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Susan Frelich Appleton

Susan Frelich Appleton, the Lemma Barkeloo & Phoebe Couzins Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis, is a nationally known expert in family law and feminist legal theory. Her research, scholarship, and teaching address reproductive justice, parentage, gender, sexualities, and public assistance for families.

Co-author of six editions of a family law casebook, Professor Appleton most recently published a new edition of a casebook entitled Families Under Construction: Parentage, Adoption and Assisted Reproduction (2d ed. 2021).  She has published extensively on family law matters and feminist legal theory in law reviews and scholarly collections. In 2021, she received the inaugural award for outstanding contributions and achievements in the field from the AALS Section on Family & Juvenile Law, and in 2018, she received a Dukeminier Award from UCLA’s Williams Institute, which recognizes the best publications on sexual orientation and gender identity law. An active member of the American Law Institute (ALI), she held the position of Secretary of the Institute (2004-13), has served on its Council (since 1994), and participates as an Adviser on several ALI projects, including the revision of the Model Penal Code’s provisions on sexual assault and the Restatement of the Law of Children and the Law. She has lectured and presented papers across the U.S. and abroad, including in Rome, Berlin, Prague, Padua, Herzliya (Israel), and Shanghai.

Professor Appleton has received Washington University’s  Distinguished Faculty Award and the law school’s Triennial Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award. At the law school, she served as vice dean (2013-14) and associate dean of faculty (1998-2003). In 2010-12, she served as Washington University’s first Ombuds, facilitating the informal resolution or management of faculty-related conflicts or concerns on the Danforth Campus. Before becoming a law professor, she clerked for law school alumnus, the Hon. William H. Webster, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Washington University in St. Louis School of Law

Headshot of Susan Frelich Appleton