Susan Freiwald headshot

Susan Freiwald

Dean, School of Law


Dean and Professor of Law Susan Freiwald became the 19th Dean of the University of San Francisco School of Law on July 1, 2019, after serving one-year terms as the school's interim dean and associate dean for academic affairs. Since joining the law school’s administration after 20 years as a member of the USF faculty, Dean Freiwald has spearheaded a revamp of the curriculum, redesigned the first-year orientation and tutorial programs, and launched the Academic and Bar Exam Success Program. In addition, Dean Freiwald raised $6.1 million from an anonymous donor to establish the Justice for Animals Program, with its endowed Chair in Animal Law. Under her leadership, the law school has expanded its Racial Justice Clinic in a groundbreaking partnership with the San Francisco DA’s office, employing two new staff attorneys with donor-supported funds.

As a faculty member, Dean Freiwald received the School of Law Distinguished Professor Award, published numerous law review articles on the regulation of online surveillance, and briefed and argued major cases involving the Fourth Amendment protection of new communications technologies. She has been recognized for her leadership in securing landmark electronic surveillance legislation in California.



  • Cyberlaw
  • Information Privacy Law
  • Internet Law
  • Privacy Law
  • Criminal Procedure


  • JD, Harvard University (Magna cum laude)
  • AB in Economics, Harvard University (Magna cum laude)

Prior Experience

  • Assistant Professor, Legal Studies Department, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
  • Associate, Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Amalya L. Kearse, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

Awards & Distinctions

  • San Francisco Business Times 2022 Most Influential Women
  • 2017 Privacy Award, from The Berkeley Center for Technology Law at The Sixth Annual BCLT Privacy Law Forum: Silicon Valley (2017)
  • First Place Award, Constitutional Test for Government Surveillance Competition: From Jones to Drones at the Fifth Annual Privacy Law Scholars Conference (2012)

Law Review and Journal Articles

  • “The Carpenter Chronicle: A Near-perfect Surveillance,” 132 Harvard Law Review 205 (2018).
  • “At the Privacy Vanguard: California's Electronic Communication Privacy Act (CalECPA),” 33 Berkeley Technology Law Journal (2018). Read Here
  • “Nothing to Fear or Nowhere to Hide: Competing Visions of the NSA's 215 Program,” 12 Colorado Technology Law Journal 309 (2014).
  • “Light in the Darkness: How the LEATPR Standards Guide Legislators in Regulating Law Enforcement Access to Cell Site Location Record,” 66 Oklahoma Law Review 875 (2014). Read More
  • “Reforming Surveillance Law: The Swiss Model,” 28 Berkeley Technology Law Journal 1261-1331 (2013). (co-authored with Sylvain Métille) SSRN
  • “Managing the Muddled Mass of Big Data,” (2013). Read More
  • “The Davis Good Faith Rule and Getting Answers to the Questions Jones Left Open,” 14 North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology 341 (Spring 2013). SSRN
  • “Simply More Privacy Protective: Law Enforcement Surveillance in Switzerland as compared to the U.S.,” (forthcoming). (Co-authored with Sylvain Metille.)
  • “Do Lawyers Violate the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act When They Obtain Drivers’ Motor Vehicle Records to Solicit the Drivers’ Participation in Litigation Without Obtaining the Drivers’ Express Consent?,” 40 American Bar Association Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases 4 (2013). (WestlawNext, Westlaw Classic)
  • “Cell Phone Location Data and the Fourth Amendment: A Question of Law, Not Fact,” 70 Maryland Law Review 677 (2011). Read More
  • “A Comment on James Grimmelmann's Saving Facebook,” 95 Iowa Law Review Bulletin 5 (2009). SSRN
  • “Electronic Surveillance at the Virtual Border,” 78 Mississippi Law Journal 329 (2008). (Symposium Issue) SSRN
  • “Fourth Amendment Protection for Stored E-Mail,” University of Chicago Legal Forum: Law in a Networked World 121 (2008). (Co-authored with Patricia L. Bellia.) SSRN
  • “First Principles of Communications Privacy,” 2007 Stanford Technology Law Review 3 (2007). (The article was republished in Surveillance and Privacy Exception (Amicus Books, 2009) and Professional Privileges and Judicial Approach (Amicus Books, 2009.) SSRN
  • “The Fourth Amendment Status of Stored Email: The Law Professors' Brief in Warshak v. United States,” 41 University of San Francisco Law Review 559 (2007). (Co-authored with Patricia L. Bellia.) SSRN
  • “Online Surveillance: Remembering the Lessons of the Wiretap Act,” 56 Alabama Law Review 9 (2004). SSRN
  • “Comparative Institutional Analysis in Cyberspace: The Case of Intermediary Liability for Defamation,” 14 Harvard Journal of Law & Technology 569 (2001). SSRN
  • “Uncertain Privacy: Communication Attributes After the Digital Telephony Act,” 69 Southern California Law Review 949 (1996). SSRN
  • “Addressing the New Hazards of the High Technology Workplace,” 104 Harvard Law Review 1898 (1991).
  • “Generalizing Justice,” 103 Harvard Law Review 1384 (1990). (This book note reviewed Lenore Walker's, Terrifying Love)
  • “From Survey to Sample: Labor Market Data for Interwar London,” 18 Historical Method 125 (1985). (With Barry J. Eichengreen)