William & Mary
James Dwyer

James Dwyer

Arthur B. Hanson Professor of Law
Degrees: Ph.D., Stanford University; J.D., Yale Law School; B.A., Boston College
Email: [[jgdwye]]
Office phone: (757) 221-2685
Office location: Room 243
Full resume: here (.pdf in new window)
Areas of Specialization

Adoption Law; Children and the Law; Constitutional Law--14th Amendment; Constitutional Law--1st Amendment (Religion); Education Law; Family Law; Philosophy of Law; Trusts and Estates Law

Representative Professional Activities and Achievements

Joined the faculty in 2000 after teaching law at the Chicago-Kent and University of Wyoming law schools. Practiced law with Sutherland, Asbill, and Brennan; and Coudert Brothers; both in Washington, D.C., and worked in New York State Family Court as Law Guardian and Assigned Counsel. Teaches family law, youth law, trusts and estates, and law and social justice. Selected for the Class of 2010 Professorship and three times for the Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence. Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, Fall 2019.

Scholarly Publications
  • Oxford Handbook of Children and the Law (editor Oxford University Press 2020). Online.
  • Homeschooling: The Historical and Philosophy of a Controversial Practice (University of Chicago Press 2019) (with Shawn F. Peters). Online.
  • Liberal Child Welfare Policy and its Destruction of Black Lives (Routledge 2018). Online.
  • Family Law: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach (KAMSET 2018).
  • Virginia Wills, Trusts, & Estates: Code, Cases, Commentary (KAMSET 2017).
  • Law & Social Justice: A Reader (KAMSET 2017).
  • Family Law: Theoretical, Comparative, and Social Science Perspectives (Aspen 2012).
  • Moral Status and Human Life: The Case for Children's Superiority (Cambridge University Press 2011). SSRN.
  • The Relationship Rights of Children (Cambridge University Press 2006). SSRN.
  • Vouchers Within Reason: A Child-Centered Approach to Education Reform (Cornell University Press 2002). SSRN.
  • Religious Schools v. Children's Rights (Cornell University Press 1998) (paperback edition with new Preface 2001). SSRN.
  • Religious Schooling and Homeschooling Before and After Hobby Lobby, 2016 U. Ill. L. Rev. 1393 (symposium article).
  • Same-Sex Cynicism and the Self-Defeating Pursuit of Social Acceptance Through Litigation, 68 SMU L. Rev. 1 (2015). SSRN.
  • A Child-Centered View of Foster Parenting by Same-Sex Couples, Jurist (Dec. 2015). Online.
  • Inter-Country Adoption and the Special Rights Fallacy, 35 U. Pa. J. Int'l L. 189 (2014). SSRN.
  • Jailing Black Babies, 2014 Utah L. Rev. 465. SSRN.
  • The Ever-Shrinking Case for a Constitutional Right to Same-Sex Marriage, Jurist (Feb. 2014). Online.
  • Promising Protection: 911 Call Records as Foundation for Family Violence Intervention, 102 Ky. L.J. 49 (2014) (with Linda L. Bryant). SSRN.
  • Misused Concepts and Misguided Questions: Fundamental Confusions in Family Law Debates, 4 Int'l J. Jur. Fam. 239 (2013) (peer reviewed). SSRN.
  • Equality Between Adults and Children: Its Meaning, Implications, and Opposition, 2013 Mich. St. L. Rev. 1007 (symposium article). SSRN.
  • Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl: Erasing the Last Vestiges of Human Property, 93 B.U. L. Rev. Annex 51 (2013). SSRN.
  • No Accounting for School Vouchers, 48 Wake Forest L. Rev. 361 (2013) (symposium article). SSRN.
  • Parents' Self-Determination and Children's Custody: A New Analytical Framework for State Structuring of Children's Family Life, 54 Ariz. L. Rev. 79 (2012). SSRN.
  • The Parental Choice Fallacy in Education Reform Debates, 87 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1837 (2012) (symposium article). SSRN.
  • No Place For Children: Addressing Urban Blight and its Impact on Children Through Child Protection Law, Domestic Relations Law, and "Adult-only" Residential Zoning, 62 Ala. L. Rev. 887 (2011). SSRN.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Employment Division v. Smith for Family Law, 32 Cardozo L. Rev. 1781 (2011) (symposium article). SSRN.
  • Parental Entitlement and Corporal Punishment, 73 Law & Contemp. Probs. 189 (2010). SSRN.
  • A Constitutional Birthright: The State, Parentage, and Newborn Persons, 56 UCLA L. Rev. 755 (2009). SSRN.
  • First Parents: Reconceptualizing Newborn Adoption, 37 Cap. U. L. Rev. 293 (2009) (symposium article). SSRN.
  • The Child Protection Pretense: States' Continued Consignment of Newborn Babies to Unfit Parents, 93 Minn. L. Rev. 407 (2008). SSRN.
  • A Child-Centered Approach to Parentage Law, 14 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 843 (2006) (symposium article). SSRN.
  • The Liberal State's Response to Religious Visions of Education, 44 J. Cath. Legal Stud. 195 (2005) (response to commentaries on my work). SSRN.
  • School Accountability and "High Stakes Testing," 2 Theory & Res. Ed. 211 (2004). SSRN.
  • A Taxonomy of Children's Existing Rights in State Decision Making About Their Relationships, 11 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 845 (2003) (symposium article). SSRN.
  • Funding Religion in a Post-Zelman World, 5(1) Gov't L. & Pol'y J. 11 (2003) (essay).
  • Review of Aristotle on the Necessity of Public Education, 13 by Randall Curren, The School Field 7 (2002).
  • School Vouchers: Inviting the Public Into the Religious Square, 42 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 963 (2001) (symposium article). SSRN.
  • Informed Consent for Neonatal Circumcision: An Ethical and Legal Conundrum, 17 J. Contemp. Health L. & Pol'y 61 (2000) (with J. Steven Svoboda & Robert S. Van Howe). SSRN.
  • Spiritual Treatment Exemptions to Child Medical Neglect Laws: What We Outsiders Should Think, 76 Notre Dame L. Rev. 147 (2000) (symposium article). SSRN.
  • Children's Interests in a Family Context -- A Cautionary Note, 39 Santa Clara L. Rev. 1053 (1999) (symposium article).
  • Setting Standards for Parenting -- By What Right?, 27 Child Psychiatry & Hum. Dev. 165 (1997).
  • The Children We Abandon: Religious Exemptions to Child Welfare and Education Law as Denials of Equal Protection to Children of Religious Objectors, 74 N.C. L. Rev. 1321 (1996). SSRN.
  • Parents' Religion and Children's Welfare: Debunking the Doctrine of Parents' Rights, 82 Cal. L. Rev. 1371 (1994). SSRN.
Book Chapters
  • Screening Potential Parents, in The Oxford Handbook of Children and the Law (James G. Dwyer, ed.) (Oxford University Press 2019).
  • Regulating Child Rearing in a Culturally Diverse Society, in Philosophical Foundations of Children's and Family Law (Elizabeth Brake and Lucinda Ferguson, eds.) (Oxford University Press 2019).
  • The Easiest Accommodation: Abandoning Other People's Children to Their Parents' Religious Views, in The Contested Place of Religion in Family Law (Robin Fretwell Wilson, ed., 2018) (Cambridge University Press 2018).
  • Regulating Child Rearing in a Culturally Diverse Society, in Philosophical Foundations of Children's and Family Law (Elizabeth Brake and Lucinda Ferguson eds., Oxford University Press 2018).
  • Diagnosing and Dispelling Denialism Regarding Children, in Denialism and Human Rights (Jan Willems, Hans Nelen and Roland Moerland eds., Intersentia 2015).
  • Moral Foundation of Children's Relational Rights, in Routledge Handbook of Family Law and Policy (Robert George & John Eekelaar eds., 2013).
  • Who Decides?, in The Nature of Children's Well-Being: Theory and Practice (Colin Macleod & Alexander Bagattini eds., Springer 2013).
  • Children's Education Rights in a Liberal Democracy, in Padagogische Modernisierung: Sakularitat und Sakralitat in der Modernen Padogigik (Hoffmann, Jacottet, & Osterwalder eds., Haupt Bern 2006).
  • Children's Rights, in The Blackwell Companion to the Philosophy of Education (Blackwell Pub. 2003).
  • Changing the Conversation About Children's Education, in NOMOS XLIII: Moral and Political Education (NYU Press 2002).
  • Amicus Brief, En Banc Brief for TA.L. et al. as Amici Curiae Supporting Respondents, In re TA.L., 149 A.3d 1060 (D.C. 2016) (No. 994052). Online.
  • Amicus Brief, Brief for Children’s Healthcare is a Legal Duty et al. as Amici Curiae Supporting Respondents, State v. Crank, 468 S.W.3d 15 (Tenn. 2015) (No. 10611 A & B). Online.
  • Amicus Brief, Petition for Writ of Certiorari, Workman v. Mingo Cty. Bd. of Educ., 2011 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs (No. 11 380), LEXIS 1544.
  • Amicus Brief, Brief for Baby Girl C., Stacey D. as Amici Curiae Supporting Respondent, In re Baby Girl C. v. Benjamin, Cal. Ct. App. (2010) (No. G043887), 2010 WL 5650166.
  • Amicus Brief, Brief for Children’s Healthcare is a Legal Duty, Inc. et al. as Amici Curiae Supporting Respondents, Workman v. Mingo Cty. Board of Educ., 4th Cir. Ct. App. (2010) (No. 09-2352), 2010 WL 2147829. Online.
  • Amicus Brief, Brief for Children’s Healthcare is a Legal Duty, Inc. et al. as Amici Curiae Supporting Respondents, Douglas Cty. v. Josue, Sup. Ct. of Neb. (2005) (No. S-03-1446), 2005 WL 5956609. Online.
  • Amicus Brief, Amicus-Child, Commonwealth v. Nixon, 745 A.2d 1220 (Pa. 1999). Online.

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