Former McDonald/Wright Chairs of Law
Kees Waaldijk, 2014 McDonald/Wright Chair of Law & Visiting Professor of Law
Kees Waaldijk is a distinguished LGBT legal scholar best known for comparative law projects focusing on LGBT legal rights, the legal recognition of same-sex couples, and anti-discrimination protections. As of Spring 2011, Waaldijk is the inaugural Chair of Comparative Sexual Orientation Law at Leiden Law School in the Netherlands. He cultivates an international network of scholars and practitioners interested in LGBT law and his work bridges traditional legal research and empirical research, making him an excellent fit for the Williams Institute’s interdisciplinary focus and growing international presence. During the 2014 Spring semester he is the Institute’s McDonald/Wright Chair of Law, teaching a course on Comparative Sexual Orientation Law at UCLA School of Law.
Waaldijk obtained his Master’s Degree in Law at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, The Netherlands. From 1982 until 1995 he taught Public Law and Legal Skills at the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands, where in 1994 he obtained his Doctoral Degree. Since 1996, he has taught at Leiden University, where he is currently a professor of Comparative Sexual Orientation Law. From 1987 until 1998 he was also a researcher and adjunct professor at the University of Utrecht (in the Department of Gay and Lesbian Studies, and later at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights). He has been teaching courses on Sexual Orientation Law, as well as in Legislative Drafting and in Family Law, at various universities.
In 1989 Waaldijk spent a year in the United Kingdom, first as a senior visiting research fellow at the University of Edinburgh, and then teaching British Constitutional Law at the University of Lancaster. In 2000 he was a visiting professor at University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where he taught the course Human Rights Law in Europe. From 2000 to 2011 Waaldijk was Head of PhD Studies at Leiden Law School, advizing on matters relating to the PhD candidates and their training, monitoring progress of PhD research, and teaching on research methodology in law.
Waaldijk has been an adviser on law & sexual orientation to numerous individuals, organizations, lawyers and politicians, and has had an active role in several test cases and legislative lobbies. He was a member of the Dutch Government’s Commission of legal experts advising on the opening up of civil marriage to same-sex couples (1996/97), and a member of the Dutch Council for Family Affairs (1994/99). From 1999 to 2007 he was one of the editors of the annual collection of opinions of the Dutch Equal Treatment Commission. He has been an advisor on evaluation studies commissioned by the Dutch government about the workings of the General Equal Treatment Act (1999), the Law on Registered Partnership (1999 and 2006), and the Law on the Opening Up of Marriage to same-sex couples (2006).
Waaldijk is a founding member of the European Commission on Sexual Orientation Law. He was in charge of a study for the European Union on legislation prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination in employment (2002-2004), which led to the book Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the European Union: National Laws and the Employment Equality Directive (co-authored with Matteo Bonini-Baraldi). In 2009 Kees was shortlisted for the Dutch Government’s bi-annual prize for LGBT emancipation.
With funding from the European Union (FP7), he is now in charge of a comparative research project on the legal content of family formats available to same-sex and/or different-sex couples. And since 2011 he is an adviser to the annual report on State-Sponsored Homophobia of the International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association.
His work has not only been published in English and Dutch, but also in French, Spanish, Italian, Czech, Chinese and Vietnamese. His publications include articles on the opening up of marriage and on the gradual legal recognition of homosexual orientation in international and comparative law, and books on European sexual orientation law. Most recently he published The Right to Relate – A lecture on the Importance of “Orientation” in Comparative Sexual Orientation Law (24 Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law 161-199 (2013), also published in Vietnamese.
Nancy Polikoff, 2011-2012 McDonald/Wright Chair of Law & Visiting Professor of Law
Nancy Polikoff is Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law where she teaches Family Law and Sexuality and the Law. For academic year 2011-12, she is the Visiting McDonald/Wright Chair of Law at UCLA School of Law and Faculty Chair of the Williams Institute. In 1976, Prof. Polikoff co-authored one of the first law review articles on custody rights of lesbian mothers. For the past 35 years, she has been writing about, teaching about, and working on litigation and legislation about LGBT families. Prof. Polikoff was instrumental in the development of the legal theories that support second-parent adoption and custody and visitation rights for legally unrecognized parents. She was successful counsel in In re M.M.D., the 1995 case that established joint adoption for lesbian, gay, and unmarried couples in the District of Columbia, and Boswell v. Boswell, the 1998 Maryland case overturning restrictions on a gay noncustodial father’s visitation rights. From 2007-2009, she played a primary role in the drafting and passage of groundbreaking parentage legislation in the District of Columbia, for which she was honored with a Distinguished Service Award from the DC Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance. She describes that legislation in her most recent law review article, A Mother Should Not Have to Adopt Her Own Child: Parentage Laws for Children of Lesbian Couples in the Twenty-First Century, 5 Stanford J. Civ. Rts. & Civ. Lib. 201 (2009).
Prof. Polikoff is a passionate advocate of the view that the law should recognize and protect the many ways in which LGBT people form families and that marriage is an incomplete LGBT family law agenda. Her book, Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage: Valuing All Families under the Law, was published by Beacon Press in 2008, the inaugural volume in its Queer Ideas series. A former chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues, Prof. Polikoff is also a member of the National Family Law Advisory Council of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
Prof. Polikoff coordinated the legal representation of the hundreds of protesters arrested in October 1987 for civil disobedience at the US Supreme Court in protest of the Court’s 1986 ruling in Bowers v. Hardwick. Her article reflecting on that and other lawyering experiences, Am I My Client?: The Role Confusion of a Lawyer Activist, 31 Harv. Civ. Rts.-Civ. Lib. L. Rev 445 (1996), has been assigned in numerous law school courses.
Before joining full time academia in 1987, Prof. Polikoff co-founded the Washington, DC Feminist Law Collective and then supervised family law programs at the Women’s Legal Defense Fund (now the National Partnership on Women and Families). She holds a JD from Georgetown and a Masters Degree in Women’s Studies from George Washington University, and she blogs at www.beyondstraightandgaymarriage.blogspot.com.
Vicki Schultz, 2010-2011 McDonald/Wright Chair of Law & Visiting Professor of Law
Vicki Schultz is the inaugural McDonald/Wright Visiting Chair of Law at the Williams Institute. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Professor Schultz comes to UCLA from Yale Law School, where she is the Ford Foundation Professor of Law and the Social Sciences. At Yale, she teaches courses on employment discrimination law, proving discrimination in social science and the law, workplace theory and policy, work, gender and the law, and feminist theory. She also runs the Workplace Theory and Policy Workshop and the Work and Welfare group, interdisciplinary groups that explore economic and other forms of inequality.
Schultz has written and lectured widely on a variety of subjects related to antidiscrimination law, including workplace harassment, sex segregation on the job, work-family issues, working hours, and the meaning of work in people’s lives. For over a decade, her transformative scholarship on sexual harassment law, including “The Sanitized Workplace,” 112 Yale Law Journal 2061 (2003) and “Reconceptualizing Sexual Harassment,” 107 Yale Law Journal 1683 (1998), has identified how workplace sexual harassment policies have been used to legitimize discrimination against LGBT people. Professor Schultz’s recent projects include an analysis of the likely effects of marriage on the household division of labor in gay and lesbian couples and an intellectual/conceptual history of antidiscrimination law.
Schultz’s work has been influential in scholarly circles in both law and the social sciences; her work has also been cited widely by courts and the national news media. She has been quoted in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Ms. Magazine, and many major newspapers; she has appeared on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The CBS Evening News, ABC World News Tonight, Good Morning America, and National Public Radio.
Schultz is a past president of the Labor and Employment Section of the Association for American Law Schools and a past Trustee of the Law and Society Association. She has held significant fellowships, including the Evelyn Green Davis fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and fellowships at the Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale University. She has also been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School.
The McDonald/Wright Chair of Law is the first academic chair in the country focused on sexual orientation and gender identity law. The Chair was made possible by the generous endowment gift of Williams Institute Founders Council members John McDonald and Robert Wright.