Chad Dunn

Lecturer in Law

  • B.A. University of Texas at Austin 1999
  • J.D. South Texas College of Law 2002

Chad Dunn is a nationally recognized trial lawyer and expert in state and federal voting rights and apportionment law. His 20+ years of experience trying lawsuits of nearly every nature guides his work at UCLA and in his private practice. In 2018, Dunn co-founded, as the Legal Director, UCLA’s Voting Rights Project (VRP), a joint program of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, UCLA School of Law, and UCLA School of Social Sciences, where he directs all litigation, appeals, and legal scholarship for the Voting Rights Project. He oversees a voting rights practicum for UCLA Law students and co-teaches Voting Rights Policy and Law at UCLA, a multi-disciplinary course for law, public policy, and social science students that proudly equips them to confidently serve as powerful courtroom civil rights advocates in nearly any civil and voting rights organization in the country. In addition to his scholarship and teaching, Dunn co-founded and is a partner of the law firm Brazil & Dunn, LLP, where he continues to try cases and handle appeals in numerous areas of civil rights including voting rights, redistricting, race discrimination under Title VII, sex discrimination under Title IX, prison conditions, police conduct, and government ethics as well as other civil and criminal legal matters.

Over the years, Dunn has tried scores of jury and bench trials to verdict in state and federal courts, including dozens of voting rights cases in single and three-judge federal courts, arguing before federal circuit courts of appeals on more than three dozen occasions, and routinely handling appeals at the United States Supreme Court. As a native Texan, some of Chad’s most rewarding work includes leading counsel in a three-judge federal case in Washington D.C. concerning a Texas voter photo identification law, in which the court enjoined Texas from implementing the law under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. After the Supreme Court effectively eliminated Section 5 with its opinion in Shelby County v. Holder, Chad Dunn was lead counsel in a second federal court case challenging the Texas voter photo ID law, where Dunn argued before the Fifth Circuit en banc. After two U.S. Supreme Court appeals, the case ultimately resulted in the law being struck down. Dunn was also one of the trial attorneys in a series of three-judge federal court cases in Washington D.C. and San Antonio, Texas, concerning Texas' 2011 state house, senate, and congressional redistricting plans. In 2019, Dunn successfully challenged Texas' effort to purge naturalized citizens from its voting rolls. As part of his criminal trial practice Dunn recently prevailed at the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest court for criminal matters, successfully persuading the Court that the Texas Constitution does not permit the state’s Attorney General to prosecute crimes without the consent of the locally elected district attorney. Dunn is presently lead counsel in a challenge to the redistricting maps Texas adopted after the 2021 census.

Under Dunn's leadership the UCLA Voting Rights Project and Brazil and Dunn, LLP has successfully protected voters' rights in local jurisdictions throughout the nation, including in states such as California, Texas, New Mexico, and Washington.  Scores of the UCLA Voting Rights alums now practice in civil rights—many at the most prestigious voting rights organizations in the country.

Dunn’s extensive trial and appeal experience has led to his recognition as a member of the highly prestigious trial lawyer associations: the American Board of Trial Advocates, International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and the American College of Trial Lawyers. Dunn’s accolades include being dubbed a Super Lawyer for over fifteen years, being honored as one of Texas Lawyer’s Top 25 Attorneys Under 40 in 2013, and as one of Texas Lawyer’s Attorneys of the Year in 2016.

Dunn has published on Voting Rights and Constitutional Law, including numerous Voting Rights Project publications, such as guides to voting procedures for official use during the Covid-19 global pandemic and a State Model Voting Rights Act. Recent publications include: Barreto, Matthew and Cohen, Michael and Collingwood, Loren and Dunn, Chad and Waknin, Sonni, A Novel Method for Showing Racially Polarized Voting: Bayesian Improved Surname Geocoding (April 21, 2021). New York University Review of Law & Social Change, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or; Chad W. Dunn et al., Legal Theories to Compel Vote-by-Mail in Federal Court, 11 Calif. L. Rev. Online 166 (May 2020) and UCLA Voting Rights Project, Vote-By-Mail Can Save Our Democracy, But Reforms are Needed, Nw. Univ. L. Rev. Of Note, (April 30, 2020).