Robin Fretwell Wilson

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

Robin Fretwell Wilson is the director of the College of Law’s Family Law and Policy Program. She specializes in family law and health law, and her research and teaching interests also include biomedical ethics, law and science, children and violence, and insurance.

Professor Wilson is the author of seven 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, U.C. Davis Law Review, and Washington and Lee Law Review, as well as in numerous peer-reviewed journals.  

Her 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 ProspectPeople Magazine, The American Conservative, and Al Jazeera, among others. She has presented her research in China, Israel, Qatar, the Netherlands, Italy, England, Wales, Poland, Spain, Serbia, Japan, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Turkey, and France, as well as throughout the United States.  

A member of the American Law Institute, Professor Wilson was elected in 2014 to the Executive Council of the International Society of Family Law. 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 worked extensively on behalf of state law reform efforts, recently helping Utah state lawmakers to pass anti-discrimination legislation that balances religious liberty and LGBT rights. In 2007, she received the Citizen’s Legislative Award for her work on changing Virginia’s informed consent law.   

Prior to Illinois, she was the Class of 1958 Law Alumni Professor of Law at Washington & Lee School of Law, where she was named Professor of the Year by the Women Law Students Organization. A graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, Professor 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.

Download professor Wilson's articles