Professor Farber, the Sho Sato Professor of Law and Director of the Environmental Law Program at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, received a B.A. in philosophy with high honors in 1971 and an M.A. in sociology in 1972, both from the University of Illinois. In 1975 he earned his J.D. from the University of Illinois, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif, editor in chief of the University of Illinois Law Review, a Harno Scholar and class valedictorian.
After graduating, Professor Farber clerked for Judge Philip W. Tone of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit and for Justice John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court. He then practiced law with Sidley & Austin before joining the faculty of the University of Illinois Law School.
In 1981 he became a member of the University of Minnesota Law School faculty. During his years there he became the first Henry J. Fletcher Professor of Law in 1987, served as a visiting professor at Stanford Law School, Harvard Law School and the University of Chicago Law School, and was named McKnight Presidential Professor of Public Law in 2000.
Professor Farber's books include Desperately Seeking Certainty (2002), Eco-Pragmatism: Making Sensible Environmental Decisions in an Uncertain World (1999), The First Amendment (2002) and Environment Law in a Nutshell (2004). He has also written many articles on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation.