Michael Small is a constitutional law practitioner. He has worked on Supreme Court and appellate briefs in a number of the leading constitutional law cases of the past 25 years. At UCLA, Small teaches Constitutional Law I, Constitutional Law II and Presidential Power.
Small is a senior counsel at the Los Angeles office of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP. He is member of the firm’s Supreme Court and Appellate practice group, with a particular focus on constitutional litigation.
Prior to joining Akin Gump, Small was the chief counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, where he coordinated litigation in the areas of freedom of expression and religion, and racial profiling. Small served in the U.S. Justice Department from 1993 to 1997, first as an attorney in the Office of Legal Counsel, which provides advice on federal constitutional issues to the president, the attorney general and agency general counsels. Subsequently, Small was a deputy associate attorney general, assisting in the formulation of legal and political strategy for the Clinton administration on a wide range of civil rights matters, especially in the area of affirmative action reforms. Small started his legal career at Wilmer Cutler and Pickering in Washington, D.C.
Small received his B.A. from the University of Michigan, and his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center where he was editor-in-chief of the Georgetown Law Journal. Following law school, Small was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study international human rights law at Essex University in England.
Small has a long commitment to pro bono and public service. He is the former president of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Constitution Society, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Western Center on Law and Poverty.