Scott Cummings holds the inaugural Robert Henigson Chair in Legal Ethics at the UCLA School of Law, where he has taught since 2002. He is the founding Faculty Director of the Program on Legal Ethics and the Profession, which promotes research and dialogue on the professional challenges of global legal practice and the role of legal ethics in democracy. In 2023, Professor Cummings was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship for his work on lawyers in backsliding democracy and the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award.
Professor Cummings has authored several books and more than fifty articles and chapters, and has been recognized as one of the most-cited scholars in the field of legal ethics and the legal profession. He has appeared in prominent news outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, NBC News, CNN, Bloomberg, and Slate, and has been a frequent contributor to webinars and podcasts on legal ethics in relation to the 2020 election, among other topics. His work has received international attention, marked by invited lectures in Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America, and his research has been translated into Spanish and Chinese. In 2022, Professor Cummings was selected as a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University and as the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy. He is the 2023 Wiley Manuel Visiting Scholar at the UC Hastings School of Law and currently serves as a Trustee of the Law and Society Association and officer of the International Association of Legal Ethics.
UCLA School of Law
Robert Henigson Professor of Legal Ethics
Professor of Law
Assistant Professor of Law
Research: Legal Profession, Legal Ethics, Legal Mobilization, Law and Society, Lawyers and Democracy, Access to Justice, Economic Justice, Urban Studies, Labor, Inequality
UCLA Department of Sociology (by courtesy)
The University of Pennsylvania Law School
Visiting Professor of Law (Fall)
Harvard Law School
Visiting Professor of Law (Spring)
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Pasadena, California
Law Clerk, Honorable A. Wallace Tashima
Public Counsel Law Center, Los Angeles, California
Skadden Fellow (1998-2000), Staff Attorney (2000-2001), Community Development Law Project
United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois
Law Clerk, Honorable James B. Moran
Harvard Law School, J.D., magna cum laude
Executive Editor, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review
University of California, Berkeley, A.B., Political Economy, highest distinction
Phi Beta Kappa
Visiting Professor, Centre on Social Movement Studies, Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence, Italy (March-May)
Visiting Fellow, European University Institute, Department of Law, Florence, Italy (September-February)
Wiley Manuel Distinguished Visiting Scholar
UC Hastings College of Law, Center for Racial and Economic Justice, San Francisco, California
Recognized in Leiter Ranking of Most-Cited Legal Ethics/Legal Profession Scholars
Fulbright Distinguished Scholar
Fulbright-Schuman Award at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy (January-July)
Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences
Stanford University, Stanford, California (Fall)
Trustee, Law and Society Association
U. Serve L.A. Distinguished Service Award
UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, California
The University of Sydney Law School
Parsons Visitor (Summer)
This course provides a survey of the law of corporations, both public and closely held. Topics include corporate formation; the authority and duties of corporate managers, including the duty of care and duty of loyalty; voting and control arrangements; and fundamental corporate changes.
This course will consider the source, scope, and limits of local government power. It will consider the relationship of local governments to state and federal government and of the relationship of local governments to the individuals and communities within and around them.
This course deals with the Professional Responsibility Requirement and the law and ethics of lawyering; that is, the standards of law and the ethics that lawyers are held to (or aspire to) in their professional roles.
Community economic development (CED) has emerged over the past quarter century as a important strategy for redressing urban poverty. The main programmatic goal of CED—advanced primarily by community-based nonprofit organizations—has been to increase investment in low-income neighborhoods in order to produce economic transformation and community empowerment.
The Program on Legal Ethics & the Profession addresses the central challenges facing today’s lawyers, serving as a forum examining professional issues drawn from across areas of legal practice. By fostering a discussion for the practical and scholarly exchange of the central challenges of contemporary legal practice, the Program on Legal Ethics & the Profession trains the next generation of lawyers and professional leaders to identify solutions to resolve complex ethical problems.
Articles Editor, Legal Ethics
Trustee, Law and Society Association
Treasurer, International Association of Legal Ethics
Editorial Board, Law & Social Inquiry
Editorial Board, International Journal of the Legal Profession