Clyde S. Spillenger

Professor of Law

  • A.B. Princeton, 1982
  • J.D. History, Yale, 1987
  • M. Phil. History, Yale, 1988
  • UCLA Law faculty since 1993

Clyde Spillenger currently teaches Civil Procedure, Conflict of Laws, and American Legal History.

In law school, Spillenger was articles and commentary editor of the Yale Law and Policy Review. After graduation, he served as consultant to the American Civil Liberties Union's Reproductive Freedom Project in New York and was an associate with the Washington, D.C. law firm of Powell, Goldstein, Frazer and Murphy. Before joining the UCLA faculty, Professor Spillenger was a fellow in American Legal History at the Institute for Legal Studies at the University of Wisconsin Law School. Believing he is really a jazz guitarist in a law professor's body, he is a founding member of The Usual Suspects, the faculty's rock 'n' roll trio, which now exists mostly in his imagination.

Professor Spillenger's principal research interest is in American legal and constitutional history. Of particular note are his articles in the Yale Law Journal and the Journal of American History on Louis D. Brandeis.


  • Books
    • Principles of Conflict of Laws. West (2010).
  • Articles And Chapters
    • Risk Regulation, Extraterritoriality, and Domicile: The Constitutionalization of American Choice of Law, 1850-1940, 62 UCLA Law Review 1240 (2015). Full Text
    • Teaching Twombly and Iqbal: Elements Analysis and the Ghost of Charles Clark, 60 UCLA Law Review 1740 (2013). Full Text
    • Revenge of the Triple Negative: A Note on the Brandeis Brief in Muller v. Oregon, 22 Constitutional Commentary 5 (2005).
    • Brandeis as Public Interest Lawyer, in Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, 2nd ed. (edited by Leonard W. Levy, Kenneth L. Karst et al., Macmillan, 2000).
    • Elusive Advocate: Reconsidering Brandeis as People's Lawyer, 105 Yale Law Journal 1445-535 (1996).
    • Lifting the Veil: The Judicial Biographies of Alpheus T. Mason, 21 Reviews in American History 723-34 (1993).
    • Reading the Judicial Canon: Alexander Bickel and the Book of Brandeis, 79 Journal of American History 125-51 (1992).
    • "That's Not History": The Boundaries of Advocacy and Scholarship (with Jane E. Larson), 12 Public Historian 33-43 (1990).
    • Brief of 281 American Historians as Amici Curiae Supporting Appellees, 1 Women's Rights Law Reporter 163 (1989). Reprinted in 12 Public Historian 57-75 (1990).
    • Reproduction and Medical Interventionism: An Historical Comment, 13 Nova Law Review 385-81 (1989).
    • Early Election Projections, Restrictions on Exit Polling, and the First Amendment, 3 Yale Law & Policy Review 210-30 (1984).
  • Other
    • Hate Speech, Group Libel, and "Ford's Megaphone", 40 Law & Social Inquiry 1058 (2015).
    • Showing Up, 63 UCLA Law Review Discourse 50 (2015). Full Text
    • Book Review, 25 Law and History Review 681-83 (2007). Reviewing Yale Law School and the Sixties: Revolt and Reverberations, by Laura Kalman.
    • Book Review, David M. Rabban and the Libertarian Tradition That Time Forgot, 26 Law & Social Inquiry 209-42 (2001). Reviewing Free Speech In Its Forgotten Years, by David M. Rabbin.
    • Book Review, Cloistered Cleric of the Law, 66 University of Chicago Law Review 507-26 (1999). Reviewing Cardozo, by Andrew L. Kaufman; and The World of Benjamin Cardozo: Personal Values and the Judicial Process, by Richard Polenberg.
    • Book Review, 15 Law & History Review 209 (1997). Reviewing The Return of George Sutherland: Restoring a Jurisprudence of Natural Rights, by Hadley Arkes.
    • Book Review, The Kennedy Assassination: Case Open, 59 Radical History Review 172-80 (1994). Reviewing Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, by Peter D. Scott; and Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK, by Gerald L. Posner.
    • Book Review, 80 Journal of American History 623-25 (1993). Reviewing The Transformation of American Law, 1870-1960: The Crisis of Legal Orthodoxy, by Morton J. Horowitz.
    • Book Review, 79 Journal of American History 715-16 (1992). Reviewing Felix Frankfurter: Judicial Restraint and Individual Liberties, by Melvin I. Urofsky.