Allison Anna Tait

Associate Professor of Law


Allison Tait is a an associate professor of law at the University of Richmond where she teaches trusts and estates, family law, estate planning, critical theory, and feminist legal theory. Professor Tait joined the University of Richmond Law faculty in 2015. Before coming to Richmond, she was an Associate-in-Law at Columbia Law School. She also clerked for the Hon. Richard Palmer of the Connecticut Supreme Court and spent a year as the Gender Equity Postdoctoral Fellow for the Yale Women Faculty Forum. 

Professor Tait's research addresses questions of family wealth preservation and transfer as well as the role of marriage in the household economy from a critical perspective. Recently,  she has written about the legal framework of high-wealth exceptionalism,  the regulation of wealth transfer in family businesses, the use of new trust forms to shelter marital assets, and the division of assets in same-sex divorces.

Grants and Fellowships

Lillian Goldman Perpetual Scholarship Recipient, Yale Law School, 2009-2011

Presidential Public Service Fellow, Yale Law School, 2009


Presenter, "Trust as Patrimony," Law Faculty Colloquy, Boston College Law (Sept. 2019).

Presenter, "Trust as Patrimony," Law Faculty Colloquy, Wake Forest School of Law (Sept. 2019).

Commentator, "Emerging Interdisciplinary Scholarship in Trusts & Estates," SEALS Annual Conference, SEALS, Boca Raton, Florida (Aug. 2019).

Commentator, "Discussion Group:Topic Coverage of a Modern Trusts & Estates Course," SEALS Annual Conference, SEALS, Boca Raton, Florida (July 2019).

Panelist, "Comments on panel entitled Finding Aesthetics in Unexpected Places," Law & Society Association Annual Conference, Washington D.C. (June 2019).

Panelist, "Comments on panel entitled Planning for an Unstable Future," Law & Society Association Annual Conference, Washington D.C. (June 2019).

Presenter, "Divorce Lending," Law & Society Association Annual Conference, Washington D.C. (May 2019).

Presenter, "The Private Lives of High-Wealth Families," Shifting Normativities, UBC Allard School of Law, Vancover, Canada (May 2019).

Presenter, "Inheriting the Family," Family Law Scholars and Teachers Conference 2019, Howard University School of Law, Washington D.C. (May 2019).

Presenter, "Divorce Lending," Law, Culture, and Humanities 2019, ASLCH, Ottowa, Canada (March 2019).

Presenter, "Confronting Injustice and Memory in the Public Square," AALS 2019 Annual Conference, Association of American Law Schools, New Orleans (Jan. 2019).

Presenter, "Family Constitutions," Law and Society Annual Conference, Toronto (June 2018).

Presenter, "Writing Family Constitutions," ISFL North American Regional Conference: Inequality and the Future of Family Law, University of Minnesota (April 2018).

Presenter, "Pet Custody: Evolutions in Divorce Law," Richmond Animal Law Society CLE (April 2018).

Moderator, "Panel: Bodies, Affect, and Agency," Biopower, Biologics, Biospheres Conference, University of Richmond (March 2018).

Presenter, "Asset Protection and Economic Partnership in Marriage," Work, Families, and Public Policy Seminar, Washington University, St. Louis (Feb. 2018).

Presenter, "Trusting Marriage," William & Mary Law School Colloquy (Nov. 2017).

Presenter, "Marital Trusts and the Production of Wealth Inequality," ClassCrits X, Tulane Law School, New Orleans (Nov. 2017).

Presenter, "Keeping Up Appearances," American Society for Legal History Annual Conference, Las Vegas (Oct. 2017).

Presenter, "Trusting Marriage," Law & Society, Mexico City (June 2017).

Presenter, "Building the U.S. Supreme Court: Writing History and Gender," Southwestern Social Science Association, Austin, Tex. (April 2017).

Presenter, "Feministy Pedagogies," Theorizing Linkages, Practicing Solidarity: Feminist Approaches to Conflict Resolution, George Mason University, Arlington, Va. (April 2017).

Panelist, "Trusting Marriage," 2017 Annual Conference Association of Law, Culture, & the Humanities, Stanford Law School, Palo Alto (April 2017).

"Trusting Marriage," Trusts and Estates Meets Gender, Race, and Class, Oklahoma City University (Sept. 2016).

Presenter, "Corporate Family Law," Southeastern Association of Law Schools Conference, Amelia Island, Fla. (Aug. 2016).

Presenter, "Company Men," Emerging Family Law Scholars Conference, New Orleans (June 2016).

Presenter, "Corporate Family Law," Law and Society Conference, New Orleans (June 2016).

Presenter, "Keeping Up Appearances," 19th Annual Conference for the Association of the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities, University of Connecticut School of Law (April 2016).

Presenter, "Characterizing Bigamy: The Disruption of Marital Property Rights in the Nineteenth-Century America," Marriage's Global Past Conference, Cambridge, England (April 2016).

Presenter, "Corporate Family Law," Temple Law School Faculty Colloquy, Philadelphia (March 2016).

Presenter, "Keeping Up Appearances," Joint Scholars & Scholarship Workshop on Feminist Jurisprudence, Fordham Law School, New York (Jan. 2016).

“Divorce Equality.” Presented at the Law and Society Conference; Seattle, WA (May 2015); Emerging Family Law Scholars Conference; Orlando, FL (June 2015); AALS Mid-Year Meeting: The Shifting Foundations of Family Law; Orlando, FL (June 2015)

“Publicity Rules for Public Trusts.” Presented at 18th Annual Conference for the Association of the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities; Washington D.C. (March 2015)

“Rejecting Amphibious Women and Great Estates.” Presented at the “Consent in Early America” conference; Oxford, England (March 2015)

Chair and Commentator, “Marriage and the Law in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries” panel. North Eastern Conference on British Studies; Lewiston, ME (October 2014)

“Harmful Marriages.” Presented at the Emerging Family Law Scholars Conference; Minneapolis, MN (May 2014)

“Chancery’s Support for Married Women’s Wills in Eighteenth-Century England.” Presented at the American Society for Legal History Annual Conference; Miami, FL (November 2013)

“’Within the Sound of Church Bells’: The Distance Between Formal and Informal Marriage.” Presented at the “Modernizing Marriage through E-Marriage Symposium,” Michigan State University College of Law; East Lansing, MI (November 2010)

“Ruth Stubb’s White Dress: Recognizing Marriage in Polygamous Households.” Presented at the 13th Annual Conference for the Association of the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities; Providence, RI (March 2010)

“Legal Order Through Literary Narrative.” Presented at the International Symposium on Law and Literature; Paris, France (February 2010)

“Paternal Justice and State Interest. Murderous Fathers in the Theater of Racine and Corneille.” Presented at the 12th Annual Conference for the Association of the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities; Boston, MA (April 2009)

“Territorial Campaigns:  the Mistress Makes a Map.” Presented at the 5th Annual Conference in Citizenship Studies, Wayne State University; Detroit, MI (March 2008)

Professional Experience

Assistant Professor (2015-Present)
University of Richmond School of Law

Associate-in-Law (2013-2015)
Columbia Law School

Gender Equity Postdoctoral Associate (2011-2012)
Yale University, Women Faculty Forum



Is My Family Constitution Unconstitutional?Law & Inequality (Sua Sponte, online publication) (May 2019).

Trusting Marriage, ___ U.C. Irvine L. Rev. ___ (forthcoming 2019).

The Law of High-Wealth ExceptionalismAla. L. Rev. 71 (2019).

Keeping Promises and Meeting Needs: Public Charities at a Crossroads, 102 Minn. L. Rev. 1789 (2018).

Corporate Family Law, 112 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1 (2017).

Divorce Equality, 90 Wash. L. Rev. 1245 (2015).

The Secret Economy of Charitable Giving, 95 B.U. L. Rev. 1663 (2015).

Publicity Rules for Public Trusts, 33 Cardozo Arts & Ent. L. J. 421 (2015).

The Beginning of the End of Coverture: A Reappraisal of the Married Woman’s Separate Estate, 26 Yale J. L. & Fem. 1 (2014).

A Tale of Three Families: Historical Households, Earned Belonging, and Natural Connections, 63 Hastings L. J. 1345 (2012).

Polygamy, Publicity, and Locality: The Place of the Public in Marriage (symposium piece), 2011 Mich. St. L. Rev. 171 (2011).

Mancession or Momcession?  Good Providers, Bad Economies and Gender Discrimination in the Workplace, with Joan C. Williams, 86 Chi-Kent L. Rev. 857 (2011).

Narrative and the Origins of Law (symposium piece), with Luke Norris, in 5 Law and Humanities 11 (2011).

Family Model and Mystical Body:  Witnessing Gender through Political Metaphor in the Early Modern Nation State, 36 Women’s Studies Quarterly 76 (2008).


Rewritten opinion on Karsenty v. Schoukroun, in Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Trusts & Estates Opinions (forthcoming 2019).

Commentary on United States v. Windsor, in Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

Constructing Courts: Architecture, the Ideology of Judging, and the Public Sphere, with Judith Resnik and Denny Curtis, in Treatise on Legal Visual Semiotics (2012).


The New Trust Code, Law and Political Economy Blog (July 2019).

Additional Publications

The Return of Coverture, 114 Mich. L. Rev. First Impressions 99 (2016).

Family Law, 51 U. Rich. L. Rev. (2016).

What We Didn’t See Before, 24 Yale J.L. & Human. 3 (2012).


J.D., Yale Law School

Ph.D., Yale University

B.A., Bryn Mawr

Contact Information

Room 214, Law School
(804) 287-1814
(804) 289-8992 (Fax)

Areas of Expertise

Trusts and Estates
Family Law
Tax-Exempt Organizations
Legal History