hero image
Mark N. Aaronson - UC Hastings College of the Law. San Francisco, CA, US

Mark N. Aaronson

The Honorable Raymond L. Sullivan Professor of Law | UC Hastings

San Francisco, CA, UNITED STATES

Contact: 415.581.8924 / aaronson@uchastings.edu


Mark Aaronson joined the UC Hastings faculty in 1992 and was the founding director of its Civil Justice Clinic. Prior to joining the faculty he had an extensive career as a civil rights and anti-poverty lawyer. For 13 years he served as Executive Director of the San Francisco Lawyers' Committee for Urban Affairs (now known as the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area), during which time he argued a federal welfare rights case before the U. S. Supreme Court. He received his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. Immediately after law school, he was a Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellow with legal services programs in Chicago and Hartford. He later earned a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California at Berkeley. He has written articles on practical judgment in lawyering, civility, legal education, and social welfare policy and a book on representing the poor. He is married to Marjorie Gelb, a now retired attorney, whom he met in law school. They have two daughters, two sons-in-law, and three granddaughters.

Courses Taught: andProblem Solving & Professional Judgment in Practice

What I hope you get from a legal education at UC Hastings is... a strong commitment to work for the common good, whether as full-time lawyer for social justice or as pro bono volunteer, and that you leave with a solid foundation in law, various lawyering skills, and critical thinking, so that you are best able to learn from your future experiences in ways that will help you to develop the judgment needed to be an excellent problem-solving lawyer.

Areas of Expertise (4)

Community Economic Development

Social Welfare Policy

Clinical Legal Education

Legal Professionalism

Education (4)

University of California, Berkeley: A.B., Political Science 1965

University of California, Berkeley: M.A., Political Theory 1966

University of Chicago: J.D., Law 1969

University of California, Berkeley: Ph.D., Political Science 1975

Affiliations (10)

  • American Bar Association
  • Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA), Board of Directors (2004-2007)
  • Association of American Law Schools
  • One Justice (formerly Public Interest Clearinghouse)
  • State Bar of California
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Legal Assistance Association of California
  • San Francisco Neighborhood Legal Assistance Foundation,
  • San Francisco Mayor’s Homeless Planning Council (1986-87)
  • San Francisco Human Rights Commission, Employment Committee (1978-82)

Sample Talks (3)

Speaker, “Experiential Learning and the New Normal in Legal Education,”

California State-Federal Judicial Council Meeting, San Francisco, CA, June 5, 2015

Panel Moderator, “Current Manifestations and Impact of the Tech Industry,”

Conference on What’s the ‘G’? Gentrification and the Myth of Fair Housing, Hastings Race & Poverty Law Journal, San Francisco, CA, February 4, 2015

Presenter and Panelist, “Legal Services and the War on Poverty in Historical Perspective,”

Conference on the War on Poverty, 1964-2014: The Role of Attorneys in Alleviating Poverty in the 21st Century, Hastings Race & Poverty Law Journal, San Francisco, CA, February 13, 2014