Kairys earned a B.S. from Cornell University (1965), an LL.B. from Columbia Law School (1968), and an LL.M. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School (1971). He specializes in constitutional law and civil rights law. He was a founding partner and is of counsel to Kairys, Rudovsky, Epstein, Messing & Rau.
Among his awards are the Alliance for Justice honor list for 2008, the Association of American Law Schools 2007 Deborah Rhode Award for extraordinary contribution to public interest by a law professor, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania's Civil Liberties Award, the Poor Richard Club of Philadelphia Pro Bono Award, the Freil-Scanlan Award (best Temple law faculty scholarship), and the First James E. Beasley Chair (Temple Law School).
- "Temple University Beasley School of Law". Martindale.com. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
- The Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/29/AR2010062904052_2.html. Missing or empty
- Weekend Edition (June 29, 2008). "NRA Eyes More Targets After D.C. Gun-Ban Win". NPR. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
- James Dao (March 18, 2000). "Under Legal Siege, Gun Maker Agrees To Accept Curbs". The New York Times. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
- "Law and Politics", David Kairys, 52 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 243 (1983-84)
- The politics of law: a progressive critique. Basic Books. 1998. ISBN 0-465-05959-7. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
- Kairys resume