David M. Becker

A beloved teacher and prolific scholar, David M. Becker has taught at the School of Law for nearly 50 years. He exemplifies the law school’s commitment to outstanding teaching and has had an extraordinary influence on his students. Becker received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree in 2012.


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Born in Chicago, he earned a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1957 and a juris doctorate in 1960, order of the coif, from the University of Chicago.

He joined the Washington University law faculty in 1963, and within 10 years, he received WUSTL’s Distinguished Faculty Award at Founders Day. He also received the School of Law Alumni Association’s first Distinguished Teacher Award in 1988 and the school’s Dean’s Medal in 2005.

Becker regularly received the Teacher of the Year Award from the Student Bar Association (SBA). In 2007, the SBA renamed the award as the David M. Becker Professor of the Year. The award — SBA’s highest recognition of excellence in teaching — is given annually to a professor who demonstrates a passion for teaching and regularly contributes to the law school community.

David M. Becker


Showing appreciation for a great career

In fall 2002, the School of Law celebrated his 40th year of continuous teaching by creating the David M. Becker Public Service Fund. This endowed fund annually supports five Becker Public Service Fellows, Summer Public Interest Stipends and general scholarships.

Coinciding with Law Alumni Weekend, Oct. 26-27, the School of Law will host, among other activities, a symposium and dinner in honor of Becker’s 50 years of teaching and service. The event will benefit the law school’s Scholarship Initiative and is designed to encourage active service to the law school.