Jack Greenberg

Alphonse Fletcher, Jr. Professor of Law Emeritus

Jack Greenberg

Alphonse Fletcher, Jr. Professor of Law Emeritus

Jack Greenberg was the Alphonse Fletcher, Jr. Professor of Law Emeritus. His areas of expertise included constitutional law, civil rights, human rights law, and civil procedure.

A member of the Law School faculty since 1970, Greenberg was named a full-time professor in 1984. He also served as a vice dean at the school. In 1989, Greenberg was appointed dean of Columbia College, which he led for four years before returning to teaching at the Law School. He became a professor emeritus in 2015.

Greenberg was assistant counsel to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund from 1949 to 1961 and director-counsel of the organization from 1961 to 1984. He argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in 40 cases, including Brown v. Board of Education, in which the Court declared “separate but equal” unconstitutional. Greenberg was founder of the Earl Warren Legal Training Program and a founding member of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. He was a member of the board of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund and a former member of Human Rights Watch. Greenberg was honored with the Presidential Citizens Medal and the American Bar Association Thurgood Marshall Award.

Greenberg’s numerous publications include Race Relations and American Law, 1959; Cases and Materials on Judicial Process and Social Change, 1976; Crusaders in the Courts: How a Dedicated Band of Lawyers Fought for the Civil Rights Revolution, 1994; and Brown v. Board of Education: Witness to A Landmark Decision, 2004.

In addition to his work at the Law School, Greenberg was a visiting lecturer at Yale Law School and Harvard Law School, and a visiting professor at the City College of New York, the University of Tokyo, Lewis and Clark Law School, Princeton University, the University of Munich, the University of Nuremberg-Erlangen, and Hebrew University. He was a Cardozo lecturer at the New York City Bar Association and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Greenberg was a graduate of Columbia University, where he earned his B.A. in 1945. He earned an LL.B. from Columbia Law School in 1948 and an LL.D. from the school in 1984. Greenberg held honorary degrees from Morgan State College, Lincoln University, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, DePaul University, Howard University, and the University of Notre Dame.

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