Dara Purvis

Dara Purvis

Assistant Professor of Law

SSRN Profile


J.D., Yale Law School
M. Phil., University of Cambridge
B.A., University of Southern California

Professor Dara E. Purvis is a scholar of family law, contracts, feminist legal theory, and sexuality and the law. She is particularly interested in the intersection between gender stereotypes and the law. Her most recent work examines gendered impacts of the law and proposes neutralizing reforms, most recently in the context of how the law defines parenthood.

Prior to joining Penn State Law, Professor Purvis was a visiting assistant professor at the University of Illinois College of Law and a visiting fellow at the University of Kent Research Centre for Law, Gender, and Sexuality. A former editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal, she clerked for The Hon. Gerard E. Lynch, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and The Hon. Raymond C. Fisher, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 

The Origin of Parental Rights: Labor, Intent, and Fathers, 41 Fl. St. Univ. L. Rev. 645 (2014).

The Sexual Orientation of Fatherhood, 2013 Mich. St. L. Rev. 983.

Gendered Self-Evaluation of Female Law Students, Symposium: Gender and the Legal Profession’s Pipeline to Power, 2012 Mich. St. L. Rev. 1693.

Intended Parents and the Problem of Perspective, 24 Yale J. L. & Feminism 210 (2012).

Clinical Evidence as Gendered, 21 Tex. J. Women & L. 85 (2011).

Evaluating Legal Activism: A Response to Rosenberg, 17 Buff. J. Gender L. & Soc. Pol’y 1 (2009).

Government Advertising Space: Lessons for the “Choose Life” Specialty License Plate Controversy, 3 Original L. Rev. 28 (2007).

The Right to Contract: Use of Domestic Partnership as a Strategic Alternative to the Right to Marry Same-Sex Partners, 28 Women’s Rts. L. Rep. 145 (Spring/Summer 2007).


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