Clifford Zimmerman

Professor of Practice


His specialties are legal analysis, writing, and research, civil rights, and government accountability. He has taught legal analysis, civil rights, and evidence, and speaks and writes widely on each. Professor Zimmerman is also consulted nationally in cases involving civil rights and government liability.

His years of teaching legal analysis, research, and writing has sparked many specific areas of interest, including collaborative and cooperative work, cultural differences in reasoning methods, and the development of basic reasoning abilities. He is particularly interested in exploring and testing innovative methods by which students can learn the often elusive skills necessary to analyze and reason. He is nationally recognized for his work on collaborative and cooperative learning in legal education and his article, “Thinking Beyond My Own Interpretation:” Reflections on Collaborative and Cooperative Theory in the Law School Curriculum. He also speaks widely on other issues related to legal analysis. Professor Zimmerman has written and spoken widely on the issue of government responsibility. In particular, he has addressed the role of informants and their impact on the criminal justice system. His writings on the subject have appeared in the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly and in the text, Wrongly Convicted: Perspectives on Failed Justice (Rutgers University Press). Professor Zimmerman is also the editor of the Police Misconduct & Civil Rights Law Report and regularly contributes articles to the publication. He also writes and speaks nationally on these issues. His recent article on municipal liability, The Scholar Warrior: Visualizing the Kaleidoscope that is Entity Liability, Negotiating the Terrain and Finding a New Paradigm, appears in the DePaul Law Review. Prior to teaching, Professor Zimmerman was an associate at the Chicago firm of Singer & Stein, specializing in federal civil rights litigation, particularly under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

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Areas of Expertise

  • Legal Writing
  • Legal Research

Selected Publications

  • Thinking Beyond My Own Interpretation: Reflections on Collaborative and Cooperative Theory in the Law School Curriculum, 31 Arizona State Law Journal 957 (1999).
  • Toward A New Vision of Informants: A History Of Abuses And Suggestions For Reform, 22 Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly 81 (1994).

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  • BA, University of Michigan
  • MA (pending candidate), DePaul University
  • JD, Rutgers-Newark University

Prior Appointments

  • Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Associate Dean and Dean of Students, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Associate, Singer & Stein

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