Mary Louise Fellows

  • Professor of Law Emeritus
  • University of Michigan, B.A., J.D.

Office: 433
Mondale Hall, 229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Emeritus Professor Mary Louise Fellows is a nationally recognized scholar in the areas of trusts and estates, federal tax law, and feminist jurisprudence. She teaches courses on wills and trusts, estate planning, taxation, and feminist theory. Professor Fellows is the first Everett Fraser Professor of Law and is the first woman to hold a permanent appointment to an endowed chair at the University of Minnesota.

Professor Fellows graduated, magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School, where she was an Editor of the University of Michigan Law Review and is a member of the Order of the Coif. Upon graduation from law school, she joined the faculty of the University of Illinois College of Law. In 1982, she became a Professor at the University of Iowa College of Law. In addition to serving as a tenured member of these faculties, Professor Fellows has been a Visiting Professor at Columbia University Law School, Harvard University Law School, Cornell University Law School, and the University of Michigan Law School. She was the Visiting Everett Fraser Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School during the 1989-90 academic year and was named the Everett Fraser Professor of Law in 1990. Professor Fellows was a recipient of the 1996 John K. & Elsie Lampert Fesler Research Grant.

Professor Fellows is a member of the American Law Institute. She is an Adviser for the Restatement of the Law, Third-Property (Donative Transfers) and for the Restatement of Law, Third-Trusts. Professor Fellows also serves as the representative of law schools on the Joint Editorial Board of the Uniform Probate Code. She completed a Ph.D. in Anglo-Saxon and Early Medieval literature at the University of Minnesota in 2005.

For additional information on Professor Fellows, please see her curriculum vitae.



  • Family Property Law: Cases and Materials on Wills, Trusts, and Future Interests (Foundation Press, 3d ed., 2002; 4th ed., 2006) Lawrence W. Waggoner, Gregory S. Alexander & Thomas P. Gallanis
  • Law and Violence Against Women: Cases and Materials on Systems of Oppression (Carolina Academic Press, 1994) (Supps. 2000, 2004) Beverly Balos
  • Is Academic Feminism Dead?: Theory in Practice (New York University Press, 2000) (co-editor with The Social Justice Group at The Center for Advanced Feminist Studies, University of Minnesota)
  • Family Property Law: Cases and Materials on Wills, Trusts, and Future Interests (Foundation Press, 2d ed., 1997) Lawrence W. Waggoner & Gregory S. Alexander
  • Taxing America (New York University Press, 1996) (co-editor) Karen Brown
  • Family Property Law: Cases and Materials on Wills, Trusts, and Future Interests (Foundation Press, 1991) Lawrence W. Waggoner, Richard V. Wellman & Gregory S. Alexander
  • Supplement on the Tax Reform Act of 1976 (American Law Institute-American Bar Association on Continuing Professional Education, 1977) (supplementing Douglas A. Kahn & Earl M. Colson, Federal Taxation of Estates, Gifts, and Trusts (American Law Institute-American Bar Association on Continuing Professional Education, 2d ed., 1975))

Journal Articles

  • How Should Non-Probate Transfers Matter in Intestacy?, 53 U.C. Davis Law Review 2207 (2020) E. Gary Spitko
  • Foreword, 84 Fordham Law Review 2413 (2016) (Symposium: We Are What We Tax) Grace Heinecke & Linda Sugin
  • Costly Mistakes: Undertaxed Business Owners and Overtaxed Workers, 81 George Washington Law Review 329 (2013) Lily Kahng
    | SSRN
  • The Past, Present, and Future of Critical Tax Theory: A Conversation, 10 Pittsburgh Tax Review 59 (2012) Karen B. Brown & Bridget J. Crawford
    | SSRN
  • An Empirical Assessment of the Potential for Will Substitutes to Improve State Intestacy Statutes, 85 Indiana Law Journal 409 (2010) E. Gary Spitko & Charles Q. Strohm
    | SSRN
  • Forty Years of Codification of Estates and Trusts Law: Lessons for the Next Generation, 40 Georgia Law Review 1049 (2006) Gregory S. Alexander
    | SSRN
  • Why the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Sparked Perpetual Trusts, 27 Cardozo Law Review 2511 (2006)
  • Pride and Prejudice: A Study of Connections, 7 Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law 455 (2000)
  • A Matter of Prostitution: Becoming Respectable, 74 New York University Law Review 1220 (1999) Beverly Balos
  • A Feminist Interpretation of the Law of Legitimacy, 7 Texas Journal of Women and the Law 195 (1998)
  • Committed Partners and Inheritance: An Empirical Study, 16 Law and Inequality 1 (1998) Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson, Amy Chiericozzi, Ann Hale, Christopher Lee, Robin Preble & Michael Voran
  • Rocking the Tax Code: A Case Study of Employment-Related Child-Care Expenditures, 10 Yale Journal of Law and Feminism 307 (1998)
  • The Race to Innocence: Confronting Hierarchical Relations among Women, 1 Journal of Gender, Race & Justice 335 (1998) Sherene Razack
  • Spendthrift Trusts: Roots and Relevance for Twenty-First Century Planning, 50 Record of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York 140 (1995)
  • Seeking Relations: Law and Feminism Roundtables, 19 Signs 1048 (1994) Sherene Razack
  • The Law of Legitimacy: An Instrument of Procreative Power, 3 Columbia Journal of Gender and Law 495 (1993)
  • Traveling the Road of Probate Reform: Finding the Way to Your Will (A Response to Professor Ascher), 77 Minnesota Law Review 659 (1993)
  • His to Give; His to Receive; Hers to Trust: A Response to Carol M. Rose, 44 Florida Law Review 329 (1992)
  • Guilty of the Crime of Trust: Nonstranger Rape, 75 Minnesota Law Review 599 (1991) Beverly Balos
  • Testing Perpetuity Reforms: A Study of Perpetuity Cases 1984-89, 25 Real Property, Probate and Trust Journal 597 (1991)
  • Wills and Trusts: “The Kingdom of the Fathers,” 10 Law and Inequality 137 (1991)
  • A Comprehensive Attack on Tax Deferral, 88 Michigan Law Review 722 (1990)
  • Future Costs Reconsidered: A Reevaluation of IRC Section 461(h), 44 Tax Notes 1531 (1989)
  • In Search of Donative Intent, 73 Iowa Law Review 611 (1988)
  • The Slayer Rule: Not Solely a Matter of Equity, 71 Iowa Law Review 489 (1986)
  • Concealing Legislative Reform in the Common-Law Tradition: The Advancements Doctrine and the Uniform Probate Code, 37 Vanderbilt Law Review 671 (1984)
  • Public Opinion About Property Distribution at Death, 5:3 Marriage & Family Review 25 (Sept. 1982) Rita Simon & William Rau
  • Public Versus Statutory Choice of Heirs: A Study of Public Attitudes About Property Distribution at Death, 58 Social Forces 1263 (1980) Rita Simon & William Rau
  • The Case Against Living Probate, 78 Michigan Law Review 1066 (1980)
  • Public Attitudes About Property Distribution at Death and Intestate Succession Laws in the United States, 1978 American Bar Foundation Research Journal 319 (1978) Rita Simon & William Rau
  • Valuing Close Corporations for Federal Wealth Transfer Taxes: A Statutory Solution to the Disappearing Wealth Syndrome, 30 Stanford Law Review 895 (1978) William Painter
  • An Empirical Study of the Illinois Statutory Estate Plan, 1976 University of Illinois Law Forum 717 (1976) Rita Simon, Teal Snapp & William Snapp
  • Partnership Taxation: Confusion in Section 702(b), 32 Tax Law Review 67 (1976)

Book Chapters

  • AEthelgifu’s Will as Hagiography, in Writing Women Saints in Anglo-Saxon England 82 (University of Toronto Press, 2013)
  • Eighteenth-Century Moral Sentiments in Defense of the Twenty-First Century Estate Tax: What Adam Smith and Jane Austen Teach Us, in Beyond Economic Efficiency in United States Tax Law (David A. Brennen, Karen B. Brown & Darryll K. Jones, eds., Wolters Kluwer, 2013)
  • Violence, in A Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Studies 235 (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012)
  • Donative Promises Redux, in Property Law and Legal Education: Essays in Honor of John E. Cribbet 27 (Peter Hay & Michael H. Hoeflich, eds., University of Illinois Press, 1988)

Documents and Reports

  • Report on Reform of Federal Wealth Transfer Taxes (American Bar Association, 2004) (reporter), reprinted in 58 Tax Law Review 93 (2004)
  • Report on Reform of Federal Wealth Transfer Taxes, 58 Tax Lawyer 93 (2004) (Reporter, Task Force on Federal Wealth Transfer Taxes) Dennis L. Belcher & Chair

Editorials, Commentary & Letters

  • A Legislative Antidote for the Myths of Prostitution, 64 Hennepin Lawyer 5 (Jan.-Feb. 1995) Beverly Balos

Other Publications

  • Unbending Gender: Why Family and Work Conflict and What To Do About It, 49 American University Law Review 851 (2000) (panelist)
  • Olin Browder: The Scholar-Teacher, 81 Michigan Law Review 1713 (1983) (tribute)

Contact Information

University of Minnesota Law School

Walter F. Mondale Hall | 229 19th Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-625-5000

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