Levin College of Law

Danaya C. Wright

Clarence J. TeSelle Endowed Professor

Mailing Address:
Box #117625 Gainesville, FL 32611

(352) 273-0946


Professor Wright joined the Levin College of Law in 1998 and serves as the Clarence J. Teselle Endowed Professor. At UF Law she has lectured on various subjects including: Constitutional Law, property, trusts and estates, legal history, feminist theory, constitutional law of property, and theories of property. Her research has delved into 19th Century English divorce and marriage law and 19th Century American property rights involving railroads and utilities. She has written extensively, including several book chapters, on recreational trails and rails-to-trails conversions as well as the history of English family law. Wright has written over 30 articles in publications such as the University of Richmond Law Review, Wisconsin Women’s Law Journal, and the Washington and Lee Law Review. Her articles have tackled child custody in England; religion, law and women’s rights in India; and taking public property for private use without just compensation. She has authored a popular Trusts and Estates casebook and co-authored a skills book for introducing students to the practice of trusts and estates. Her most recent book is on the noted Chancery case in which the Romantic poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, lost custody of his children because of his revolutionary and atheistic writings.

Wright has taught at the Arizona State University Law School, Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis, and Georgetown Law Center. She received a B.A. in English Literature from Cornell University, an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Arizona, an M.A. in Liberal Education from St. John’s College, a J.D. from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University.


Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
J.D., Cornell University of Law (cum laude)
M.A., St. Johns College
M.A., University of Arizona
B.A., Cornell University

Teaching and Scholarship

Property, Estates and Trusts, Future Interests, Legal History, Jurisprudence, Law and Literature, Feminist Theory, Constitutional Law

Professional Activities

  • University of Florida: Joined College of Law faculty in 1998 as Assistant Professor of Law
  • Indiana University School of Law: Adjunct Professor (1996-98)
  • Visiting Faculty: Arizona State University College of Law
  • Organizations: Law and Society Association, American Society for Legal History, Association of American Law Schools, National Women’s Studies Association, Society of American Law Teachers.


Property - LAW 5400
  • The acquisition and possession of real and personal property; estates in land; introduction to future interests; landlord and tenant; survey of modern land transactions and methods of title assurance; easements; and licenses, covenants, and rights incident to land ownership.
Constitutional Law - LAW 5501
  • Introduction to United States Constitutional Law. Topics include judicial enforcement of the Constitution to preserve individual liberties; judicial review; separation of powers; structure and powers of the federal government; and federalism.
English Legal History - LAW 6220
  • Emphasis on the history of English law from the Conquest: the feudal society; the growth of constitutional concepts and the limits on public order; the origins of the central courts and the elaboration of the judicial system; the history of the jury and of equity; the prerogative courts; a brief consideration, time permitting, of the distribution of English Law.
Trusts and Estates - LAW 6930
  • Registration priority given to second-year students. Topics covered include intestate succession, gifts, execution of wills, creation of trusts, charitable trusts, ademption and lapse, powers and appointment.
Future Interests - LAW 6433
  • Topics include protection of the family, termination of trusts, classification of possessory and future interests, gifts to classes and the Rule Against Perpetuities.
History Of Women In the Law - History Of Women In the Law
  • Offers a close, analytical study of issues in women’s history and the law by introducing important developments in the law as it pertains to women and women’s status in England and America.



  • Trusts and Estates: Simulations, co-authored with Silvia Menendez, West Bridge to Practice Series (West Academic Publishing, 2015)
  • The Law of Succession: Wills, Trusts, and Estates, (Lee-ford Tritt and Patricia Stallwood-Kendall – contributing authors) (Foundation Press, 2013)
  • Estates and Future Interests: Cases, Examples, and Explanations (Foundation Press, 2014)

Book Chapters

  • Coverture and Women’s Agency: Lessons Learned from a Century and Half of Marital Discord, in Married Women and the Law: Coverture in England and the Common Law World, ed. Tim Stretton and Krista Kesselring (McGill-Queen’s Univ Press, 2013).
  • “Hogwarts, the Family, and the State: Forging Identity and Virtue in Harry Potter,” in The Law and Harry Potter (Thomas and Snyder, eds), Carolina Academic Press, (2008).
  • “Rails-to-Trails: Conversion of Railroad Corridors to Recreational Trails,” Wolf (ed), 78A Powell on Real Property, 78A1-78A123 (2007) (plus updates).

Law Review and Journal Articles

  • After Obergefell v. Hodges: The Continuing Battle Over Equal Rights for Sexual Minorities in the United States, GenIUS, December 2015, at 18 (GenIUS is Italy’s top journal on gender law) (with Simone Chriss) [SSRN]
  • The Inheritance Penalty for Children of Non-Traditional Parents, forthcoming Cornell J.L. & Pub. Pol’y, Spring 2015.
  • Doing a Double Take: Rail-Trail Takings Litigation in the Post-Brandt Trust Era, 39 Vt. L. Rev. 703 (2015). [SSRN]
  • A New Era of Lavish Land Grants: Taking Public Property for Private Use and Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States, Probate and Property, September/October 2014, 30-35. [SSRN]
  • Reliance Interests and Takings Liability for Rail-Trail Conversions: Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States, 44 Envtl. L. Rep. 10173-10184 (3/2014).
  • Theorizing History: Separate Spheres, the Public/Private Binary and a New Analytic for Family Law History, 2012 ANZLHS EJournal, Refereed Paper #2 [SSRN]
  • Policing Sexual Morality: Percy Shelley and the Expansive Scope of the Parens Patriae in the Law of Custody of Children, 8.2 Nineteenth Century Gender Studies online journal, (Summer, 2012)[SSRN]
  • The Shifting Sands of Property Rights, Federal Railroad Grants, and Economic History: Hash v. U.S. and the Threat to Rail-Trail Conversions, 38 Envtl. L.  711-766 (2008). [SSRN]
  • Charitable Deductions for Rail-Trail Conversions: Reconciling the Partial Interest Rule and the National Trails System Act (co-authored with Scott Bowman), 32 Wm. & Mary Envtl. L & Pol’y Rev. 1-57 (2008). [SSRN]
  • The Legacy of Colonialism: Religion, Law, and Women’s Rights in India (co-authored with Varsha Chitnis), 64 Wash. & Lee. L. Rev. 1315-1348 (2007). [SSRN]
  • Collapsing Liberalism’s Public/Private Divide: Voldemort’s War on the Family, in The Harry Potter Panel: Harry Potter and the Law, 12 Tex. Wesleyan L. Rev. 434-441, (2005).
  • Well-Behaved Women Don’t Make History: Rethinking Family, Law, And History Through An Analysis Of The First Nine Years Of The English Divorce And Matrimonial Causes Court (1858-1866), 2005 Wis. Women’s L.J. 211-318, (2005). [SSRN]
  • The Logic and Experience of Law: Lawrence v. Texas and the Politics of Privacy, 15 Fla. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 423-441 (2004).
  • A New Time For Denominators: Toward A Dynamic Theory Of Property In Regulatory Takings’ Relevant Parcel Analysis, 34 Envtl. L. 175-245, (2004), reprinted in 2005 Planning and Zoning Law Handbook, (Thomson/West).
  • Untying the Knot: An Analysis of the English Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Court Records, 1858-1866, 38 U. Richmond L. Rev. 903-1010, (2004). [SSRN]
  • Shaken, Not Stirred: Has Tahoe-Sierra Settled or Muddied the Regulatory Takings Waters? 32 Envtl. L. Rev. 11177-11189 (2002). [SSRN]
  • The Crisis of Child Custody: A History of the Birth of Family Law in England, 11 Colum. J. Gender & L. 175-270 (2002). [SSRN]
  • Eminent Domain, Exactions, and Railbanking: Can Recreational Trails Survive the Court’s Fifth Amendment Jurisprudence? 26 Colum. J. Envtl. L., 399-481 (2001). [SSRN]
  • Foreword: Toward a Multicultural Theory of Property, introduction to AALS 2000 Panel on Property Law, symposium in 12 U. Fla. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 1-12 (Spring 2001).
  • Pipes, Wires, and Bicycles: Rails-to-Trails, Utility Licenses, and the Shifting Scope of Railroad Easements from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Centuries, (co-authored with Jeffrey M. Hester), 27 Ecology L.Q. 351-465 (May, 2000). [SSRN]