He graduated Order of the Coif, was an Articles Editor of the California Law Review, and served as a Research Assistant to Professor Melvin Eisenberg.
Tigar earned a bachelor"s degree in 1984 from Williams College and a law degree in 1989 from University of California Berkeley School of Law. From 1989 until 1990, Tigar served as a law clerk for United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit Judge Robert Smith Vance. From 1990 until 1992, Tigar served as a litigation associate for the law firm Morrison & Foerster.
He then served as a public defender in San Francisco from 1993 until 1994
Tigar practiced complex commercial litigation at the law firm Keker & Van Nest from 1994 until 2002.
From 2002 to 2013, Tigar served as a judge on the Alameda County Superior Court. On June 11, 2012, President Obama nominated Tigar to be a United States District Judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, to the seat vacated by Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong, who took senior status on March 23, 2012.
The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing on his nomination on July 11, 2012, and reported his nomination to the floor on August 2, 2012. The Senate confirmed his nomination by unanimous consent on December 21, 2012.
He received his commission on January 18, 2013.
Tigar is a member of the American Law Institute and serves as an Adviser to the forthcoming Restatement (Third) of Torts: Liability for Economic Loss.