Kenneth A. Manaster

Professor of Law, Presidential Professor of Ethics and the Common Good

A respected scholar of environmental law, Professor Manaster joined the Santa Clara University School of Law faculty in 1972. Since 1990 he has served as Counsel to the environmental law group at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in San Francisco.

Prior to joining the Santa Clara University School of Law faculty, Professor Manaster served as Assistant Attorney General of Illinois, heading the Chicago office of the Environmental Control Division. He also served as a law clerk for Judge Bernard M. Decker of the U.S. District Court in Chicago, and was in private practice in Chicago. In 1969, he worked with Chicago attorney and (later Supreme Court Justice) John Paul Stevens on an investigation of corruption in the Illinois Supreme Court. Manaster later published a book about the case, Illinois Justice: The Scandal of 1969 and the Rise of John Paul Stevens (University of Chicago Press, 2001), which featured a foreword by Stevens. In 2015 a documentary film based on the book, and entitled “Unexpected Justice,” was broadcast on PBS stations. Another of his books is The American Legal System and Civic Engagement: Why We All Should Think Like Lawyers (Palgrave Macmillan 2013).

He has taught courses on environmental law at Stanford Law School, the University of Texas, and Hastings College of the Law, and has held the position of visiting scholar at Harvard Law School and Stanford Law School. Manaster studied in Peru on a Fulbright Fellowship.


LL.B., Harvard Law School

A.B., Harvard College

Areas of Specialization

Environmental Protection Law, Administrative Law, Torts

Affiliations and Honors

  • Chair, Bay Area Quality Management District Hearing Board, 1978-89
  • Chair, Public Advisory Committee to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency