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Solangel Maldonado   

Professor Solangel Maldonado

Eleanor Bontecou Professor of Law

  • Degrees:

  • J.D., Columbia Law School | B.A., Columbia College
  • Contact:

  • [email protected]
  • Tel:  973-642-8830
  • SSRN Site link
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Courses:

  • Torts; Estates and Trusts; Family Law; Children, Family & the State; International Human Rights & the Family; Gender & the Law; Race, Ethnicity, & the Law

Professor Maldonado’s research and teaching interests include family law, feminist legal theory, race and the law, and international and comparative family law. Over the past decade, her scholarship has focused on the intersection of race and family law and the law’s influence on social norms of post-separation parenthood. She is currently working on a book for NYU Press that examines how the law shapes romantic preferences and how these preferences perpetuate racial hierarchy and economic and social inequality.

Professor Maldonado is one of the reporters of the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law, Children and the Law (in progress) and a co-editor of Family Law in the World Community (Carolina Academic Press, 3rd ed. 2015) (with D. Marianne Blair, Merle H. Weiner, and Barbara Stark). She also serves on the editorial board of the Family Court Review.

Prior to joining the Seton Hall faculty, Professor Maldonado was a litigation associate with Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler, LLP and with Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood in New York. She also clerked for then District Court Judge Joseph A. Greenaway, Jr., now on the United States Court of Appeals. She received her B.A. from Columbia College and her J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and the Managing Editor of the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law. In 2015-2016, she was a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Law and Culture at Columbia Law School.



Reproducing Gender and Race Inequality in the Blawgosphere, ___ Harv. J. Gender & L. ___ (forthcoming 2017) (with Jane C. Murphy)

Bias in the Family: Race and Culture in Custody Disputes, 55 Fam. Ct. Rev. 213 (2017) (peer-reviewed)

Romantic Discrimination and Children, 92 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 105 (2017) (invited symposium)

Sharing a House But Not a Household: Extended Families and Exclusionary Zoning Forty Years After Moore, 85 Fordham L. Rev. 2641 (2017) (invited symposium)

Shared Parenting and Never Married Families, 52 Fam. Ct. Rev. 632 (2014)

Facilitating Forgiveness and Reconciliation in “Good Enough” Marriages, 13 Pepperdine Dispute Resolution L.J. 105 (2013)

Illegitimate Harm: Law, Stigma, and Discrimination Against Nonmarital Children, 63 Florida L. Rev. 345 (2011)

Taking Account of Children’s Emotions: Anger and Forgiveness in “Renegotiated Families”, 16 Va. J. Soc. Pol’y & L. 443 (2009) (Symposium)

Cultivating Forgiveness: Reducing Hostility and Conflict after Divorce, 43 Wake Forest L. Rev. 441 (2008)

Permanency v. Biology: Making the Case for Post-Adoption Contact, 37 Capital L. Rev. 321 (2008) (invited symposium)

Race, Culture, and Adoption: Lessons From Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians v. Holyfield, 17 Colum. J. Gender & L. 1 (2008) (

Deadbeat or Deadbroke: Redefining Child Support For Poor Fathers, 39 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 991 (2006)

Discouraging Racial Preferences in Adoptions, 39 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1415 (2006) (abridged version reprinted in Family Law: Balancing Interests and Pursuing Priorities 260 (Lynn D. Wardle & Camille S. Williams eds., 2007))

Recidivism and Paternal Engagement, 40 Fam. L.Q. 191 (2006)

Beyond Economic Fatherhood: Encouraging Divorced Fathers to Parent, 153 U. Pa. L. Rev. 921 (2005)

When Father (or Mother) Doesn’t Know Best: Quasi-Parents and Parental Deference After Troxel v. Granville, 88 Iowa L. Rev. 865 (2003)


Deadbroke Fathers and Reproductive Justice: Reimagining Wisconsin v. Oakley from a Justice Perspective, in Reproductive Justice Rewritten, Kimberly Mutcherson, ed., Cambridge University Press (forthcoming 2019)

MALDEF's Champion, in Law Professor and Accidental Historian: The Scholarship of Michael Olivas (Ediberto Roman ed.) (2017)

The Story of the Holyfield Twins: Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians v. Holyfield, in Family Law Stories 113 (Carol Sanger ed.) (2007)


Restatement of the Law, Children and the Law, Am. Law. Inst. (Tentative Draft November 1, 2018) (with Elizabeth Scott, Richard Bonnie, Emily Buss, Clare Huntington, and David Meyer)

Report of the Hispanic National Bar Association in Support of the Confirmation of the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, (2009) (with Jenny Rivera, Elizabeth Iglesias, Laura Gomez, Lauren Gilbert, and Catherine Sandoval)


Family Law: Cases and Materials, Foundation Press, 7th ed. (forthcoming 2019) (with Judith Areen, Marc Spindelman, and Philomila Tsoukala)

Family Law in the World Community, Carolina Academic Press, 3rd ed. (2015) (with D. Marianne Blair, Merle H. Weiner, and Barbara Stark)


“Renegotiated Families” and Donative Intent, Jotwell, 103 Iowa L. Rev. 1879 (2018) (forthcoming May 2019) (reviewing Naomi Cahn, Revisiting Revocation Upon Divorce?)

On the Way To and From Marriage, Jotwell, 2018 U. Ill. L. Rev. 235 (May 10, 2018) (reviewing Adam J. Hirsch, Inheritance on the Fringes of Marriage)

Punishing DREAMers for the “Sins” of the Fathers (and Mothers), 56 Fam. Ct. Rev. 353 (2018)

Parentage by Presumed Consent, 8 Estate Planning & Comm’y Prop. L.J. 437 (2016) (June 2017) (reviewing Paula A. Monopoli, Inheritance Law and the Marital Presumption After Obergefell)

Honoring Decedents’ Wishes—Non-Probate Devices Included, Jotwell, 56 Boston College L. Rev. 61 (2015) (May 9, 2016) (reviewing Melanie B. Leslie and Stewart E. Sterk, Revisiting the Revolution: Reintegrating the Wealth Transmission System)

Just Like Everyone Else, 96 B.U. L. Rev. Annex 49 (2016) (reviewing Katherine Franke, Wedlocked: The Perils of Marriage Equality (2015)

Mushy Language and the Limits of Intimate Agreements: Reflections on Love’s Promises, Concurring Opinions (June 24, 2015) (reviewing Martha Ertman, Love’s Promises: How Formal and Informal Contracts Shape All Kinds of Families (2015))

Too Young for a Will?, Jotwell, 79 Missouri L. Rev. 69 (2014) (June 23, 2015) (reviewing Mark Glover, Rethinking the Testamentary Capacity of Minors)

Baby Veronica’s Latino/a Heritage, Hba-NJ Abogados (2014)

Expanding Surrogate Decisionmaking, Jotwell, 78 Brook. L. Rev. 1231 (2013) (March 12, 2014) (reviewing Alexander A. Boni-Saenz, Personal Delegations)

Helping Families Flourish: Committing to Children, Mothers (and Fathers), Balkinization (Oct. 28, 2014) (reviewing Clare Huntington, Failure to Flourish: How Family Law Undermines Family Relationships (2014))

The Problem with Allowing the Courts to Decide Who Is Indian, N.Y. Times (January 24, 2013) (Room for Debate)

Tort Law Meets Inheritance Law, Jotwell, 65 Stan. L. Rev. 335 (2013) (March 4, 2013) (reviewing John C.P. Goldberg & Robert H. Sitkoff, Torts and Estates: Remedying Wrongful Interference with Inheritance)

Protecting the True Objects of Decedent’s Bounty—Pets Included, Jotwell, 63 Fla. L. Rev. 802 (2011) (March 28, 2012) (reviewing Frances Foster, Should Pets Inherit?)

Wills, Slavery, and Wealth, Jotwell (January 10, 2011) (reviewing Bernie D. Jones, Fathers of Conscience: Mixed Race Inheritance in the Antebellum South (2009))


Racial Hierarchy and Desire: How the Law’s Influence on Interracial Intimacies Perpetuates Inequality, Nyu Press (forthcoming 2020)


Full list of presentations available in Curriculum Vitae

Diversity & Inclusion in Law Schools in 2019: Successes and Challenges, Fourth National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference, Washington, D.C. (March 2019)

Facilitator, Section on Women in Legal Education Building Bridges Session, The Aftermath of the Kavanaugh Hearings & Confirmation, Aals, New Orleans (January 2019)

How to Write and Publish Excellent Law Review Articles, Fourth National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference, Washington, D.C. (March 2019)

Psychological Neglect, Joint Meeting of the ALI Advisers and Members Consultative Group Restatement of the Law, Children and the Law, Philadelphia (October 2018)

Restatement of the Law, Children and the Law, Decisions About a Child’s Associations, Ali Council Meeting, New York (October 2018)