At a Glance
George J. and Kathleen Waters Matthews
Distinguished University Professor of Law

Somerville College, Oxford University, BA 1971
Harvard University, LLM 1973

Office: 50 Cargill Hall

Mail: 400 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115

Tel: (617) 373-8882

Fax: (617) 373-5056


Northeastern University School of Law

Clare Dalton

Professor Dalton joined the School of Law faculty in 1988, and in the spring of 2000 was named a Matthews Distinguished University Professor, an award that recognizes and furthers the scholarly and creative activities of prominent Northeastern University faculty.

Professor Dalton is a nationally recognized legal scholar in the areas of domestic violence and feminist legal thought. Battered Women and the Law, which she co-authored with Elizabeth Schneider, is the first casebook in its field. Her controversial "Essay in the Deconstruction of Contract Doctrine," published in 1985 by the Yale Law Journal, is considered a breakthrough analysis in combining the field of contracts with modern and feminist legal theory. Her fields of expertise also include family law, torts and modern legal theory.

Professor Dalton is the founder of the law school’s Domestic Violence Institute, a nationally recognized center for addressing domestic violence and its impact on the lives of women, children and men. It provides services to women through two innovative programs located in Dorchester Municipal Court in Boston, and in the Boston Medical Center’s hospital emergency department. It also provides a model for pedagogy about domestic violence, and participates in numerous multidisciplinary and community-based collaborations. Its programs have attracted more than $4 million in grants since 1992 from both public and private sources, including the US Department of Justice, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Justice and the Open Society Institute of the Soros Foundation.

Professor Dalton has taught at American University’s Washington College of Law and Harvard Law School, and practiced for three years with the firm of Covington & Burling in Washington, DC. She received Radcliffe’s Graduate Society Medal in 2002, the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus’ Abigail Adams Award in 2001 and the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association's Lelia J. Robinson Award in 1997. She was named Feminist of the Year by the Feminist Majority Foundation in 1993, and received a Bunting Fellowship in 1987. 

Selected Publications
  • Articles:
  • Progressive Lawyering, Globalization and Markets: Rethinking Ideology and Strategy, ed. William S. Hein & Co., 2007.
  • “Navigating Custody and Visitation Evaluations in Cases with Domestic Violence: A Judge’s Guide” (primary author), National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the State Justice Institute, 2004.
  • “High Conflict Divorce, Violence and Abuse: Implications for Custody and Visitation Decisions” (with Carbon and Olesen), Juvenile & Family Court Journal 11, 2003.
  • “Northeastern’s Domestic Violence Institute: The Law School Clinic as an Integral Partner in a Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence” (with Kanter and Enos), 47 Loyola Law Review 359, 2001.
  • “When Paradigms Collide: Protecting Battered Parents and Their Children in the Family Court System,” 37 Family Court Review 273, 1999.
  • “Sexuality in Society, Legal Approaches,” Encyclopedia of Bioethics. Reich, ed. Macmillan Press, 1995.
  • “The Faithful Liberal and the Question of Diversity,” 12 Harvard Women’s Law Review 1, 1989.
  • Books:
  • Losing History: Tort Liability in the Nineteenth Century and the Case of Tylands v. Fletcher, forthcoming, Oxford University Press.
  • Battered Women and the Law: Cases and Materials (with Schneider), Foundation Press, March 2001.