Susan Herman was elected President of the American Civil Liberties Union in October 2008, after having served on the ACLU National Board of Directors for twenty years, as a member of the Executive Committee for sixteen years, and as General Counsel for ten years. At Brooklyn Law School, she holds a chair as a Centennial Professor of Law, and teaches courses in Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure, and seminars on Law and Literature, and Terrorism and Civil Liberties. She is affiliated with the Center for Law, Language & Cognition and is an Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Law Fellowship Committee Member.
A highly regarded authority in constitutional and criminal procedure topics, she is a prolific author in these areas. Her extensive writings have been published in scholarly and other publications, ranging from law reviews and books to periodicals and on-line publications. Her most recent book, Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy (Oxford 2011 & 2014) was awarded the 2012 Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize from the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law. She is also author of The Right to a Speedy and Public Trial (Praeger Publishers 2006) and co-authored Terrorism, Government, and Law: National Authority and Local Autonomy in the War on Terror (Praeger Publishers 2008).
Professor Herman has discussed constitutional law issues on radio, including a variety of NPR shows; on television, including programs on PBS, CSPAN, NBC, MSNBC. Her opinions are also regularly printed in leading print media. In addition, she has been a frequent speaker at academic conferences and continuing legal education events organized by groups such as the Federal Judicial Center and the American Bar Association, lecturing and conducting workshops for various groups of judges and lawyers, and at non-legal events, including speeches at the U.S. Army War College and many other schools, and at international conferences. She has also participated in Supreme Court litigation, writing and collaborating on Supreme Court amicus curiae briefs for the ACLU on a range of constitutional criminal procedure issues, including the recent case of Riley v. California.
She was a Note and Comment Editor on the NYU Law Review. Before entering teaching, she was Pro Se Law Clerk for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Staff Attorney and then Associate Director of Prisoners' Legal Services of New York.
She received her B.A. from Barnard College and J.D. from New York University School of Law.