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Volokh '83, J.D. '92
Acting Professor of Law
School of Law
30, Volokh is already a veteran "outer envelope-pusher."
The child prodigy formed a computer software company (in which he
is still a partner) at the age of 12. He graduated from UCLA with
a B.S. in math-computer science at age 15. He attended UCLA School
of Law and clerked for both U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day
O'Connor and Judge Alex Kozinski on the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of
being a brilliant child isn't much help these days, Volokh insists.
you can't live in the past or bask in whatever glory you had --
or what some might think of as glory," he explains. "You
have to add to those accomplishments in some way. The important
thing is what I'm going to do next."
he writes serious, precedent-setting law-review articles on smut
in cyberspace, gun control and free speech in the workplace, while
also cranking out informative -- and decidedly more entertaining
-- pieces like Lawsuit, Shmawsuit, (coauthored by Judge Kozinski)
and Hum a Few Bar Exams, a mock test with questions such as "Environmental
Law: Big wheel keeps on turning; Proud Mary keeps on burning (or
'boining'). What is the maximum level of particulate emissions Proud
Mary may put out? Is an Environmental Impact Statement required?"
In between he teaches law school courses on free speech law, copyright
law, the law of government and religion and the law of firearms
he plans next includes more teaching, scholarship, writing, media
appearances and advocacy. Volokh, who describes himself politically
as "a man of the center right," worked as legal adviser
to the Yes on Prop. 209 campaign.
all his work, Volokh says he's motivated by the idea of finding
"a small sliver of the truth" -- and the need to share
we're not really approaching the truth, or what we think is not
that novel," he explains. "But sometimes, there's the
tantalizing possibility that people might say, 'Yeah, that makes
sense,' and maybe in a small way, you move the world in the direction
of what is right."