Mary Clark

Professor of Law
Interim Dean of Academic Affairs and Senior Vice Provost of American University

Office: Room Leonard LL
Phone: 202-885-2155
E-mail: vCard


Mary Clark is Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law and Interim Dean of Academic Affairs and Senior Vice Provost of American University. Dean Clark teaches in the area of Higher Education Law, Women’s Legal History, Legal Ethics, Judicial Politics, and Property and publishes in the fields of Women’s Legal History and Judicial Politics. Professor Clark has served as Associate Dean for Faculty & Academic Affairs, Director of the law school’s SJD Program, and Acting Director of its Law and Government Program.

Before joining the WCL faculty, Clark was a visiting lecturer and research scholar at Yale Law School, a Supreme Court fellow with the Federal Judicial Center, a teaching fellow and adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, and an appellate attorney with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, D.C. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College (magna cum laude) and Harvard Law School, she clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Montgomery, Alabama, following graduation from law school.



Currently Teaching



Degrees & Universities

  • A.B., Bryn Mawr College
  • J.D., Harvard Law School

  • Selected Publications

    • Mary Clark, U.S. Women’s Legal History, in Teaching Legal History: Comparative Perspectives (Wildy, Simmonds & Hill 2014).
    • Mary Clark, Book Review: Citizenship and the Origins of Women’s History in the United States, L. & Hist. Rev. (Cambridge U. Press 2014).
    • Mary Clark, Judicial Retirement and Return to Practice, 60 Cath. U. L. Rev. 841 (Fall 2011).
    • Mary Clark, Advice and Consent vs. Silence and Dissent? The Contrasting Roles of the Legislature in U.S. and U.K. Judicial Appointments, 71 Louisiana L. Rev. 451, 502 (2011).
    • Mary Clark, Introducing a Parliamentary confirmation process for new Supreme Court justices: Its pros and cons, and lessons learned from the U.S. experience, Pub. L. 464 (2010).
    • Mary Clark, Judges Judging Judicial Candidates: Should Currently Serving Judges Participate in Commissions to Screen and Recommend Article III Candidates Below the Supreme Court Level?, 114 Penn. St. L. Rev. 49 (2009).
    • Mary Clark, My Brethren’s (Gate) Keeper? Testimony by U.S. Judges at Others’ Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings, 40 Ariz. St. L.J. 1181 (Winter 2008). SSRN Link
    • Mary Clark, Keep Your Hands Off My (Dead) Body: A Critique of the Ways in Which the State Disrupts the Personhood Interests of the Deceased and His or Her Kin in Disposing of the Dead and Assigning Identity in Death, 58 Rutgers L. Rev. 45 (Fall 2005).
    • Mary Clark, One Man's Token Is Another Woman's Breakthrough? The Appointment of the First Woman Federal Judges, 49 Vill. L. Rev. 487 (2004).
    • Mary Clark, Carter's Groundbreaking Appointment of Women to the Federal Bench: His Other 'Human Rights' Record, 11 Am. U. J. Gender Soc. Policy & L. 1131 (2003).
    • Mary Clark, Changing the Face of the Law: How Women's Advocacy Groups Put Women on the Federal Judicial Appointments Agenda, 14 Yale J.L. & Feminism 243 (2002).
    • Mary Clark, The Founding of the Washington College of Law: The First Law School Established by Women for Women, 47 Am. U. L. Rev. 613 (1998).
    • + More Publications...

    • Mary Clark, Why Care About the History of Women in the Legal Profession?, 27 Rutger's Women's Rights L. Rep. 59 (2006).
    • Mary Clark, Treading on Hallowed Ground: Implications for Property Law and Critical Theory of Recognizing the ‘Consecrated’ Nature of Land Associated with Human Death and Burial, 94 Ky. L.J. 487 (2005-2006).
    • Mary Clark, Reconstructing the World Trade Center: An Argument for the Applicability of Personhood Theory to Commercial Property Ownership and Use, 109 Penn St. L. Rev 815 (2005).
    • Mary Clark, Lessons Learned from the World Trade Center for Boston's Big Dig and Public Open Space Planning, 32 B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev. 301 (2005).
    • Mary Clark, Women as Supreme Court Advocates, 1879-1979, 30 J. S. Ct. Hist. 47 (2005).
    • Mary Clark, Op Ed: A Fresh Start at Ground Zero, N.Y. Times A27 (May 5, 2004).
    • Mary Clark, The First Women Members of the Supreme Court Bar, 1879-1900, 36 S.D. L. Rev. 87 (1999).
  • + Selected Presentations

    • Mary Clark, Presentation, Commentary on Professor Susanna Fischer, “History of Judicial Compensation,” (D.C.-area Legal History Roundtable, Wash., D.C., Nov. 2007).
    • Mary Clark, Presentation, Women Judges Speaking Out (New Women’s Legal History Symposium, University of Akron Law School, Akron, Ohio, Oct. 2007).
    • Mary Clark, Presentation, Not My Brethren’s (Gate) Keeper? (Texas-Wesleyan University Law School Faculty Workshop, Fort Worth, Tex., Apr. 2007).
    • Mary Clark, Presentation, Symposium: Twenty Years of Legal Ethics: Past, Present, and Future (Georgetown University Law Center, Wash., D.C., Oct. 2006).
    • Mary Clark, Presentation, Commentary on Professor Renee Lerner Lettow, “American Judges, English Judges, and the Power to Comment on Evidence" (D.C.-area Legal History Roundtable at George Washington University Law School, Wash., D.C., Sept. 2006).
    • Mary Clark, Presentation, The Legal Semiotics of Death and Burial (McGill University Faculty of Law, Montreal, Quebec, Can., 2005).
    • Mary Clark, Presentation, Keep Your Hands Off My (Dead) Body (Emory University Law School, Atlanta, Ga., 2005).
    • Mary Clark, Presentation, Treading on Hallowed Ground (American Association of Law Schools Mid-Year Meeting, 2004).
    • Mary Clark, Presentation, A History of Supreme Court Advocacy by Women, 1879-1979, Leon Silverman Endowed Lecture Series (Supreme Court Historical Society, U.S. Supreme Court, Wash., D.C., 2004).
    • Mary Clark, Organizer & Moderator, Redeveloping the World Trade Center Site: A Study in Land Use Planning (American University Washington College of Law, Wash., D.C., 2004).
    • Mary Clark, Presentation, Lessons Learned from the World Trade Center for Boston's Big Dig and Public Open Space Planning (Boston College Law School, Bos., Mass., 2004).
    • Mary Clark, Presentation, Why Does it Matter that Women and/or People of Color are Appointed to the Bench? Feminism and Legal Theory Project Workshop (Cornell Law School, Ithaca, N.Y., 2003).
    • Mary Clark, Presentation, Carter's Groundbreaking Appointment of Women to the Federal Bench (American Association of Law Schools Mid-Year Meeting, 2003).