It’s not the traditional law professor career path, but disgraced securities plaintiffs’ attorney Bill Lerach might make the transition from prison cell to ivory tower.
The University of California, Irvine School of Law is considering having Lerach teach an upper-level course in 2011, Assistant Dean for Communications and Public Affairs Rex Bossert confirmed Monday.
Lerach told the San Diego Union-Tribune last weekend that he is developing a course called “Regulation of Free Market Capitalism — Why Have We Failed?” He told the newspaper that he expects to “lecture at other law schools” and participate “in the ongoing debate about the need for better and more effective financial regulation and protection of investors.”
Lerach was released from a two-year sentence on March 8, the final two and half months of which were spent in home confinement following stints in an Arizona federal prison and a halfway house in San Diego. He still must complete 1,000 hours of community service and is scheduled to remain under supervised release for two years.
He pleaded guilty in 2007 to one count of conspiracy. The government alleged that members of his former firm, Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, now called Milberg, paid kickbacks to lead plaintiffs in securities class actions.
Irvine law dean Erwin Chemerinsky did not respond to a call for comment on potential addition of Lerach to the school’s teaching roster. The school, which opened in Fall 2009 with a mission of being both innovative and public interest-focused, is still designing its upper-level curriculum, Bossert said.
Should Lerach end up teaching at Irvine, it won’t be his first time speaking in front of law students. He was slated to participate Monday evening in a panel discussion at the University of San Diego School of Law titled, “Where is Corporate and Securities Litigation Headed Post-Crisis?” The school’s Center for Corporate and Securities Laws was to host the program. Center director Frank Partnoy defended Lerach’s inclusion, citing his expertise in securities law.