Robin Fretwell Wilson

Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor of Law
Director, Program in Family Law and Policy

A member of the American Law Institute, Professor Robin Fretwell Wilson joined Illinois in fall 2013 from Washington & Lee School of Law, where she was the Class of 1958 Law Alumni Professor of Law.

A specialist in family law and health law, her research and teaching interests also include biomedical ethics, law and science, children and violence, and insurance. Professor Wilson is the author of six books, including Reconceiving the Family:  Critical Reflections on the American Law Institute’s Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution (Cambridge University Press, 2006, ed.); The Handbook of Children, Culture & Violence (Sage Publications, 2006, with Nancy Dowd and Dorothy Singer, eds.); Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008, with Douglas Laycock and Anthony Picarello, eds.); Health Law and Bioethics:  Cases in Context (Aspen, 2008, with Joan Krause, Sandra Johnson, and Richard Saver, eds.); Domestic Relations: Cases and Materials, 7th edition (Foundation Press, 2013, with Walter Wadlington and Raymond C. O’Brien); and Understanding Family Law, 4th edition (LexisNexis, 2013, with John DeWitt Gregory and Peter N. Swisher). Her articles have appeared in the Boston College Law Review, Cornell Law ReviewEmory Law JournalNorth Carolina Law ReviewSan Diego Law Review, and Washington and Lee Law Review, as well as in numerous peer-reviewed journals.

Professor Wilson's work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio's All Things Considered, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, U.S. News and World Report, ABA JournalChronicle of Higher Education, Chicago Tribune, CNN Headline News, Good Morning America, ABC News, CBS NewsPhiladelphia InquirerEssence Magazine, The American ProspectThe American Conservative, and Al Jazeera, among others. She is the past chair of the Section on Family and Juvenile Law of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) and of the AALS' Section on Law, Medicine & Healthcare. Professor Wilson has presented her research in China, Israel, Qatar, the Netherlands, Italy, England, Wales, Poland, Serbia, Japan, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Turkey, and France, as well as throughout the United States.

In 2014, she was elected to the Executive Council of the International Society of Family Law, an independent, international scholarly association dedicated to the study and discussion of family law. 

Professor Wilson has worked extensively on behalf of state law reform efforts. In 2007, she received the Citizen’s Legislative Award for her work on changing Virginia’s informed consent law. 

A graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, Wilson clerked for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and practiced at Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP and Mayor, Day, Caldwell & Keeton, LLP prior to teaching.

For the Media

Professor Wilson is available to be interviewed on the following subjects:

• Child Abuse  
• Conscience Clauses  
• Family Law  
• Health Care Law  
• Informed Consent and Medical Teaching  
• Medical Ethics  
• Nanotechnology  
• Same-sex Marriage and Religious Liberty  

In the News


Archives (pre August 2013)


Enlarging the Regulation of Shrinking Cosmetics and Sunscreens
Selected Studies of Impact of Nanoparticles on the Skin 
Selected Studies of General Nanoparticle Toxicity  

Letter to Health and Human Services
Download PDF 

ALI Research Appendices
Appendix 6 - Judicial Opinions
All Other Appendices  

Charting the Success of Same-Sex Marriage Legislation