Junichi P Semitsu is a Professor in Residence at USD School of Law and a faculty member in the USD School of Business Administration’s Master of Science in Global Leadership program. His teaching and research interests include media law and mass communications, constitutional law, privacy law, criminal law and procedure, and civil rights.
In 2013, Semitsu was selected “Teacher of the Year” by a vote of the student body at USD School of Law. He also received the Law School’s Thorsnes Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2011. He was also chosen as the MSGL Program’s Professor of Impact in 2008, 2011. 2013. Since 2005, he has taught Constitutional Law II, Media Law, Race and the Law, Lawyering Skills, and Professional Responsibility. He also created and hosts the law school’s annual Battle of the Brains fundraiser, which pits students against faculty in a live trivia contest.
Semitsu’s publications include “Widening Batson’s Net to Ensnare More than the Unapologetically Bigoted or Painfully Unimaginative Attorney” in the Cornell Law Review, “From Facebook to Mug Shot: How the Dearth of Social Networking Privacy Rights Revolutionized Online Government Surveillance,” a symposium article in Pace Law Review and featured in JOTWELL, and “Burning Cyberbooks in Public Libraries: Internet Filtering Software vs. the First Amendment,” published in the Stanford Law Review. His essays have been published in the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, and on the front page of MSN.com.
Semitsu completed his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California at Berkeley, where he graduated with highest honors and received the American College Personnel Association’s Outstanding Undergraduate Student Staff Member award.
He then graduated with honors from Stanford Law School, where he won Best Individual Oral Advocate in the Kirkwood Moot Court Competition. He also served as Senior Editor and Ombudsman on the Stanford Law Review, class president, and co-director of the annual law school musical.
Previously, Semitsu clerked for the Honorable James R. Browning of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. After practicing law, he taught at the University of California, Berkeley in both the law school and in the Department of African American Studies. He received the Asian Pacific Council’s 2004-2005 Inspirational Faculty Member of the Year Award and was placed on the Chancellor’s Faculty Heroes List in 2006. At Berkeley, he also served as the director of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People, a creative writing program.
Semitsu has served as a featured speaker in venues as varied as the Lawyers Club of San Diego, the University of Wisconsin’s Building Unity Conference, and the Nuyorican Poets Café. In his spare time, he served as the embedded blogger for the Dixie Chicks, appeared as a contestant on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, and won the title of “Funniest Lawyer in San Diego” at the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program’s Second Annual LAF-Off (Lawyers Are Funny) Stand-Up Comedy Competition.
(For more personal information and random trivia about Semitsu, click here.)