Sam Terilli holds a J. D. from the University of Michigan Law School.
He practiced media, commercial and employment law for more than 30 years, including 12 years as the General Counsel of the Miami Herald Publishing Company and 6 years as a partner in a national law firm. He served on the Miami Herald's editorial board for six years, writing editorials and columns, and spent two extended assignments in the Herald's newsroom, once to lead a reorganization of the news operations and once as a working reporting and editor to study the news operations. He has published several articles on media law and management issues. His research interests include privacy, defamation, commercial speech, access to public records and other information controlled by government, newsroom management, media ethics and history, and the relationships between expression and litigation. He has been involved in a number of civic and professional organizations, including for example the Miami Children’s Museum Board of Directors, IRE (Investigative Reporters & Editors, Inc., as pro bono counsel), the Florida Bar’s Media and Communications Law Committee, the Society of Professional Journalists Regional Board of Directors (Florida) and the board of the National Scholastic Press Association. He currently serves as a vice-chair of the Faculty Senate.