Elizabeth S. Scott

Harold R. Medina Professor of Law

Office: Jerome Greene Hall, Room 715
435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10027
Tel: (212) 854-9758
Fax: (212) 854-7946
Email: es2054@columbia.edu

Assistant Info

Name: Shirley Yeh
Phone: (212) 854-2693
Email: syeh@law.columbia.edu
Course/Current Research:
  • Property
  • Criminal Law
  • Family Law
  • Children and the Law
  • Juvenile Justice Policy


  • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D. 1977
  • College of William and Mary, B.A 1967

Media Contact:

Detailed Biography:

Elizabeth Scott received a B.A. from the College of William and Mary in 1967 and  J.D. from the University of Virginia in1977.  She practiced law briefly after graduating from law school and then served as legal director of the Forensic Psychiatry Clinic, Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at the University of Virginia from 1979-87.  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 visited at Columbia law school in 1987-88, 2001-02, 2003, and 2005, and joined the Columbia faculty as the Harold R. Medina Professor of Law in 2006.  Scott teaches family law, property, criminal law, and children and the law. She has written extensively on marriage, divorce, cohabitation, child custody, adolescent decision-making, and juvenile delinquency. Her research is interdisciplinary, applying behavioral economics, social science research, and developmental theory to family/juvenile law and policy issues.  She was the founder and co-director of the University of Virginia's interdisciplinary Center for Children, Families and the Law.  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.  In 2008, she published "Rethinking Juvenile Justice" (Harvard U. Press) with developmental psychologist Laurence Steinberg.  The book draws on their collaborative work on the Network to offer a developmental framework for juvenile justice policy.  Scott is also the co-author of two casebooks: Family Law: Cases, Text, Problems (Lexis-Nexis, 4th ed., 2004), with  Ira Ellman, Paul Kurtz, Lois Weithorn and Brian Bix, and Children in the Legal System (Foundation, 4th ed. in press 2008), with Samuel Davis, Walter Wadlington, and Charles Whitebread.