Adam Hirsch

Professor of Law

  • PhD, 1987, Yale University
  • JD, 1982, Yale University
  • MPhil, 1982, Yale University
  • MA, 1979, Yale University
  • AB, 1976, Vassar College

Areas of Expertise

Professor Hirsch teaches and writes in the areas of wills and trusts, property, creditors' rights, and American legal history.

Professional Experience

Hirsch was the William & Catherine VanDercreek Professor of Law at Florida State University. He is an academic fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and serves on the Florida Historical Commission. He joined the USD School of Law faculty in 2013.

Honors and Affiliations

Hirsch's doctoral dissertation received the George Washington Egleston Prize for the best dissertation on American history. The dissertation was expanded into a book, The Rise of the Penitentiary: Prisons and Punishment in Early America (Yale University Press, 1992). He has served as the Roger Traynor Fellow at Hastings College of Law. 

Key Works

Hirsch's publications include “Disclaimers and Federalism” in 67 Vanderbilt Law Review 1871 (2014); “Formalizing Gratuitous And Contractual Transfers: A Situational Theory” in 91 Washington University at St. Louis Law Review 797 (2014); “Incomplete Wills” in 111 Michigan Law Review 1423 (2013); “Freedom of Testation/Freedom of Contract” in 95 Minnesota Law Review 2180 (2011); “The Code Breakers: How States are Modifying the UDPIA” in 46 Real Property Trust and Estate Law Journal 325 (2011); “American History of Inheritance Law” in Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History (Katz, ed.) (Oxford University Press, 2009); “Delaware Unifies the Law of Charitable and Noncharitable Purpose Trusts” in 36 Estate Planning 13 (2009); “Disclaimer Law and UDPIA's Unintended Consequences” in 36 Estate Planning 34 (2009); and “Text and Time: A Theory of Testamentary Obsolescence” in 86 Washington University Law Review 609 (2009).

Fall 2017 Classes

Spring 2018 Classes

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Adam Hirsch headshot

Contact Information

Warren Hall 304A
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
(P) (619) 260-8858

Online Resources

Curriculum Vita


Arlene Penticoff
(619) 260-6843

Open Office Hours

Day of Week Time
Tue 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.