Courtney G. Joslin

Courtney Joslin

Position Title
Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Law

2113 King Hall

Professor Joslin teaches in the areas of Constitutional Law, Employment Discrimination, Family Law, and Sexuality, Gender, and the Law.

Joslin is a leading expert in the areas of family and relationship recognition, with a particular focus on same-sex and unmarried couples. Professor Joslin's publications have appeared or are forthcoming in Boston University Law ReviewCalifornia Law Review, Columbia Law ReviewHarvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law ReviewHarvard Law Review ForumIowa Law ReviewNYU Law ReviewSouthern California Law Review, UCLA Law Review, and Yale Law Journal Forum, among other sources. She is a co-author of two popular textbooks -- Sexuality, Gender, and the Lawwith William N. Eskridge Jr. & Nan D. Hunter, and Modern Family Lawwith D. Kelly Weisberg. Her commentary has appeared in the Washington Post, the LA Times, the Sacramento Bee, Slate Verdict, and elsewhere.

Joslin is the recipient of numerous awards for her work. She is a two-time recipient (2010 & 2019) of the Dukeminier Award for her Articles Protecting Children(?) and Discrimination In and Out of Marriage. The Dukeminier Award is awarded annually to recognize the best legal scholarship on sexual orientation and gender identity law. Joslin's Article Modernizing Divorce Jurisdiction won the 2011 AALS New Voices in Gender Studies Paper Competition.

In 2024, Joslin received the Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award from UC Davis. In 2023, Joslin was the recipient of the 2023 Distinguished Teaching Award.

Professor Joslin served as the Reporter for the Uniform Parentage Act (2017), and she is an elected member of the American Law Institute.

Professor Joslin received her undergraduate degree from Brown University and her law degree from Harvard Law School, where she was an executive editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review.

Education and Degree(s)
  • J.D. magna cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1998
  • B.A. magna cum laude, Brown University, 1994
Honors and Awards
  • 2019 Dukeminier Award (for Discrimination In and Out of Marriage)
  • 2011 Winner of the AALS New Voices in Gender Studies Paper Competition (for Modernizing Divorce Jurisdiction: Same-Sex Couples and Minimum Contacts)
  • 2010 Dukeminier Award (for Protecting Children(?): Marriage, Gender, and Assisted Reproductive Technology)
  • Nominated for the Distinguished Teaching Award, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2021
  • Visiting Scholar, UC Berkeley Law, Center for the Study of Law and Society, Spring 2015
  • New Voices Fellow 2000-2002
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
Research Interests & Expertise
  • Constitutional Law
  • Employment Discrimination Law
  • Family Law
  • Gender, Sexuality, and the Law



SOCIAL PARENTHOOD IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE (NYU Press, forthcoming 2023) (co-editor with Clare Huntington & Christiane von Bary and contributing author)

MODERN FAMILY LAW, summer 2021 & 2022 supplements (Aspen Press) (with D. Kelly Weisberg)

SEXUALITY, GENDER, AND THE LAW (FOUNDATION PRESS 4TH ED., 2018) (with William N. Eskridge Jr & Nan D. Hunter)

LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER FAMILY LAW (West, published annually 2008 - present) (with Shannon P. Minter & Catherine Sakimura)


Law Review Articles and Essays

How Parenthood Functions, __ COLUMBIA LAW REVIEW __ (forthcoming 2023) (with Douglas NeJaime)

LGBTQ Families and the Family Regulation System, 13 CALIFORNIA LAW REVIEW ONLINE 78 (2022) (with Catherine Sakimura)

Nonmarriage: The Double Bind, 90 GEORGE WASHINGTON LAW REVIEW 571 (2022)

Multi-Parent Families: Real and Imagined, 90 FORDHAM LAW REVIEW 2561 (2022) (with Douglas NeJaime) (symposium issue)

(Not) Just Surrogacy, 109 CALIFORNIA LAW REVIEW 401 (2021)

Surrogacy and the Politics of Pregnancy, __ HARVARD LAW & POLICY REVIEW __ (2020) (symposium issue)

Autonomy in the Family66 UCLA LAW REVIEW 912 (2019)  

Preface to the UPA (2017)52 FAMILY LAW QUARTERLY 437 (2018) (symposium issue)

Discrimination In and Out of Marriage, 98 BOSTON UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 1 (2018)

Nurturing Parenthood Through the UPA (2017), 127 YALE LAW JOURNAL FORUM 589 (2018)

The Gay Rights Canon and the Right to Nonmarriage, 97 BOSTON UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 425 (2017)

Marriage Equality and its Relationship to Family Law, 129 HARVARD LAW REVIEW FORUM 197 (2016)

Marital Status Discrimination 2.0, 95 BOSTON UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 805 (2015) (symposium issue)

Family Support and Supporting Families, 68 VANDERBILT LAW REVIEW EN BANC 153 (2015)

Federalism and Family Status, 90 INDIANA LAW JOURNAL 787 (2015)

The Perils of Family Law Localism, 48 UC DAVIS LAW REVIEW 623 (2014) (symposium issue)

Leaving No (Nonmarital) Child Behind, 48 FAMILY LAW QUARTERLY 495 (2014) 

The Restatement of Gay (?), 79 BROOKLYN LAW REVIEW 621 (2014) (with Lawrence C. Levine) (symposium issue)

Windsor, Federalism, and Family Equality, 113 COLUMBIA LAW REVIEW SIDEBAR 156 (2013)

Marriage, Biology, and Federal Benefits, 98 IOWA LAW REVIEW 1467 (2013)

Modernizing Divorce Jurisdiction: Same-Sex Couples and Minimum Contacts, 91 BOSTON UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 1669 (2011)

Searching for a Harm: Same-Sex Marriage and the Well-Being of Children, 46 HARVARD CIVIL RIGHTS - CIVIL LIBERTIES LAW REVIEW 81 (2011)

Protecting Children(?): Marriage, Gender, and Assisted Reproductive Technology, 83 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LAW REVIEW 1177 (2010)

Travel Insurance: Protecting Lesbian and Gay Parent Families Across State Lines, 4 HARVARD LAW AND POLICY REVIEW 31 (2010)

Interstate Recognition of Parentage in a Time of Disharmony: Same-Sex Parent Families and Beyond, 70 OHIO STATE LAW JOURNAL 563 (2009)

The Evolution of the American Family, 36 HUMAN RIGHTS 2 (Summer 2009)

Legal Regulation of Pregnancy and Childbirth, in THE CHILD: AN ENCYCLOPEDIC COMPANION (U. Chi. Press 2009)

Further Thoughts on Proposition 8 and Retroactivity: A Response to Choper, CALIFORNIA JOURNAL OF POLITICS AND POLICY, Vol. 1, Iss. 1, Art. 20 (2009)

The Legal Parentage of Children Born to Same-Sex Couples: Developments in the Law, 39 FAMILY LAW QUARTERLY 683 (Fall 2005)

Protection for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Employees Under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 31 HUMAN RIGHTS 14 (Summer 2004)

A White Paper: An Analysis of the Law Regarding Same-Sex Marriage, Civil Unions, and Domestic Partnership, 38 FAMILY LAW QUARTERLY 339 (Summer 2004) (co-editor with Jeff Atkinson and contributing author)

Recognizing a Cause of Action Under Title IX for Student-Student Sexual Harassment, 34 HARVARD CIVIL RIGHTS-CIVIL LIBERTIES LAW REVIEW 201 (1999)

Recent Development, Equal Protection and Anti-Gay Legislation: Dismantling the Legacy of Bowers v. Hardwick -- Romer v. Evans, 116 S. Ct. 1620 (1996), 32 HARVARD CIVIL RIGHTS-CIVIL LIBERTIES LAW REVIEW 225 (1997)