Jack Bernard has been teaching at the University of Michigan Law School since 1995. He is associate general counsel in the University of Michigan's Office of the Vice President and General Counsel, where he has worked since 1999. His primary areas of practice include intellectual property, First Amendment, student rights, academic freedom, privacy, security, computing and cyber law, media rights, transactional work, and disability law. Professor 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 (Japan), 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 is on the board of the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor. Professor Bernard received his JD from Michigan Law and his master's degree in higher education from the University of Michigan. He studied neuroscience at Macalester College.
In 2009, he received the American Library Association's L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award and 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. In 2015, he delivered the Windsor Lecture at the University of Illinois.
As the lead copyright lawyer for the University of Michigan, he successfully defended the University’s establishment of HathiTrust and the University's participation in the Google Book Search project. His contributions to these projects made possible that access for persons who have print disabilities was considered overtly within these projects from their 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.