Estrich graduated from Wellesley College in 1974, and received her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1977. In 1976, Estrich was elected the first female president/editor-in-chief of the Harvard Law Review.
Estrich served as a law clerk for Judge J. Skelly Wright of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and Justice John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1988, she was the campaign manager for Michael Dukakis' 1988 presidential run.
Estrich appears frequently on Fox News as a legal and political analyst, and has also substituted for Alan Colmes on the debate show Hannity & Colmes. She writes regular articles for NewsMax, for which she is a pundit. She is also on the Board of Editorial Contributors for USA Today. She is currently a law professor at the University of Southern California Law School and a political science professor at its affiliated undergraduate school. Before joining the USC faculty in 1989, she was Professor of Law at Harvard University, where she was the youngest woman tenured faculty. On January 10 2008, Estrich joined the Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges law firm, a litigation powerhouse based in Los Angeles.
In several of her books, including Sex & Power and The Case for Hillary Clinton, Estrich discusses her experience as a survivor of rape. Her book Real Rape talks about the history of rape law in the United States. In 2004, Estrich challenged Los Angeles Times editorial page editor Michael Kinsley for under-representing women on the editorial page.
Estrich was married to screenwriter, professor and former speechwriter Marty Kaplan.. She is Jewish, having become Bat Mitzvah at Temple Israel in Swampscott MA, and has written about her religion in her column . On February 27 2008, Estrich stated on Fox News that she will endorse Hillary Clinton for the 2008 US presidential nomination race.