Laura M. Berend

Class of 1975 Endowed Professor of Law

  • JD, 1975, University of San Diego
  • BA, 1972, University of California, San Diego

Areas of Expertise

Professor Berend teaches in the areas of ethics, evidence advocacy, and criminal trial practice.

Professional Experience

Berend was a staff and supervising attorney with Defenders Inc., a private, nonprofit firm providing indigent criminal defense services, and was in private practice in San Diego before joining the USD School of Law faculty in 1982.

Honors and Affiliations

Berend is chair of the Community Defenders, Inc. grant committee. She is a past president of the board of directors of the Defenders Organization of San Diego, past president of the San Diego Psych-Law Society, past president of the Criminal Defense Lawyers Club, and a former board member of the San Diego Criminal Defense Bar Association. She received USD’s Herzog Endowment Scholar Award in 2001.

Key Works

Berend's publications include Criminal Litigation in Action, 3rd Ed. (with Ramirez) (Carolina Academic Press, forthcoming 2015); Criminal Litigation in Action, 2nd Ed. (with Ramirez) (Carolina Academic Press, 2012); Criminal Litigation in Action (with Montoya) (National Institute for Trial Advocacy Publishing, 2002); “Evidence Advocacy Problems and Teaching Notes” in Teacher's Manual for Evidence: Teaching Materials for an Age of Science and Statutes (Lexis Nexis, 2001); “Less Reliable Preliminary Hearings and Plea Bargains in Criminal Cases in California: Discovery Before and After Proposition 115” in 48 American University Law Review 465 (1998); and “Proposition 115 Preliminary Hearings: Sacrificing Reliability on the Altar of Expediency?” in 23 Pacific Law Journal 1131 (1991).

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Laura M. Berend headshot

Contact Information

Warren Hall 109B
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
(P) (619) 260-2345


Perla Bleisch
(619) 260-4019