Legal Writing

The 32nd Isaac Marks Memorial Lecture

Prof. Carol Sanger

Barbara Aronstein Black Professor of Law
Columbia Law School


Topic: About Abortion: Meaning and Methodology

Date: Thursday, April 5, 2012

Time: 5:00 to 6:00 PM


Video Click here to watch the event

About the Speaker

Carol Sanger is the Barbara Aronstein Black Professor of Law at Columbia Law School.  She received her B.A. degree in 1970 from Wellesley College and her J.D. degree from the University of Michigan in 1976.  She began teaching at the University of Oregon, taught at Santa Clara University Law School, visited at Stanford Law School, and joined the Columbia faculty in 1996.  Professor Sanger now also holds a position as Senior Research Fellow at St. Anne’s College, Oxford. 


At Columbia, Sanger teaches Contracts, Family Law, and other courses concerning women’s reproductive lives. These include “Meanings of Motherhood: Legal and Historical Perspectives” and “Abortion: Law in Context.”  She is interested in the creeping merger of Contracts and Family Law, and has explored this in two recent articles:  “Developing Markets in Baby Making,” 30 Harv. J. Law & Gender 67 (2007)and “Acquiring Children Contractually: Post-Adoption Visitation Agreements,”Empirical and Lyrical: Revisiting the Contracts Scholarship of Stewart Macaulay (Jean Braucher et al. eds. forthcoming Hart Publishing Co. 2012).


Sanger has long been interested in the way that law influences decisions about family formation, particularly with regard to mothers and children.   Most recently she has been considering the question in the context of reproduction.  Recent articles include “Seeing and Believing: Mandatory Ultrasound and the Path to a Protected Choice,” 56 UCLA L. Rev. 351 (2008), “Decisional Dignity: Teenage Abortion, Bypass Hearings, and the Misuse of Law,” 18 Col. J. of Gender and Law 409 (2009),and“The Birth of Death: Stillbirth Birth Certificates and the Problem for Law,” 100 Cal. L. Rev. 101 (2012).  In recognition of this work, in 2011, Sanger received the Innovation in Scholarship Award from the Center for Reproductive Rights.  She is currently writing a book, About Abortion (Harvard University Press) that focuses on the social and legal regulation of abortion in the United States. Chapters include “Abortion and the Visual Construction of Loss” and “Fathers and Fetuses: What Would Men Do?”


Sanger is the editor of the casebook Contracts: Cases and Materials (7th ed., 2008, with Farnsworth, Young, Cohen, and Brooks), and has edited two anthologies: Family Law Stories (2007) and Gender and Rights (2005, with Deborah Rhode).   She received the Columbia University Teaching Award (2001) and the Columbia Law School Prize for Excellence in Teaching (2007).  Sanger recently returned from teaching contracts to lawyers in Cuba under the auspices of the Center for Inter-American Legal Education (CIALE).  She has two adult children: Anna, a high school math teacher, and Michael, a professional musician who is now a first-year law student.   


About the Annual Marks Lecture

The Marks Memorial Lectures were established in 1979 to enrich the curriculum of the College of Law by bringing to it the scholarship and learning of eminent persons in various fields of law. The Lectures are held annually and published under the auspices of The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. The College of Law is grateful to the late Judge Jack Marks and his wife, Selma Skora Paul, a 1956 graduate of The University of Arizona College of Law, for their generous support in endowing the lecture series in memory of his father, Isaac Marks. Judge Jack Marks graduated from Columbia University School of Law in 1935 and practiced law in New York and Arizona. He was appointed Pima County's first Superior Court Commissioner serving until 1965 when he became a judge. He retired from that position in 1980 having served, with distinction, the State of Arizona. Judge Marks died in 1983.



Updated: 01/03/2013