Adam Winkler is a specialist in American constitutional law. His scholarship has been cited and quoted in landmark Supreme Court cases, including opinions on the Second Amendment and on corporate political speech rights. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New Republic, The Atlantic, Slate, Scotusblog, and The Daily Beast. He is a frequent commentator about legal issues and has appeared on CNN, NBC Nightly News, the Newshour, ABC News, All Things Considered, Marketplace, and public radio stations across the country. He is the author of over two dozen scholarly articles; co-editor of the Encyclopedia of the American Constitution (2d Edition); and has written over 100 opinion pieces on legal issues. In 2011, he published Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America (W. W. Norton), which the Los Angeles Times called "intellectually satisfying, emotionally rewarding…an antidote to so much in the gun debate that is one-sided and dishonest."
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Professor Winkler went to the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University intending to join the CIA. But after graduating in 1990 he took the more mundane path of going to law school. He earned a law degree from New York University in 1993 and moved back to Los Angeles to practice law. In his first case out of law school, he represented the late Michael Jackson in a highly publicized child-molestation case. He was also part of the defense team that initially represented O.J. Simpson in the football player’s infamous murder trial. This was more than enough to convince him to return to academia.
He clerked for David Thompson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and then received a master’s degree in political science from UCLA under Professor Karen Orren. Prior to joining the UCLA faculty in 2002, he was the John M. Olin Fellow at the University of Southern California Law School’s Center in Law, Economics and Organization (2001-02).
He is currently writing a book on the constitutional rights of corporations.
Professor Winkler teaches Constitutional Law I, Constitutional Theory, Gun Control, and Professional Responsibility.