Prior to joining NYU, Miller was the Bruce Bromley Professor of Law at Harvard Law School (1971-2007), after being on the faculties of the University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota. He is coauthor with Charles Alan Wright of Federal Practice and Procedure, the legendary treatise in the field. This multi-volume series is an essential reference for judges and lawyers. Miller is also one of the nation's most distinguished legal scholars in the areas of civil litigation, copyright and unfair competition, and privacy, having written more than 40 books and many articles, including The Assault on Privacy: Computers, Data Banks, and Dossiers (University of Michigan Press, 1971), the first book warning of the threat to privacy posed by modern information technology; Civil Procedure: Cases and Materials (with J.H. Friedenthal, J. Sexton, and H. Hershkoff; 1967-2008 (ten editions)); Federal Practice and Procedure (with C.A. Wright, some with E.H. Cooper, M.K. Kane, and R. Marcus; 1968-2008, West Publishing Co. (more than thirty-five volumes)); Intellectual Property: Patents, Trademarks and Copyright in a Nutshell (with M.H. Davis, 1998-2011, West Publishing Co. (four editions)), among many others. In 1999 Professor Miller made videotapes lectures for Concord Law School, an online law school, privately owned by the Washington Post Co.'s Kaplan Educational Centers, and videotaped 11 lectures for a course on civil procedure. To him, Mr. Miller says, the Web represents what television represented when he started doing his public-affairs television show on legal issues, titled "Miller's Court," in 1979—the next frontier for teaching law to the general public.
In October 2008, Professor Miller became Special Counsel to Milberg LLP and heads the firm’s appellate practice group. Since then, he has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Milberg clients in Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights, and was involved in the briefing on the writ of certiorari in Pfizer, Inc. v. Abdullahi. In addition, Milberg’s Supreme Court practice group was a key player in the Merck & Co., Inc. v. Reynolds matter, a case in which it serves as co-lead counsel. In August 2013, Professor Miller joined the Lanier Law Firm as Of Counsel.
Miller is the recipient of many awards, including eight honorary doctorates, three American Bar Association Gavel Awards, and a Special Recognition Gavel Award for promoting public understanding of the law. Queen Elizabeth II with the advice of her government bestowed on him the prestigious honor of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (2011). This honor recognizes Professor Miller’s service rendered to England with respect to his generous gift of more than eighteen hundred Japanese woodblock prints by the nineteenth-century artist, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, to the American Friends of the British Museum which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in the spring of 2009, as well as his more than fifteen years spent moderating public policy issues and dialogues, called Hypotheticals on BBC TV and Granada Television. These dialogues were modeled after the well-known Fred Friendly dialogues, broadcast on PBS, one of which, he won an Emmy ("The Constitution: That Delicate Balance"). He served for two decades as the on-air legal editor for ABC's Good Morning America. His weekly television titled Miller's Court was aired on Boston's WCVB-TV from 1979-1988 and was the first American TV show dedicated to the exploration of legal issues. He provided commentary on the Discovery Channel program Justice Files. He also sits on the advisory board of H5, a firm specializing in electronic discovery for legal cases.
Miller has argued cases in all of the United States courts of appeals and several before the U.S. Supreme Court. He has worked in the public interest in the areas of privacy, computers, copyright, and the courts and has served as a member and Reporter of the Advisory Committee of Civil Rules of the Judicial Conference of the U.S. by appointment of two Chief Justices of the United States, as Reporter and Advisor to the American Law Institute, as a member of a special advisory group to the Chief Justice of the United States, and as a member of various American Bar Association committees. Miller was also appointed as commissioner on the United States Commission on New Technological Uses of Copyrighted Work by President Ford. Miller has for fifty years enlisted the help of some of his students as research assistants, a notoriously demanding position for first and second year law students. Similar to the relationship between a judge and his or her clerks, Miller has stayed in touch with many of his former research assistants and many have gone on to important positions as federal and state judges, law professors, Supreme Court clerks, and as partners at prestigious law firms. New York University President John Sexton was one of Miller's research assistants at Harvard, as was Richard B. Bernstein, now a distinguished adjunct professor of law at New York Law School. Other former students include Chief Justice John Roberts, former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, and Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin.
Miller was one of the real figures on whom Scott Turow based the pseudonymous Harvard Law Professor Rudolph Perini in Scott Turow's bestselling memoir of his first year in law school, One L. Although Turow has never acknowledged or denied the connection, Miller has long thought himself the real Perini, and conventional wisdom in the legal community has largely concurred. In the book, Perini is depicted as brilliant but imperious, with a caustic wit and a flair for the dramatic. Readers of the book familiar with Harvard Law School and the history of Turow's three years at HLS have deduced that Turow took Miller, whose civil procedure course he took, and assigned his fictional counterpart Perini to teach contracts, and he also took Duncan Kennedy, his contracts professor, and transformed him into the civil procedure professor Nicky "Beat Nick" Morris.
In one of Miller's television specials from the early 1980s covering censorship, he posed the hypothetical case of a heavy metal band, which he named "The Sick Puppies". Sick Puppies is now the name of a real band from Australia, playing grunge and alternative rock.
In the late 1980s, Miller's caustic classroom comments at Harvard frequently topped the "Back Bench Quotation Poll," a feature in the Back Bench Reporter, one of the premier law school section newsletters of its day.
Several years ago, NYU Law Revue created a spoof of Miller in a South Park style, entitled “What Would Arthur Miller Do”.
In 2011, students from NYU's Law Revue created a hip hop tribute to Miller called "A. Milley" based on Lil' Wayne's "A Milli." The video can be found here.
Miller is also known for his collection of wood block prints by the Japanese artist nineteenth century Utagawa Kuniyoshi, shown in 2009 at the Royal Academy in London, as well as at the Japan Society (2010) in New York City. In both venues, the exhibition received rave reviews.