Douglas M. Spencer

Associate Professor of Law and Public Policy and Roger S. Baldwin Scholar
Headshot of Professor Spencer.
860-570-5437
Office: Hosmer 102
  • Administrative Law
  • Legislation
  • Election Law
  • Empirical Methods for Lawyers

Douglas Spencer’s research and writing focus on several important questions regarding the institutional regulation of elections at the intersection of law and political science, including many empirical questions that remain underexplored by legal scholars. The holder of a master’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, Goldman School of Public Policy, a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, and a Ph.D. in jurisprudence and social policy, also from Berkeley, Professor Spencer has teaching interests that include administrative law, election law, and empirical methods for lawyers, as well as law and economics.

The author of several law review articles and working papers on a range of election-related topics, including Shelby County v. Holder, a case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013, Professor Spencer is a three-time recipient of Berkeley’s “Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor,” an honor bestowed on him by both the Political Science Department and Legal Studies Department. As a graduate student at the Goldman School of Public Policy, he was editor-in-chief of PolicyMatters. As an undergraduate at Columbia, he served as editor of the Columbia Undergraduate Philosophy Review.

Professor Spencer was a law clerk at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights in San Francisco and has worked at the U.S. Department of the Interior and the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group in Washington, DC. In 2005 he was an election monitor during the Thailand national parliamentary election and later worked as a non-resident researcher for the Pew Center on the States' Military and Overseas Voting Reform Project.

Douglas M. Spencer & Christopher S. Elmendorf, The Geography of Racial Stereotyping: Evidence and Implications for Preclearance After Shelby County 102 Cal. L. Rev. ___ (forthcoming 2014)

Douglas M. Spencer & Abby K. Wood, Citizens United, States Divided: An Empirical Analysis of Independent Political Spending, 89 Ind. L.J. 315 (2014)

Douglas M. Spencer & Christopher S. Elmendorf, Are Ballot Titles Biased? Partisanship in California's Supervision of Direct Democracy, 3 U.C. Irvine L. Rev. 2013

Douglas M. Spencer & Zachary S. Markovits, Long Lines at Polling Stations? Observations from an Election Day Field Study, 9 Election Law Journal 3 (2010)