BERKELEY — Erwin Chemerinsky, the founding dean of UC Irvine’s School of Law, will become the next dean of UC Berkeley’s law school.

He will begin his five-year term on July 1 and will replace Interim Dean Melissa Murray. Murray had replaced former dean Sujit Choudhry, who was ousted over a sexual harassment claim.

Chemerinsky’s expertise is in constitutional law, federal practice civil rights and civil liberties and appellate litigation. Along with being the founding dean of UC Irvine’s School of Law, he was a distinguished professor of law and a Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law.

He is a highly cited legal scholar and the author of multiple books and law review articles. Under his direction, UC Irvine became one of the most influential law schools in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Chemerinsky said he felt his time at UC Irvine had reached its end and a turning point was in his future.

“I have had a wonderful time and an amazing experience as dean at UC Irvine," Chemerinsky told the Northern California Record. "But after nine years, my time as dean here is nearing an end.  It is time for the law school to go through a reexamination, and I am not the right person to lead that.”

Prior to becoming the founding dean of UC Irvine’s School of Law in 2008, Chemerinsky taught at Duke University, the University of Southern California, DePaul and UCLA.

“Berkeley law provides a wonderful and exciting new opportunity for me,” Chemerinsky said.

Chemerinsky said one of his top priorities at UC Berkeley would be increasing revenue.

“Overall, it is to maintain and enhance its excellence," he said. "In the short term, it is about generating more revenue through new and expanded revenue-generating programs and through increased fund raising."

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