Jack Bernard has been teaching at the Law School since 1995. He is an attorney with the University of Michigan's Office of the Vice President and General Counsel, where he has worked for more than a dozen years. His primary areas of practice include intellectual property, student rights, speech and First Amendment law, academic freedom, privacy, security, computing and cyber law, media rights, transactional work, and disability law. Prof. Bernard writes and speaks about these issues in the academy and in the legal profession. During the 11 years prior to this work, he had been an academic administrator and/or instructor at Macalester College, Saga Daigaku, and the University of Michigan. At Michigan, he teaches at the schools of law, information, and education, as well as at the Ford School of Public Policy and the Ross School of Business. He is currently chair of the University of Michigan's Council for Disability Concerns and on the board of the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor. Prof. Bernard received his JD from Michigan Law and his master's degree in higher education from the University of Michigan School of Education. He studied neuroscience at Macalester College.
In 2009, he received the American Library Association's L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award as well as the First Decade Award from the National Association of College and University Attorneys. He has been a Spencer Fellow and a researcher at the National Center for Postsecondary Improvement. He is a recipient of the University of Michigan's Neubacher Award, a Roy Johnson Trust Award, and a Saturn Award for Leadership.
As the lead copyright lawyer for the University of Michigan, he has been at the center of the University's participation in the Google Book Search project. His contributions to the project made possible that access for persons who have print disabilities was considered overtly within the project from its inception and he has been a steadfast advocate for research, library, and the public's uses of copyrighted works. He has actively promoted the open access movement and is helping to shepherd the University of Michigan's efforts to incorporate fair use analyses into its open educational resources initiatives. He drafted the University's new copyright policy and is drafting an article that questions whether fair use is an affirmative defense in copyright law.