Alan M. Dershowitz
Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

  • Renowned Defense Attorney
  • Best-Selling Author
  • Professor at Harvard Law School

Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School has been described by Newsweek as "the nation's most peripatetic civil liberties lawyer and one of its most distinguished defenders of individual rights." Time magazine, in addition to including him on the cover story on the "50 Faces for the Future," called him "the top lawyer of last resort in the country -- a sort of judicial St. Jude." Business Week characterized him as "a feisty civil libertarian and one of the nation's most prominent legal educators." He has been profiled by every major magazine ranging from Life ("iconoclast and self-appointed scourge of the criminal justice system"); to Esquire ("the country's most articulate and uncompromising protector of criminal defendants"); to Fortune ("impassioned civil libertarian" who has "put up the best defense for a Dickensian lineup of suspects"); to People ("defense attorney extraordinaire") and to New York Magazine ("One of the country's foremost appellate lawyers"). More than 50 of his articles have appeared in the New York Times Magazine Book Review, and Op- Ed Pages. He has also published more than 100 articles in magazines and journals such as The Washington Post, The New Republic, Saturday Review, The Harvard Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal.

Syndicated, more than 300 of his articles have appeared in 50 United States daily newspapers, including The Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Herald, and The Chicago Sun Times. His essay "Shouting Fire" was selected for inclusion in "The Best American Essays of 1990."

Mr. Dershowitz is the author of a dozen fiction and non-fiction works. His writing has been praised by Truman Capote, Saul Bellow, William Styron, David Mamet, Aharon Appelfeld, A.B. Yehoshua and Elie Wiesel. More than a million of his books have been sold worldwide. Professor Dershowitz's latest book is a novel, The Trials of Zion (2010). His book, Preemption: The Knife that Cuts Both Ways, was published by WW Norton in February 2006. Titles among his other books include: The Case For Peace (2005), America On Trial (2004), The Case For Israel (2003), and Why Terrorism Works (2002), Supreme Injustice: How the High Court Hijacked Election 2000, Letters to a Young Lawyer, and Shouting Fire: Civil Liberties in a Turbulent Age. The Advocate's Devil was published by Warner Books in 1994. The New York Times Book Review gave Dershowitz's first novel "A thumbs up verdict...exciting, fast paced, entertaining." The Times hailed this courtroom thriller as "a dazzling, often rather graphic portrayal of that greatest of all oxymorons -- legal ethics." The Advocate's Devil was made into a Tri-Star television movie.

Also in 1994, Little, Brown & Company published The Abuse Excuse, a provocative collection of essays examining the relationship between individual responsibility and the law. His other full-length publications include Contrary to Popular Opinion, Chutzpah, Taking Liberties: A Decade of Hard Cases, Bad Laws, and Bum Raps, Reversal of Fortune: Inside the von Bulow Case, and The Best Defense.

Professor Dershowitz's writings have been translated into French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Danish, Russian, and other languages. His clients have included Anatoly Shcharansky, O.J. Simpson, Claus von Bulow, Michael Milken, Jonathan Pollard, Leona Helmsley, Jim Bakker, Christian Brando, Mike Tyson, Penthouse, Senator Mike Gravel, Senator Alan Cranston, Frank Snepp, John Landis, John DeLorean, David Crosby, Dr. Peter Rosier, Wayne Williams, Fred Wiseman, Patricia Hearst, Harry Reems, Stanley Friedman, the Tyson brothers, various death row inmates, Rabbi Meir Kahane, and numerous lawyers including F. Lee Bailey and William Kunstler. He has been a consultant to several presidential commissions and has testified before congressional committees on numerous occasions.

In 1983, the Anti-Defamation League of the B'nai B'rith presented him with the William O. Douglas First Amendment Award for his "compassionate eloquent leadership and persistent advocacy in the struggle for civil and human rights." In presenting the award, Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel said: "If there had been a few people like Alan Dershowitz during the 1930s and 1940s, the history of European Jewry might have been different." He has been awarded the honorary doctor of laws degree by Yeshiva University, the Hebrew Union College, Monmouth College, and Haifa University. The New York Criminal Bar Association honored Professor Dershowitz for his "outstanding contribution as a scholar and dedicated defender of human rights."

Alan Dershowitz was born in Brooklyn, graduated from Yeshiva University high school and Brooklyn College. At Yale Law School, he was first in his class and editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal. After clerking for Chief Judge David Bazelon and Justice Arthur Goldberg, he was appointed to the Harvard Law faculty at age 25 and became a full professor at age 28, the youngest in the school's history. Since that time, he has taught courses in criminal law, psychiatry and law, constitutional litigation, civil liberties and violence, comparative criminal law, legal ethics and human rights. He has lectured throughout the country and around the world -- from Carnegie Hall to the Kremlin.

Professor Dershowitz continues to play basketball, regularly attends Boston Celtics home games, and occasionally comments on the Boston sports scene.

In his speeches, versatile civil libertarian Alan Dershowitz addresses social, legal and ethical issues:

  • Legal Issues: 'Why Good Lawyers Defend Bad Clients,' and 'Global Perspectives on Justice and Civil Liberties'
  • Social Issues: 'Religion Politics and the Constitution,' and 'The Genesis of Justice'
  • Ethics and Values: 'Does Organized Religion Have an Answer to the Problems of the 21st Century,' and 'Legal and Moral Struggles; Unpopular Cases and Causes'

Professor Dershowitz resides in Boston.

Copyright 2005, The Harry Walker Agency, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Writings by Alan M. Dershowitz  (View Biography)

Title Date
Israel Does Not Cause Anti-Semitism2017/02/21
Trump: Palestinians Must Earn a Two State Solution2017/02/17
Trump Welcomes Netanyahu2017/02/13
Is Sally Yates A Hero or a Villain?2017/02/01
Obama's Mideast Legacy Is One of Tragic Failure2017/01/15
Does the Anti-Nepotism Statute Preclude Trump from Appointing Kushner?2017/01/10
Britain and Australia more supportive of Israel than Obama and Kerry2016/12/31
Kerry's Speech Will Make Peace Harder2016/12/29
Trump was Right to Try to Stop Obama from Tying his Hands on Israel2016/12/23
Keith Ellison - The Wrong Man at the Wrong Time2016/11/30
How to Assess the Bannon Appointment2016/11/17
The Day After the Election2016/11/08
Obama: Don't Destroy the Peace Process by Turning it Over to the U.N.2016/11/01
This Election is Unpredictable2016/09/14
Are Jews who refuse to renounce Israel being excluded from "progressive" groups?2016/08/24
Who Do Bigots Blame for Police Shootings in America? Israel, of Course!2016/07/13
A Visit to the Old and New Hells of Europe Provides a Reminder of Israel's Importance2016/05/17
The Mixed Legacy of Nuremberg2016/05/04
The Holocaust: Many Villains, Few Heroes2016/05/02
Obama's Double Standard Toward Netanyahu2016/04/25
Bernie Sanders Must Clarify Where He Stands on Israel2016/04/13
Lawyers Acknowledge Mistake In Filing Sexual Misconduct Charges Against Professor Dershowitz2016/04/09
Selective Outrage on Campus2015/11/12
Debating Against BDS - and Winning2015/11/03
A rigged vote, no real debate2015/09/11
The President Should Stop Questioning the Motivations of Opponents of the Iran Deal2015/08/17
Netanyahu Emulates Churchill in Trying to Influence US Policy to Protect His People2015/08/12
The President Gets Personal about the Iran Deal2015/08/05
US Gave Away Better Options on Iran2015/07/21
Does this Deal Prevent Iran from Developing a Nuclear Weapon?2015/07/14
Universities Should Be Unsafe For Political Correctness2015/05/28
Was the South Carolina Shooting a Reflection of Racism, Police Subculture or Both?2015/04/13
Dangers to Democracy in the Prosecution of Senator Menendez2015/04/10
Guess Who's Not Speaking at the J Street Conference?2015/03/20
The Role of the Palestinian Authority in Israel's Election Results2015/03/18
President is not Commander in Chief of Foreign Policy2015/03/17
Supporters of Deal Are Strengthening Iran's Negotiating Position2015/03/10
The White House Must Respond to Netanyahu's Important New Proposal2015/03/04
Confronting European Anti-Semitism2015/01/30
The Case Against the International Criminal Court Investigating Israel2015/01/23
Brandeis University: Both Pro-Israel and Pro Free Speech2015/01/12
Guilty Until Proven Innocent?2015/01/07
A Brandeis Student Refuses to Show Sympathy for Assassinated Policemen -- and Her Critic Is Attacked2014/12/28
Hard Leftists are as Guilty of Censorship as North Korea's Dictator2014/12/27
Harvard's President Stops an anti-Israel Boycott2014/12/19
Will the newly elected Congress push Obama into being tougher on Iran's nuclear weapons program?2014/11/14
How Amnesty International Suppresses Free Speech2014/11/10
Metropolitan Opera Stifles Free Exchange of Ideas about a Propaganda Opera2014/10/21
The Right to Protest the Metropolitan Opera Decision to Put on "The Death of Klinghoffer"2014/09/24
United States Attack in Syria Parallels Israel's in Gaza2014/09/23
National Lawyers Guild seeks to indict Obama for helping Israel build Iron Dome2014/09/16
Terror Tunnels: The Case for Israel's Just War Against Hamas - Chapter 12014/09/13
Pistorius Judge was Wrong2014/09/12
Terror Tunnels: The Case for Israel's Just War Against Hamas2014/09/12
ISIS is to America as Hamas is to Israel2014/08/20
Was Israel Justified in Going after Hamas Terrorist Tunnels?2014/08/19
Supporting Hamas is Anti-Semitic2014/08/14
Hamas' Phony Statistics on Civilian Deaths2014/08/07
The empty spaces in Gaza2014/08/05
What should Israel do? What would the United States do?2014/08/01
Why did Hamas accept the cease fire?2014/08/01
Qatar, and other American "allies", are among the villains in Gaza2014/07/31
UN probe of Israel will only encourage Hamas war crimes2014/07/24
How selective body counts incite more violence2014/07/23
Has Hamas ended the prospects for a two state solution?2014/07/22
Ten reasons why the BDS movement is immoral and hinders peace2014/02/12
Diplomacy is best but...2013/11/26
Nuclear Peace With Iran In Our Time2013/11/13
Assad Is Adopting Hamas "Dead Baby" Strategy2013/09/06
As Israelis Mourn, Jordanians Glorify2013/04/15
Cardozo Law School's Honoring of Jimmy Carter Provides an Educational Moment2013/04/09
Assessing President Obama's Trip2013/03/22
Of course Hamas killed the baby2013/03/13
Pink Anti-Semitism Is No Different from Brown Anti-Semitism2013/02/26
Will a Notorious Anti-Semite Become The Pope?2013/02/19
Did Brooklyn College's Political Science Department Violate the First Amendment?2013/02/12
The high cost of defending Israel2013/02/08
Does Brooklyn College pass the "shoe on the other foot" test?2013/02/03
Open Letter to Glenn Greenwald Regarding Brooklyn College2013/02/02
Brooklyn College Political Science Department Denies Equal Free Speech and Academic Freedom to Pro-Israel Students and Faculty2013/01/30
Israeli Elections and Palestinian Negotiations2013/01/24
President's Nomination of Hagel May Encourage Iran's Nuclear Ambitions2013/01/07
Legal implication of the United Nations Resolution on Palestine2012/12/01
Hamas' Tactic: Require Israel to Cause Civilian Casualties2012/11/19
Following the elections, Mideast peace negotiations should resume2012/11/03
Honoring an anti-Semite?2012/10/09
Are Radical Imams Going to Redefine Freedom of Speech?2012/09/19
Terrorism and Palestinian Statehood2012/09/11
J'Accuse: Shame on Germany for Circumcision Ban2012/09/06
President Obama Can Stop Iran2012/08/29
J Street Makes an Attack on Iran More Likely2012/08/16
How Liberal Democrats who Support Israel Might Think about the Election2012/08/05
No "Buyer's Remorse" For Voting For Obama2012/07/29
National Jewish Democratic Council Doesn't Speak for Me on Adelson2012/07/08
A Settlement Freeze Can Advance Israeli-Palestinian Peace2012/07/05
Iran Declares War against the Jewish People2012/06/28
Alice Walker's Bigotry2012/06/20
J Street Undercuts Obama Policy on Iran2012/06/14
Prosecutor Angela Corey Rants and Whines About My Criticism of Her2012/06/06
Edwards' Jury Couldn't Decide and For Good Reason2012/06/01
New Forensic Evidence is Consistent with George Zimmerman's Self Defense Claim2012/05/18
Suppressing Ugly Truth for Beautiful Art2012/05/01
The "Rorschach" Facts in the Killing of Trayvon Martin2012/04/11
Gunter Grass Shouldn't Be Barred From Israel2012/04/09
The Case Against the Left and Right One-State Solution2012/03/22
Why deterrence won't work against Iran2012/03/20
President Obama Turns a Corner on Iran2012/03/02
Should Harvard Sponsor a One-Sided Conference Seeking the End of Israel?2012/02/27
Media Matters Hurts Obama2012/02/27
Friends Seminary Plays Bait and Switch on Anti-Semitism2012/02/26
Who are America's Reliable Allies?2012/02/15
A Victory Over Bigotry at Friends2012/02/02
A Challenge to the Friends Seminary2012/01/18
Why Anti-Semitism Is Moving Toward the Mainstream2012/01/03
Is Paterno Getting a Bum Rap?2011/11/20
Why are John Mearsheimer and Richard Falk Endorsing a Blatantly Anti-Semitic Book?2011/11/06
Conviction of the "Irvine Ten" is Constitutionally Sound2011/09/30
The United Nations Should Not Recognize an Apartheid, Judenrein, Islamic Palestine2011/09/21
UN Vote on Palestine Will Set Back Peace2011/09/13
Should Israel Welcome Glenn Beck's Support?2011/08/22
Justice Demands that Pollard's Sentence Be Commuted To Time Served2011/08/18
Is Terrorism Against Israel Really More Justified Than Terrorism Against Norway?2011/07/28
Should You Trust Jim Cramer?2011/07/18
Ships and Planes of Fools Pick Wrong Target2011/07/11
Yale's Distressing Decision To Shut Down Its "Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism"2011/06/14
President Obama has right goals on Israeli-Palestinian peace, but wrong strategy2011/06/02
Obama Explains - And Makes It Worse2011/05/25
President Obama's Mistake2011/05/19
Civil Libertarians and Academics Who Support Censors2011/05/13
Bin Laden's Defender: Noam Chomsky2011/05/11
The Photographs Should Be Released2011/05/05
Targeted Killing Vindicated2011/05/02
Wiki Leaks and The Goldstone Report2011/04/19
An American Academic Supports the Targeting of Innocent Israeli Civilians2011/04/11
South African Charge of Israeli Apartheid Rings Hollow2011/04/05
Norway's "Boycott" of Pro-Israel Speakers2011/03/31
Israel Now Has The Right To Attack Iran's Nuclear Reactors2011/03/17
Why Are So Many Public Figures Ranting Against "The Jews"?2011/03/06
Have the Wiki Leaks Been Harmful or Helpful to Democracies Such as the United States and Israel?2011/03/04
ACLU Leaders Are Supporting Censorship of Israeli Speakers2011/02/25
Obama Was Right to Veto The Security Council Resolution2011/02/22
The Turmoil in Egypt May Present an Opportunity For Peace2011/02/10
Lessons From Egypt: The United States Can Count On Israel, But Can Israel Count on the United States?2011/02/05
How the Hard Left, By Focusing Only on Israel, Encouraged Arab Despotism2011/02/02
The Egyptian Revolution May Produce a Lebanon-Type Islamic Regime2011/01/31
Imagery on the Right and Left: Why Did the Rabbis Pick on the Right?2011/01/28
J Street Attacked Sarah Palin But Not Fellow Leftists and Democrats Who Abuse the Language of Jewish Suffering2011/01/21
Goldstone Needs to Recant In Light of the New Evidence2011/01/11
Can A Judiciary That Convicted Israel's Former President Be Trusted to Investigate Alleged War Crimes?2011/01/07
Bishop Tutu Is No Saint When it Comes To Jews2010/12/20
Finally, A Hamas Leader Admits That Israel Killed Mostly Combatants In Gaza2010/12/17
The Palestinian Leadership is Responsible for the Continuing Israeli Occupation of the West Bank2010/12/10
Wikileaks Contradicts Obama Administration on Iran2010/12/06
How Counterpunch Distorts the Truth2010/11/29
What the White House Has to Do to Keep the Peace Talks Going2010/09/13
How Goldstone Is Making Peace More Difficult2010/09/01
Three Myths About The Peace Process2010/09/01
Why Peace between Israel and the Palestinians Will Be So Difficult to Achieve2010/08/18
J Street's McCarthyism2010/07/20
Singling Out Israel For "International Investigation"2010/06/03
Israel's Actions Were Entirely Lawful Though Probably Unwise2010/06/01
Legitimating Bigotry: The Legacy of Richard Goldstone2010/05/07
Tikkun Magazine Is Trying To Silence Me2010/05/04
It is Goldstone Who Is Politicizing Grandson's Bar Mitzvah2010/04/28
J Street Can No Longer Claim to be Pro-Israel2010/04/21
The Obama Administration's Conflicting Messages on Iran2010/04/19
Thou Shalt Not Stereotype 2010/04/09
Catholic Church Accused of Covering Up Pedophilia: Blame the Jews2010/04/05
The Conflict Between the US and Israel Must End Now!2010/04/01
Let’s Have a Real Apartheid Education Week2010/03/04
An Intelligence Agency Misused Passports: OMG!2010/03/02
If Israel killed Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, Did It Have the Right To?2010/02/18
Rights of the speaker versus "rights" of disruptors2010/02/16
An Anti-Israel Extremist Seeks Revenge Through Goldstone Report2010/02/12
How Some Israeli and American Jewish Media Incite Violence2010/02/09
Arguments "Ad Hominem" and "By Ethnic Identity" in Defense of Goldstone Report2010/02/03
Israel's Military Investigation: Is It Enough?2010/02/01
The Case Against the Goldstone Report: A Study in Evidentiary Bias2010/01/29
The Case Against The Goldstone Report2010/01/27
Goldstone Criticizes UN Council on Human Rights2009/10/23
Goldstone Backs Away from Report: The Two Faces of an International Poseur2009/10/13
The Hypocrisy of "Universal Jurisdiction"2009/10/06
Dishonest Intelligence2009/09/30
Ad Hominem Attack on Israel2009/09/24
Goldstone Report is a Barrier to Peace2009/09/22
UN Investigation of Israel Discredits Itself and Undercuts Human Rights2009/09/16
Filmmakers and Writers Seek to Censor Israeli Film2009/09/04
Can A State Be Built On A Pack of Lies?2009/09/01
Sweden's Refusal to Condemn Organ Libel is Bogus2009/08/25
Will Hamas's New "Culture War" Acknowledge Its Historic Ties to Nazism?2009/07/25
The Vatican's Continuing Jewish Problem2009/05/05
Confronting Evil at Durban II2009/04/28
Defeating Freeman: A Patriotic Duty2009/03/12
Hampshire Administration Does the Right Thing2009/03/02
Hampshire Divests from Israel, So Contributors Should Divest from Hampshire2009/02/13
The Moral Blindness of Some "Religious Leaders"2009/02/03
Israel, Gaza and International Law2009/01/26
The Phoney War Crimes Accusation Against Israel2009/01/26
Will a Cease Fire Work?2009/01/20
Hamas' Dead Baby Strategy2009/01/16
The Hamas War Crime Strategy2009/01/08
Israel's Actions Are Lawful and Commendable2009/01/03
Israel Bans a UN Rapporteur Who Compares the Jewish State to Nazi Germany2008/12/18
Why I Support Israel and Obama2008/10/27