Donald N. Bersoff, is a professor emeritus in the School of Law and Department of Psychology. He received his PhD from New York University in 1965 and his JD from Yale Law School in 1976 where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal. He has taught at several universities and maintained a private practice in psychology before entering law school. In 1979, Bersoff became the first general counsel of the American Psychological Association. Two years later he helped found the law firm of Ennis, Friedman, Bersoff & Ewing in Washington, DC, merging it with Jenner & Block in 1988. He is the author of over 100 book chapters, articles, and papers on ethics and the interaction of law, psychology and the social sciences. He is the author of Ethical Conflicts in Psychology (2008), published in the 4th edition by the American Psychological Association, senior author of Law and Mental Health Professionals—Pennsylvania, and an extensive chapter on education and training in law and psychology. He has served as president of the American Psychology-Law Society, on the American Bar Association’s Commission on the Mentally Disabled, and as Chair of the Section on Mental Disability Law of the Association of American Law Schools.
Donald Bersoff is a nationally renowned expert on legal and ethical issues in mental health, developmental disabilities and education, as well as ethics and the law.
Before coming to Drexel, Bersoff directed the JD/PhD Program in Law and Psychology offered jointly by the Villanova University School of Law and the Department of Clinical & Health Psychology at MCP Hahnemann University (which has since merged with Drexel University.) He has served as an adjunct professor in Drexel University’s Department of Psychology since 2001.
His other academic positions include developing the nation’s second joint law and psychology program, offered by Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland School of Law, as well as holding faculty posts at the University of Georgia College of Education and Ohio State University.
Bersoff edited the landmark “Ethical Conflicts in Psychology,” now in its fourth edition, and wrote more than 100 publications and papers on the interaction of law, psychology and public policy. His articles have appeared in publications including American Psychologist, University of Chicago Law School Roundtable, Law and Human Behavior, Ethics & Behavior and the Journal of School Psychology.
He has extensive professional experience in both law and psychology, having been general counsel to the American Psychological Association, and a partner in the Washington-based firms of Jenner & Block and Ennis Friedman & Bersoff. Elected to three terms on the APA Council of Representatives, he served as president of the American Psychology-Law Society and chairman of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Mental Disability Law. His experience as a clinical psychologist includes work with the U.S. Air Force in Southeast Asia and elsewhere.
His media interviews and commentary include appearances on CNN, CBS Morning News and NPR.
Bersoff received his JD from Yale University Law School, where he served on the editorial board of the Yale Law Journal.