability recovery, civil liberties, immigration law, and homeless advocacy.

During these years Professor Ernst also co-taught Pre-Trial Civil Litigation at the U.C. Berkeley School of Law. After law school Professor Ernst served as a law clerk to the Honorable Timothy Dyk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In 2010, Professor Ernst was recognized by the Federal Circuit Bar Association for his work on behalf of veterans. In 2006 and 2008, he received a Certificate of Excellence from the Berkeley Food and Housing Project and sits on the board of that organization. Professor Ernst earned his JD Magna Cum Laude from Georgetown University Law Center. He has a BA in Modern Literary Studies from UC Santa Cruz and an MA in Comparative Literature from UCLA.

Research Interests & Areas of Specialization

  • Contract Law
  • Intellectual Property Law


  • JD, Georgetown University School of Law
  • MA, University of California, Los Angeles
  • BA, University of California, Santa Cruz

Professional & Teaching Experience

  • Associate Professor of Law, Chapman University Fowler School of Law
  • Partner, Covington & Burling LLP, San Francisco
  • Associate, Heller Ehrman LLP, San Francisco
  • Instructor, UC Berkeley School of Law
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Timothy B. Dyk, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Selected Publications

Visit Professor Ernst’s SSRN page.

Professional Associations

  • Member, State Bar of California, U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Federal Circuit Bar Association
  • The Howard T. Markey Intellectual Property American Inn of Court
  • American Bar Association
  • Board of Trustees, Berkeley Food and Housing Projec

Honors & Awards

  • Justice Jesse W. Carter Faculty Scholarship Award, Golden Gate University (2018)
  • Distinguished Service Award, Chapman University Fowler School of Law
  • Super Lawyers Northern California Rising Star (2011, 2012)
  • Federal Circuit Bar Association, Certificate of Excellence (for veterans advocacy) (2010, 2011)
  • Berkeley Food and Housing Project Certificate of Excellence (for homeless advocacy) (2006, 2008)
  • Order of the Coif and Magna Cum Laude, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Graduate Fellowship and Teaching Assistantship Awards, University of California, Los Angeles
  • College and Major Honors, Chancellor’s Award, Dean’s Award, University of California, Santa Cruz