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Barry P. McDonald - Pepperdine University

Barry P. McDonald

Professor of Law
Caruso School of Law



Areas of Expertise

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Constitutional law
  • Copyright law
  • Contract law

Professor Barry McDonald is an expert on the U.S. Supreme Court and constitutional law, having served as a law clerk for Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. He is also a recognized scholar in the area of constitutional and First Amendment law and is currently writing a constitutional law textbook for a major legal publisher. Professor McDonald is also a copyright and contracts law expert.  

Professor McDonald has been quoted as an expert in various publications including The Associated Press, LA Times, California Lawyer, and The Daily Journal, and he’s been a guest commentator on NPR, FOX News, and CBS Evening News to name a few.


Full Bio


  • JD, Northwestern University School of Law
  • BBA, Loyola University of Chicago

Research and Scholarship


Media Appearances

Professor McDonald teaches courses in constitutional law, First Amendment law, comparative constitutional law, and copyright law. He is a recognized expert on constitutional law and the U.S. Supreme Court, and frequently is interviewed or writes in such major media outlets as The CBS Evening NewsFox NewsNational Public Radio and The Los Angeles Times. He is also a recognized scholar in the area of constitutional law, and particularly First Amendment law. Since joining the Pepperdine faculty in 2000, he has published several articles on the law governing freedom of expression and religion in such prominent journals as the Emory Law JournalNorthwestern University Law ReviewNotre Dame Law ReviewOhio State Law Journal, and Washington & Lee Law Review. His current projects include a new constitutional law textbook to be published by West Publishing Co.

Prior to joining the faculty, Professor McDonald worked for the U.S. Department of State, the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, and as general counsel to two different technology companies. He attended Northwestern University School of Law where he graduated with honors, and received the Order of the Coif, the Arlyn Miner Legal Writing Award, and served as an associate editor of the Northwestern Law Review. Upon graduation, he clerked for the Honorable James K. Logan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and then served as a law clerk to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist during the 1989-90 Term of the Supreme Court of the United States. He is currently a member of the U.S. Supreme Court Bar, the State Bar of California, the American Bar Association, and the American Association of Law Schools (AALS). Professor McDonald serves on the Executive Committee of the Mass Communications Law Section of the AAS, and on the Litigation Advisory Committee for the national Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).