Estrich, Susan

Susan Estrich



 Susan Estrich is a well-known litigator, legal and political analyst, author and law professor.  Susan is the Robert Kingsley Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California, as well as a legal and political analyst for Fox News Channel.  She was the first woman president of the Harvard Law Review and later the first woman to run a national Presidential campaign.  She also was the youngest woman to be tenured at Harvard Law School.

  Notable Representations

  • Representing the Home Depot in a hotly contested lawsuit alleging violations of air quality control laws and regulations for volatile organic compounds. This action was filed by a consortium of California district attorney’s offices, the L.A. City Attorney’s Office, and the South Coast Air Quality Management District. The case raises important statutory interpretation and other issues under California’s regime for imposing daily penalties for alleged violations of environmental laws. Edited all briefs and submissions and advised on communications strategy. 
  • Represented TCW in highly publicized dispute with former Chief Investment Officer; handled all communication with media relating to litigation strategy including serving as sole public spokesperson for TCW; argued key motions; prepared CEO for testimony; helped obtain verdicts of trade secret misappropriation, breach of fiduciary duty and interference with contract against former officer.
  • Represented Mattel with respect to two trials and current appeal arising out of claims of infringement and trade secret misappropriation of Bratz doll. Edited and argued key motions. Coordinated public communications strategy. Substantial responsibility for appeal. Successfully represented Mattel in securing dismissal of related $1 billion antitrust case.
  • Handled communications and appellate briefing for Schwab with respect to actions alleging violations of concentration policy in bond funds.  
  • Trial and appellate representation in United States v. Muntasser, a tax case arising out of charitable activities of Muslim charity in the 1990’s. Secured dismissal of key count, bail hearings and argument, appellate and post-trial advocacy.
  • White Collar Representation in high profile cases against clients including Leona Helmsley and Claus von Bulow.

  Practice Areas

  • Appellate Practice
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Litigation Representing Plaintiffs
  • White Collar & Corporate Investigations
  • High Stakes Dispositive Motion Practice
  • Preparation of Top Officers for Deposition and Testimony, Public Statements
  • Public Strategy in High Profile Litigation: Coordinating Trial Inside the Courtroom with Public Trial
  • Advice to Clients in High Profile Disputes


  • Harvard Law School
    (J.D., magna cum laude, 1977)
    • Harvard Law Review:
      • President
  • Wellesley College
    (B.A., highest honors, Phi Beta Kappa, 1974)
    • Durant Scholar

  • Dartmouth College, Twelve College Exchange 
    (Citations for Academic Excellence in Government and Sociology, 1972-1973)


The State Bar of California

  Prior Associations

  • Briefs and arguments in federal and state courts, working with Alan Dershowitz, Harvey Silverglate, Kathleen Sullivan, Laurence Tribe, Norman Zalkind, etc, 1981-Present

  • Harvard Law School: 
    • Professor of Law, 1981-1990
    • Appointed Assistant Professor of Law, 1981
    • Promoted to Professor of Law with tenure, 1986

  • Tuttle & Taylor, Los Angeles:
    • Of Counsel, 1986-1987

  • Staff Counsel and Special Assistant to Chief Counsel Stephen Breyer:
    • U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, 1979-1981

  • Law Clerk to the Hon. John Paul Stevens:
    • United States Supreme Court, Washington, D.C., 1978-1979

  • Law Clerk to the Hon. J. Skelly Wright:
    • United States Court of Appeals, Washington, D.C., 1977-1978

  • Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C.:
    • Associate, 1977


  • Top Woman Lawyer of 2014, Daily Journal
  • Nelson Rockefeller Fellow, Dartmouth College, April 1999 ("The Sorry State of American Politics")
  • Inaugural Lectures, Wellesley College/Oxford Press Series, April 8-10, 1996 ("Feminism for Girls and Boys").
  • Commencement Speaker, Marlborough School, 1995.
  • Commencement Speaker, Wellesley College, 1989.
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, Radcliffe Graduate Alumni Association, 1989.
  • Number 57, Judge Richard Posner's 100 Public Intellectuals of All Time.
  • First Recipient, Susan Estrich Courage Award, Victims Rights Law Center, Boston, Massachusetts

Publications and Lectures

  • Soulless: Ann Coulter and the Right-Wing Church of Hate (ReganBooks, 2006)
  • The Case For Hillary Clinton (ReganBooks, 2005)
  • How To Get Into Law School (Riverhead, 2004)
  • Sex & Power (Riverhead, 2000)
  • Getting Away With Murder: How Politics Is Destroying the Criminal Justice System (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, March 1998)
  • Making The Case For Yourself: A Diet Book For Smart Women (Riverhead, January 1998)
  • Real Rape (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1987)
  • Dangerous Offenders (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1985)
    (With M. Moore, D. McGillis, and W. Spelman)
  • "Politics and the Limits of Law: A Musing for Dean Sullivan," 90 California Law Review 813 (2002).
  • "Reflection: Bridging the Gender Gap," 3 The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Minority Issues 153 (Spring 2001)
  • "What Went Wrong" (Gender, Race, and the Politics of Supreme Court Appointments: The Impact of the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas Hearings). 65 Southern California Law Review 1393 (1992).
  • "Palm Beach Stories." 11 Law and Philosophy 5 (1992).
  • "Teaching Rape Law." 102 Yale Law Journal  509 (1992).
  • "Sex at Work." 43 Stanford Law Review 813 (1991).
  • "Women, Politics, and the Nineties: The Abortion Debate." 6 New England Journal of Public Policy (1990).
  • "Abortion Politics: Writing for an Audience of One" (with K.M. Sullivan). 138 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 119 (1989).
  • "In Memoriam: Judge J. Skelly Wright" (with others). 57 George Washington Law Review 1029 (1989).
  • "Rape." 95 Yale Law Journal 1087 (1986).

Professional Activities

  • Robert Kingsley Professor of Law and Political Science, University of Southern California Law School

         Subjects: Gender Discrimination, Law and Politics, Election Law, Constitutional
         Law: First Amendment, Criminal Law

    Legal and Political Analyst, Fox News Channel
    (appearing approximately 2-3 times weekly on such shows as Hannity & Colmes, On the Record, The O'Reilly Factor, etc).
  • Columnist,
  • Syndicated Columnist, Creators Syndicate
  • Board of Directors, Green Dot Public Schools, Los Angeles, CA, 2005-Present
  • Board of Directors, Victims Rights Law Center, Boston, MA, 2000-Present
  • President Appointee, United States Holocaust Memorial Council, 1999-2004
  • Transition Team, Schwarzenegger for Governor, 2003
  • Board of Trustees, Center for Early Education, 1995-2003
    • Vice Chair, Endowment Committee, Chair, Legal Committee
  • National Advisory Board, Institute for Global Ethics, Project on Campaign Conduct, 1999-2005
  • Eureka Communities, Los Angeles Advisory Board; California Community Conduct Foundation, 1999-2005
  • Ethics Commission, City of Los Angeles (Mayoral Appointee), 1999-2001
  • Board of Trustees, B'nai B'rith Youth Organization, Washington, D.C., 1996-2000
  • Administration and Finance Committee, USC Law School, 1995-1997; Chair, 1995-1996
  • Planned Parent of Los Angeles, Board of Directors, 1991-1993; Advisory Board, 1993-1995
  • California Abortion Rights Action League, Board of Directors, 1992-1994.
  • Senior Counsel, Commission to Write a Code of Ethics for the City of Los Angeles, 1989.
  • Common Cause, National Governing Board, 1983-1987; 1989-1993
  • Member, Democratic National Committee, 1984-1988 
    • Fairness Commission of the Democratic Party, 1985-1986
    • Co-Chair of the Drafting Committee (responsible for rules for  the 1988 Presidential nominating process)
  • President, Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, 1982-1983
    • National Board, American Civil Liberties Union, 1984-1987
    • Special Committee on Campaign Finance, 1985-1986
  • Member, United States Supreme Court Bar