Before joining the faculty, Professor Spivack practiced civil litigation at
Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft, a New York law firm. She received her BA from Princeton,
her JD from New York University School of Law, and her PhD in English Literature from
Boston College. She clerked for the Hon Robert G. Flanders, Jr. of the Supreme Court of
Rhode Island. 

Professor Spivack’s scholarship focuses on gender issues in property and trusts and
estates law, as well as comparative law. She writes about ways inheritance law can and
should take account of realities like spousal and child abuse, and about how American
inheritance law compares with that of civil law countries. 

Professor Spivack’s work is cited at length in various Trusts and Estates casebooks, and
her article, “Let’s Get Serious: Spousal Abuse Should Bar Inheritance” was named one of
ten “Must Read” Trusts and Estates articles of 2011 by TaxProf Blog, the leading estate
planning and tax blog. 

Representative Publications


Social and Economic Rights As Fundamental Rights (with Francesca Bignami), 62 Am. J. Comp. L. 561 (2014)


Killers Shouldn't Inherit from Their Victims-Or Should They?, 48 Ga. L. Rev. 145 (2013)

The article offers a profound reassessment of so-called “Slayer Rules,” laws that, in most states,...



Law, Land, Identity: The Case of Lady Anne Clifford, 87 Chi-Kent L. Rev. 393 (2012)


Let's Get Serious: Spousal Abuse Should Bar Inheritance, 90 Or. L. Rev. 247-302 (2011)

Essentially, the thesis of the article is that a spouse or intimate partner who is...



Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc. v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection in a Comparative Law Context, 46 New Eng. L. Rev. 7 (2011)

This article examines the Supreme Court's decision in Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc. v. Florida...