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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law
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Jacob D. Charles

Associate Professor of Law
Caruso School of Law


Professor Jake Charles joined Pepperdine Caruso Law in 2022 after teaching at Duke Law School. At Duke, he served as the inaugural executive director of the Duke Center for Firearms Law, where he remains an affiliated scholar. Professor Charles writes and teaches on the Second Amendment and firearms law, and his primary research interests include the legal regulation of state and private violence, Second Amendment doctrine and theory, and the place of guns in the criminal legal system and in tort litigation. His scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in the Harvard Law Review Forum, Michigan Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Virginia Law Review, Northwestern University Law Review, and Texas Law Review, among others.

Professor Charles is frequently asked to comment on legal issues surrounding firearm law and politics. His writing for popular audiences has appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Hill, Bloomberg Law, and other outlets, and he has been quoted in news stories on CNN, NPR, Politifact, NewsWeek, and others. He has also been invited to speak in numerous public fora about the Second Amendment and the debates over the history, law, and politics of the right to keep and bear arms.

Professor Charles previously practiced in both the appellate and products liability practice groups at McGuireWoods LLP. He previously clerked for Judge Allyson K. Duncan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and Judge Colleen McMahon of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Before his clerkships, Professor Charles practiced in the Washington, D.C., office of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where his practice focused on defending clients during government and criminal investigations.

Professor Charles graduated magna cum laude from Duke Law School. During law school, he served as notes editor for the Duke Law Journal and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He also holds an M.A. in political science with an emphasis in normative political theory and political institutions from Duke University. Prior to law school, Professor Charles earned M.A. degrees in theology and philosophy from Biola University and a bachelor’s degree in criminology, law, and society & psychology and social behavior from the University of California, Irvine.