Last updated on: 2/18/2011 | Author: ProCon.org

Alan M. Dershowitz, LLB Biography

Title:
Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School
Position:
Con to the question "Should the Words “under God” Be in the US Pledge of Allegiance?"
Reasoning:

“It worries me when we become like the Taliban. When we think we must be on the side of God. What about those of us who do not believe in a Supreme Being? Aren’t we good Americans? Can we accept a pledge that makes us accept a belief that not all of us subscribe to?…

Asking an atheist or an agnostic to pledge under God is exactly the same as asking us to pledge under Jesus. I as strongly reject the concept of God as I reject the concept of Jesus.”

Quoted in Ken Gewertz, “Heavyweights Battle over the Pledge of Allegiance,” Harvard University Gazette, Sep. 26, 2002

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, 1993-present
  • Recipient, The Soviet Jewry Freedom Award, Russian Jewish Community Foundation, 2007
  • Appellate Advisor, defense, O.J. Simpson’s murder trial, 1995
  • Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, 1967-1993
  • Criminal Appellate Lawyer, conviction overturn of Claus von Bülow, 1984
  • Recipient, William O. Douglas First Amendment Award for “compassionate eloquent leadership and persistent advocacy in the struggle for civil and human rights,” 1983
  • Recipient, William O. Douglas First Amendment Award, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), 1983
  • Recipient, Guggenheim Fellowship, 1979
  • Recipient, Honorary Doctorates in Law from Yeshiva University, Hebrew Union College, Monmouth College, University of Haifa, and Bar-Ilan University
  • Honored, New York Criminal Bar Association, for “outstanding contribution as a scholar and dedicated defender of human rights”
  • Assistant Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, 1964-1967
  • Clerk, US Supreme Court, Associate Justice Arthur Goldberg, 1963-1964
  • Clerk, US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Chief Judge David L. Bazelon, 1962-1963
  • Former Editor-in-Chief, Yale Law Journal
Education:
  • LLB, Yale Law School, 1962
  • AB, Brooklyn College, 1959
  • Attended Yeshiva University High School
Other:
  • Born: Sep. 1, 1938, Brooklyn, NY
  • Author of two novels: Just Revenge, 1999, and The Advocate’s Devil, 1994
  • Testified as a witness against President Clinton’s impeachment before the US House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, 1998
  • Former host of Dershowitz!, a syndicated radio talk show
  • Recipient, Freedom of Speech Award, National Association of Radio Talk Show Hosts, 1996
  • Named a Father of the Year by the National Father’s Day Committee, 1991
  • Recipient, Golden Plate Award, 1991
  • Visiting Professor of Law, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, 1988
  • Named John F Kennedy Memorial Fellowship, Fulbright New Zealand, 1987
  • Married to Carolyn Cohen, PhD (psychology)
  • At age 28, became the youngest full professor in Harvard Law School’s history, 1967
  • Former high school varsity basketball player
Quoted in:
  1. Is the United States a Christian Nation?