Levin College of Law

Elizabeth D. Katz

Professor of Law


Professor Elizabeth D. Katz is an award-winning legal historian. Her research explores the development of family law and criminal law doctrines and institutions, with special attention to the influence of gender, religion, and race. Professor Katz’s scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in the Stanford Law Review, University of Chicago Law Review, Virginia Law Review, Yale Journal of Law & Feminism, and William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law. Her writing for popular audiences has appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Professor Katz’s scholarship has been recognized by prizes including the American Society for Legal History’s Kathryn T. Preyer Award, the Association of American Law School’s Section on Law and Religion Harold Berman Award for Excellence in Scholarship, and the Haub Law Emerging Scholar Award in Gender and Law. Her research has been supported by the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation Early Career Scholar Fellowship awarded by the American Society for Legal History; an Albert J. Beveridge Grant from the American Historical Association; the Carrie Chapman Catt Center’s Prize for Research on Women and Politics; a fellowship and grant from Harvard’s Center for American Political Studies; and a fellowship in the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s History and Public Policy Initiative in the Ash Center for Democratic Governance.

Professor Katz received her Ph.D. in History from Harvard University and her B.A., M.A., and J.D. from the University of Virginia. After law school, she clerked for Judge J. Frederick Motz on the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. She then worked as a litigation associate at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. At Covington, she represented clients in matters including white-collar crime and legal ethics at the trial and appellate levels and advised global technology companies regarding data privacy laws and compliance with electronic surveillance requests from U.S. and foreign law enforcement agencies. Professor Katz also participated in Covington’s six-month pro bono rotation at Neighborhood Legal Services Program, where she represented low-income residents of D.C. in divorce, custody, and child support cases.

Professor Katz is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Society for Legal History, and she is a book review editor for the American Journal of Legal History.


B.A., University of Virginia

J.D., University of Virginia School of Law

M.A., University of Virginia

Ph.D., Harvard University


  • Criminal Law
  • Family Law
  • Race, Religion, and the Family Seminar


Fostering Faith: Religion in the History of Family Policing, 92 Fordham Law Review (forthcoming 2024). [SSRN]
Women in U.S. Law Schools, 1948-2021, 15 Journal of Legal Analysis 48 (2023) (with Kyle Rozema and Sarath Sanga). [SSRN]
Sex, Suffrage, and State Constitutional Law: Women’s Legal Right to Hold Public Office, 33 Yale Journal of Law & Feminism 110 (2022). [SSRN]
“Racial and Religious Democracy”: Identity and Equality in Midcentury Courts, 72 Stanford Law Review 1467 (2020). [SSRN]
Criminal Law in a Civil Guise: The Evolution of Family Courts and Support Laws, 86 University of Chicago Law Review 1241 (2019). [SSRN]
“A Woman Stumps Her State”: Nellie G. Robinson and Women’s Right to Hold Public Office in Ohio, 53 Akron Law Review 313 (2019) (invited symposium contribution). [SSRN]
• Judicial Patriarchy and Domestic Violence: A Challenge to the Conventional Family Privacy Narrative, 21 William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law 379 (2015). [SSRN]
Women’s Involvement in International Constitution-Making, in Feminist Constitutionalism: Global Perspectives 204 (Beverly Baines, Daphne Barak-Erez, & Tsvi Kahana, eds., 2012).
How Automobile Accidents Stalled the Development of Interspousal Liability, 94 Virginia Law Review 1213 (2008). [SSRN]