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Our History: Former Faculty [Fall 2020 - this site is under construction as we update this list]: Scott, Elizabeth S. (1981-2006)

Tenured faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law through its history.

Elizabeth S. Scott, 1981-2006

Elizabeth ScottBorn in Washington, D.C., Elizabeth Scott earned a B.A. from William and Mary in 1967 and a J.D. from Virginia in 1977. She was elected to the Order of the Coif. She was in private practice with Michie, Hamlett, Donato & Lowry in Charlottesville before her appointment to the law school faculty. She came to the Law School in 1978 to direct the Forensic Psychiatry Training Program of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy. In 1980 she was named director of the Forensic Psychiatry Clinic. She joined the law school faculty in 1988 and she taught courses in criminal law, family law and interdisciplinary courses in psychiatry and criminal law, psychology and juvenile/family practice, and biomedical ethics and law. Scott served as Associate Professor at Virginia from 1988-91, University Professor from 1992-2006 and Class of 1962 Professor of Law from 2001-06. She joined the Columbia Law School faculty in 2006.

Scott served on the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Legal Issues, the Virginia Department of Mental Health Task Force on Psychiatric Hospitalization of Minors, and as chairman of the Virginia Bar Association’s Family Law Committee. From 1995-2006, Scott was involved in empirical research on adolescents in the justice system as a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice. She was the founder and co-director of the University of Virginia's interdisciplinary Center for Children, Families and the Law. In 1987-88, 2001-02, 2003, and 2005, she was a visiting professor at Columbia University School of Law.



Children in the Legal System: Cases and Materials (with Samuel M. Davis, Walter J. Wadlington, and Charles H. Whitebread) (Foundation Press, 2d ed. 1997; 3d ed. 2004).

Family Law: Cases, Text, Problems (with Ira Mark Ellman and Paul M. Kurtz) (Lexis Law Publishing, 3d ed. 1998).

Articles and Book Chapters

Adolescents’ Reproductive Rights: Abortion, Contraception, and Sterilization, in Children, Mental Health, and the Law 125-150 (N. Dickon Repucci et al. eds., Sage Publications, 1984).

Evaluation of Mentally Retarded Persons for Sterilization: Contributions and Limits of Psychological Consultation (with Gary B. Melton), 15 Prof. Psychol: Res. & Prac. 34-48 (1984).

Joint Custody: A Critical Analysis and Appraisal (with Andre P. Derdeyn), 54 Am. J. Orthopsychiatry 199-209 (1984); reprinted in 1985 Ann. Progress Child Psychiatry & Child Dev. 207-221.

Rethinking Joint Custody (with Andre Derdeyn), 45 Ohio St. L.J. 455-498 (1984).

Children and the Law: The Psychiatrist as Court Consultant (with Andre Derdeyn), in 5 Basic Handbook of Child Psychiatry 653-660 (Joshua D. Noshpitz ed., Basic Books, 1987).

Legal and Ethical Issues in Abortion Counseling, in Adolescent Abortion: Legal and Psychological Issues 116-137 (Gary B. Melton ed., University of Nebraska Press, 1986).

Sterilization of Mentally Retarded Persons: Reproductive Rights and Family Privacy, 1986 Duke L.J. 806-865.

Child Custody Dispute Resolution: The Adversarial System and Divorce Mediation (with Robert Emery), in Psychology and Child Custody Determinations: Knowledge, Roles, and Expertise 23-56 (Lois A. Weithorn ed., University of Nebraska Press, 1987).

Children’s Preference in Adjudicated Custody Decisions (with N. Dickon Reppucci and Mark Aber), 22 Ga. L. Rev. 1035-1078 (1988).

Rational Decisionmaking about Marriage and Divorce, 76 Va. L. Rev. 9-94 (1990).

Judgment and Reasoning in Adolescent Decisionmaking, 37 Vill L. Rev. 1607-1669 (1992).

Pluralism, Parental Preference, and Child Custody, 80 Cal. L. Rev. 615-672 (1992); excerpt reprinted in Va. J., Fall 1998, at 31-33.

Rehabilitating Liberalism in Modern Divorce Law, 1994 Utah L. Rev. 687-740.

Evaluating Adolescent Decision Making in Legal Contexts (with N. Dickon Reppucci and Jennifer L. Woolard), 19 Law & Hum. Behav. 221-244 (1995).

Parents as Fiduciaries (with Robert E. Scott), 81 Va. L. Rev. 2401-2476 (1995).

The Evolution of Adolescence: A Developmental Perspective on Juvenile Justice Reform (with Thomas Grisso), 88 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 137-189 (1997).

Marriage as Relational Contract (with Robert E. Scott), 84 Va. L. Rev. 1225-1334 (1998).

A Contract Theory of Marriage (with Robert E. Scott), in The Fall and Rise of Freedom of Contract 201-244 (F.H. Buckley ed., Duke University Press, 1999).

Criminal Responsibility in Adolescence: Lessons from Developmental Psychology, in Youth on Trial: A Developmental Perspective on Juvenile Justice 291-324 (Thomas Grisso & Robert G. Schwartz eds., University of Chicago Press, 2000).

The Legal Construction of Adolescence, 29 Hofstra L. Rev. 547-598 (2000).

Social Norms and the Legal Regulation of Marriage, 86 Va. L. Rev. 1901-1970 (2000).

Divorce, Children’s Welfare, and the Culture Wars, 9 Va. J. Soc. Pol’y & L. 95-115 (2001).

The Legal Construction of Childhood, in A Century of Juvenile Justice 113-141 (Margaret K. Rosenheim et al. eds., University of Chicago Press, 2002).

Marital Commitment and the Legal Regulation of Divorce, in The Law and Economics of Marriage and Divorce 35-56 (Antony W. Dnes & Robert Rowthorn eds., Cambridge University Press, 2002).

Blaming Youth (with Laurence Steinberg), 81 Tex. L. Rev. 799-840 (2003).

Parental Autonomy and Children’s Welfare, 11 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 1071-1100 (2003).

Developmental Incompetence, Due Process, and Juvenile Justice Policy (with Thomas Grisso), 83 N.C. L. Rev. 793-845 (2005).

Marriage, Cohabitation and Collective Responsibility for Dependency, 2004 U. Chi. Legal F. 225-264.


Juvenile Preventive Detention Law Upheld, 4 Dev. Mental Health L. 6 (1984).

Foreword, 6 Va. J. Soc. Pol’y & L. 383-388 (1999).