Member, BBI Board of Advisors, Ph.D, J.D.
Elyn R. Saks is the Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. Her recent research focused on ethical dimensions of psychiatric research and forced treatment of the mentally ill. Professor Saks teaches Mental Health Law, Mental Health Law and the Criminal Justice System, and Advanced Family Law: The Rights and Interests of Children. She served as USC Law’s associate dean for research from 2005-2010 and also teaches at the Institute of Psychiatry and the Law at the Keck School of Medicine at USC. She is also teaches as an adjunct professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego.
Professor Saks was a 2009 recipient of a MacArthur Foundation fellowship and in fall 2010 announced she was using funds from the “genius grant” to create the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics. The Institute will spotlight one important mental health issue per academic year and is a collaborative effort that includes faculty from seven USC departments: law, psychiatry, psychology, social work, gerontology, philosophy and engineering.
Before joining the USC Law faculty in 1989,Professor Saks was an attorney in Connecticut and instructor at the University of Bridgeport School of Law. She graduated summa cum laude from Vanderbilt University before earning her master of letters from Oxford University and her Juris Doctor from Yale Law School, where she also edited the Yale Law Journal. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa; an affiliate member of the American Psychoanalytic Association; a board member of Mental Health Advocacy Services; and a member of the Los Angeles Psychoanalytic Foundation and The American Law Institute. Professor Saks won both the Associate’s Award for Creativity in Research and Scholarship and the Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award in 2004.