1945 - 2019
Stuart Marshall Biegel, a distinguished Professor of Law and Education at UCLA, passed away on April 3rd after a brief bout with lymphoma. He was 73.
Stuart was born on November 25, 1945 in New York City, the oldest child of Morris Biegel and Helen Greenfield Biegel. In 1950, the family moved to Los Angeles, California, where he grew up. Stuart attended Fairfax High School, then UCLA, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a California teacher credential from the UCLA Graduate School of Education. A few years later, while working as a full-time teacher, he attended and received his law degree from Southwestern Law School.
Stuart began his career in education as a classroom teacher at Bellagio Road Elementary School and then at the Mirman School. In 1985, he joined the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies (GSEIS), where he directed the Teacher Education Program. In the 1990s, he helped create UCLA Center X to train teachers in equitable methods that could transform public schooling. He worked with undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in GSEIS, and he began his tenure as a lecturer at UCLA Law in 1989.
A beloved teacher for generations of students, Stuart won the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award in 2012. In the fall of 2018, he was honored by alumni of the UCLA Educational Leadership Program for his contributions throughout its 25 years in GSEIS.
Stuart’s scholarship and teaching consistently emphasized a passion for civil liberties and social justice, particularly in the areas of disability and LGBTQ rights. He was also a renowned expert in the fields of both education law and technology law, and was among the first scholars in the nation to identify the Internet’s potential in the law and education. One of his popular courses at UCLA School of Law and GSEIS centered on the impact of technology, including online regulation, future technologies, and privacy. He was a longtime member of UCLA’s Advisory Board on Privacy and Data Protection and in the 1990s taught UCLA’s first course in the law of cyberspace.
Biegel was a prolific writer and speaker, publishing numerous articles on the law and education and organizing several major conferences that convened academics and practitioners in education and the law. His book Beyond Our Control? Confronting the Limits of Our Legal System in the Age of Cyberspace (MIT Press, 2001) won three awards, including Best Information Science Book from the Association of Information and Science and Technology. Another book, The Right to Be Out: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in America’s Public Schools (University of Minnesota Press, 2010), won the American Library Association’s Stonewall Book Award. And the fifth edition of his co-authored casebook, Education and the Law (West), was published in March 2019.
Stuart’s extensive record in public service includes work as a Special Counsel for the California Department of Education, the independent Consent Decree Monitor for the U.S. District Court in an expansive case concerning desegregation of San Francisco’s public schools, as a consultant to the City of Baltimore in a successful school finance lawsuit against the State of Maryland, and as a consultant for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and the National Education Association on educational opportunity for marginalized and disenfranchised youth.
Among his friends and family, Stuart will be remembered for being a kind, gentle, caring, inquisitive man. Later in life, he fell in love with San Francisco and split his time between Los Angeles and the City by the Bay. Stuart’s beloved synagogue was San Francisco’s Sha’ar Zahav and on April 7 he was buried in a plot in that synagogue’s section at the Hills of Eternity Memorial Park in Colma, California.