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Lois Weithorn

Professor of Law and Harry & Lillian Hastings Research Chair

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Lois A. Weithorn is a Professor of Law and the Harry & Lillian Hastings Research Chair. She joined the full-time UC Law SF faculty in 2001. She received the UC Law SF Foundation Faculty Scholarship Award in 2002, and the Rutter Award for Teaching Excellence in 2007. Professor Weithorn received her J.D. from Stanford Law School where she served as President of the Stanford Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. After graduating, she clerked for the Honorable Joseph T. Sneed III of the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit.

Professor Weithorn also has a Ph.D. in Psychology (University of Pittsburgh). Her work integrates perspectives in law and the behavioral and health sciences, with special emphasis on legal policies affecting family relationships or vulnerable or underserved groups such as children and persons with mental disorders. Professor Weithorn’s scholarship includes topics such as informed consent, health care decisionmaking capacity, and children’s participation in treatment decisions; legal responses to parental vaccine refusal; policies affecting youth crossing child welfare, juvenile justice and/or mental health system boundaries; developmental neuroscience and child protection policy reform; legal responses to children’s exposure to domestic violence; and intellectual disability and the death penalty. She also has served as a consultant to the Ethics and Policy Core at the Center for AIDS Prevention, UCSF Medical Center.

Prior to joining the faculty at UC Law SF, Professor Weithorn held positions at the University of Virginia (Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy and Department of Psychology). She served as a fellow at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, worked on federal mental health policy at the National Mental Health Association in Washington, D.C., and consulted with the Judicial Council of California and other agencies on child and family policy issues. Professor Weithorn also served on the Ethics Committee of the American Psychological Association and chaired several APA divisional committees relating to children and the law.


  • Stanford Law School
    J.D., Law

  • University of Pittsburgh
    Ph.D., Psychology

  • Hamilton (Kirkland) College
    B.A., Psychology


  • President (Editor-in-Chief)
    Served as President of the Stanford Law Review

  • Rutter Award for Teaching Excellence
    Awarded by University of California - Hastings College of the Law.

  • Faculty Scholarship Award
    Awarded by UC Law SF Foundation.


  • Children and the Law
  • Bioethics, Law, and Health Care Decisionmaking Seminar
  • Criminal Law
  • Family Law
  • Mental Health Law and Policy