Caminker came to Michigan from the UCLA School of Law, where he was a faculty member from 1991 to 1999. He received his BA in political economy and environmental studies, summa cum laude, from the University of California at Los Angeles, and his JD from Yale Law School. He clerked for Justice William Brennan Jr. on the U.S. Supreme Court and for the Hon. William Norris on the Ninth Circuit. Caminker also practiced law with the Center for Law in the Public Interest in Los Angeles and with Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in Washington, D.C. From May 2000 through January 2001, he served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice.
During his tenure he helped design and oversee a significant expansion and renovation of the Law School's historic facilities, emphasized and shaped a curricular and co-curricular focus on skills-based and experiential learning, and helped nurture the unique culture at Michigan Law that creates a vibrant and collegial student-faculty community. He is on leave from Michigan Law for the year while serving as a special assistant U.S. attorney for the Detroit office, where he specializes in appellate litigation.
Prior to his deanship (2003-2013), Caminker wrote and taught about and litigated various issues of American constitutional law. His scholarship and professional activities focused on matters concerning individual rights, federalism, and the nature of judicial decision-making. He has taught in the fields of constitutional law, civil procedure, and federal courts, and has lectured widely before various professional, scholarly, and student audiences.
"Branch Rickey and the Assembly of Baseball Rosters and Student Bodies." In The Residue of Design. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press, Forthcoming.