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David Austin

David Austin

Legal Writing Professor

(619) 525-1478


Before joining the faculty of California Western School of Law in 2009, David Austin was an attorney at Jenner & Block LL.P. and Schoeman Updike Kaufman & Scharf in Chicago, Illinois. He is experienced in complex litigation, including commercial disputes and product liability defense. He served for two years as clerk to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Hawai'i.

Mr. Austin's trial experience includes participation in a twelve-day trial where he acted as lead associate representing a large private equity fund in a multi-million dollar claim by a creditor of an insolvent corporation to recover from the debtor's directors and from its parent, a venture capital fund. Claims included piercing the corporate veil, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment. All claims were resolved in favor of the client.

David has a special interest in asylum law and public interest work, and has provided pro bono service to the National Immigrant Justice Center (serving on its Leadership Council and as director of its Asylum Program) and the AIDS Legal Council of Chicago (as amicus in an Illinois Supreme Court case). He has taught appellate advocacy at The John Marshall Law School, Chicago.

Prior to embarking on a career in the law, Mr. Austin worked for the Italian Ministry of Health and with non-governmental organization in Italy and other European countries. He was elected to the board of the European Council of AIDS Service Organizations and served as a representative for Southern Europe from 1991 top 1994. In 1996,he was a visiting Research Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health.

  • J.D., The John Marshall Law School, 2001, cum laude
  • B.A., University of Maryland-European Division, 1995
  • Bar Admissions: Illinois
  • Clerkships: Hon. Chief Justice Ronald T.Y. Moon, Hawai'i Supreme Court, 2001-2003
  • Legal Skills
  • Legal Writing

Selected Publications

  • David W. Austin, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, 48 Int’l Law. 489 (2014).
  • David W. Austin, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, 47 Int’l Law. 469 (2013).
  • David W. Austin, 2011 Year in Review:  Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, 46 Int’l Law. 447 (2012).
  • David W. Austin, Qiang Bjornbak & Josh D. Friedman, Immigration and Naturalization Law, 45 Int’l Law. 329 (2011).
  • David Austin, Analysis of order preliminarily enjoining Arizona S.B. 1070, 38 Ill. State Bar Ass’n Human Rights Section Newsletter Vol. 38, No. 1, 1 (Aug. 2011).
  • David W. Austin, Paul Johnson & Mark E. Wojcik, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, 44 Int’l Law. 547 (2010).
  • Mark E. Wojcik, Javier Zenteno Gomez, Jorge G. de Presno & David W. Austin, Regional & Comparative Law: Mexico, 44 Int’l Law. 701 (2010).
  • David W. Austin, Observations on Illinois Legislation to Eliminate the Death Penalty, The Globe,Ill. State Bar Ass’n Int’l & Immigration Law Section Council Newsletter, Vol. 45, No. 9, 10 (June 2008).
  • David W. Austin, Section Members Promote Careers in International Law, The Globe, Ill. State Bar Ass’n Int’l & Immigration Law Section Council Newsletter,Vol. 45, No. 5, 4 (Jan. 2008).

Selected Presentations & Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, Effective Advocacy for Immigrant Survivors of Domestic Violence, Illinois State Bar Association, Chicago, IL (Coordinator and Presenter for CLE program) (February 29,2008).
  • Guest Lecturer, Introduction to the U.S. Discovery Process, Facultad Libre de Derecho de Monterrey, Mexico (June 28, 2007).
  • Guest Lecturer, Introduction to the U.S. Discovery Process, University of Lucerne Faculty of Law, Switzerland (May 12, 2007).
  • Outreach Model for HIV Prevention Among Italian Intravenous Drug Users. X International AIDS Conference, Yokohama Japan (1994).
  • Straight Talk and Cocktails: Young People's Awareness Levels Regarding HIV, Heterosexual Risk and the Role of Alcohol and Non-Injectable Drugs. IX International AIDS Conference, Berlin Germany (1993).

Bar and Community Service

  • American Bar Association (Section of International Law, Membership Committee).
  • Illinois State Bar Association (Section and International and Immigration Law, Council Member and Task Force on Diversity).
  • Chicago Bar Association (past Chair of Civil Rights Committee).