Areas of Specialization
Civil Procedure; Education Law; Family Law; Race and Law; Adolescent Law
Representative Professional Activities and Achievements
Vivian Hamilton is a Professor of Law at William & Mary Law School, where she teaches courses in Civil Procedure, Education Law, Family Law, and Race & Law. She is also an affiliate faculty member of the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program at the College of William & Mary. At the Law School, she serves as faculty advisor to the Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice, the Black Law Students Association, and the Equality Alliance. She is a founder and co-chair of the William & Mary Faculty of Color Network.
Professor Hamilton’s research focuses on legal measures affecting adolescents and emerging adults, and her work has been published in the Boston University Law Review, Brigham Young University Law Review, and University of Georgia Law Review, among others. She has testified as an expert before numerous state legislatures, and her work has been widely cited in law journals and media outlets, including The New York Times and The Washington Times.
Professor Hamilton earned her B.A. in History from Yale College and is a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School. She clerked for the Hon. Gladys Kessler of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, then worked as a litigator in the D.C. office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP, then at the D.C. Legal Aid Society.
She joined the clinical faculty of American University’s Washington College of Law, where she was Director of the Women & the Law Clinic. She joined the faculty of West Virginia University School of Law as Associate Professor in 2006, then joined William & Mary Law School in 2008.
Professor Hamilton has served as Chair of the Section on Family and Juvenile Law of the Association of American Law Schools and on its Executive Committee. She also serves as a member of the Board of the ACLU-Virginia and chairs its Governance & Nominations Committee.
- Children & the Law ( in Oxford Bibliographies Online 2019).
- Home, Schooling, and State: Education in, and for, a Diverse Democracy, 98 N.C. L. Rev. (2020).
- Play Now, Pay Later?: Youth and Adolescent Collison Sports, 71 Hastings L.J. (2019).
- Adulthood in Law and Culture, 91 Tul. L. Rev. 55 (2016). SSRN.
- Liberty Without Capacity: Why States Should Ban Adolescent Driving, 48 Ga. L. Rev. 1019 (2014). SSRN.
- Democratic Inclusion, Cognitive Development, and the Age of Electoral Majority, 77 Brook. L. Rev. 1447 (2012). SSRN.
- The Age of Marital Capacity: Reconsidering Civil Recognition of Adolescent Marriage, 92 B.U. L. Rev. 1817 (2012) (cited by the 6th Cir. in DeBoer v. Snyder, 772 F.3d. 388, 412 (2014) (rev’d on other grounds by Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S.Ct. 2584 (2015)). SSRN.
- Immature Citizens and the State, 2010 BYU L. Rev. 1055 (2010). SSRN.
- Perspectives on Religious Fundamentalism and Families in the U.S., 18 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 883 (2010).
- Expressing Community Values through Family Law Adjudication, 77 UMKC L. Rev. 325 (2008) (symposium article). SSRN.
- Family Structure, Children, and Law, 24 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 9 (2007) (invited).
- Religious v. Secular Ideologies and Sex Education: A Response to Professors Cahn and Carbone, 110 W. Va. L. Rev. 501 (2007) (symposium article).
- Will Marriage Promotion Work?, 11 Iowa J. Gender, Race, & Just. 1 (2007) (invited).
- Principles of U.S. Family Law, 75 Fordham L. Rev. 31 (2006). Online.
- Mistaking Marriage for Social Policy, 11 Va. J. Soc. Pol'y & L. 307 (2004), excerpted in Modern Family Law: Cases and Materials 368-70 (D. Kelly Weisberg & Susan Frelich Appleton eds., 3d ed. 2006). SSRN.
- Considerations for Policymaking Affecting Adolescents in the Liberal Democracy, in Oxford Handbook of Children & the Law (James G. Dwyer, ed.) (Oxford U. Press 2019).