Welcome 2020-2021 LAPA Fellows

The Program in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) at Princeton University is pleased to announce its fellows for the 2020-2021 academic year:

  • Donald C. Clarke, Professor of Law and David A. Weaver Research Professor, George Washington University

  • Deborah Dinner, Associate Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law

  • Sionaidh S. Douglas-Scott, Anniversary Chair in Law at Queen Mary University of London

  • Kimani Paul-Emile, Professor of Law, Fordham Law School

  • Shitong Qiao, Associate Professor, The University of Hong Kong

  • Robert Spoo, Chapman Distinguished Chair in Law, The University of Tulsa College of Law

Each class of LAPA fellows brings to Princeton expertise and experience in law and related subjects.  The fellows spend the academic year working on their own research projects, participating in law-related programs, and engaging with faculty and students.  Each fellow will give a public seminar, and additionally, some of our fellows teach in undergraduate or graduate academic departments or centers. LAPA fellows are selected in a competitive process from a large interdisciplinary and international applicant pool.


Donald Clarke is a specialist in the law of the People’s Republic of China, focusing particularly on corporate governance, Chinese legal institutions, and the legal issues presented by China’s economic reforms. In addition to his academic work, he founded and maintains Chinalaw, the leading internet listserv on Chinese law, writes The China Collection blog, and is a co-editor of Asian Law Abstracts on the Social Science Research Network. He has also served as an expert witness on Chinese law matters in a number of legal cases, and has advised organizations such as the Asian Development Bank, the Agency for International Development, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Public Company Accounting and Oversight Board, and the Department of Justice. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Prior to his current position, he was on the faculty of the School of Oriental & African Studies of the University of London and the University of Washington School of Law.  He has been a visiting professor at New York University Law School, UCLA School of Law, and Duke Law School. Professor Clarke holds an A.B. degree from Princeton University, an M.Sc. degree from the School of Oriental & African Studies of the University of London, and a J.D. degree from Harvard. While at LAPA, he will work on a book project examining the interaction between the Chinese and American legal systems, and the ways in which the U.S. legal system does and should treat the outputs of the Chinese legal system.


Deborah Dinner is a legal and intellectual historian of work, gender, capitalism, and the welfare state in the twentieth-century United States. Her scholarship analyzes the interaction between social movements, legal and economic thought, political culture, and legal change. She is the author of The Sex Equality Dilemma: Work, Family, and Legal Change in Neoliberal (forthcoming 2021). She has published numerous articles exploring feminist legal activism, masculinity and divorce law, and the relationship between antidiscrimination law and protective labor standards. Her teaching interests include employment discrimination, employment law, family law, legal history, and property. She received her J.D. and Ph.D. in History from Yale University and clerked for Judge Karen Nelson Moore of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. At LAPA, she will work on her current book project, A Nation at Risk: Private Insurance and the Law in Modern America. This project examines how ideas about gender, race, and ethnicity shaped insurance practices, the tension between antidiscrimination principles and actuarial logic, and the role of private insurance in social welfare provisioning.


Sionaidh Douglas-Scott specializes in constitutional law, human rights, and legal theory, often looking to historical and comparative perspectives to inform her work. Her work also has clear, practical dimensions informing her active participation in the debates over Brexit. She was twice special legal advisor to the Scottish Parliament (then) European Relations committee inquiry into ‘Brexit and its consequences.’   She is the author of Law After Modernity (2013), which, unusually, for a work of legal theory, is illustrated with various images and artistic works. She has also written about Brexit and images.  Prior to her current position, Douglas-Scott was Professor of European and Human Rights Law at Oxford University. She has held visiting posts and delivered many lectures at various institutions in Europe and the U.S., including Georgetown Law School, Columbia University, Southern Methodist University, and the University of Bonn, where she was visiting Jean Monnet Professor.  From 2015-2018, she was co-director of the Queen Mary Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context, which is a home for multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research into the global dimensions of law and society. Originally from Edinburgh, Professor Douglas-Scott studied philosophy and art history before earning law degrees from City, University of London, and London School of Economics and Political Science.  She is currently researching Brexit in the context of historical transfers of legal sovereignty, most notably Great Britain’s loss of the North American colonies in the 18th century.


Kimani Paul-Emile specializes in the areas of law and biomedical ethics, health law, antidiscrimination law, and race and the law. At Fordham, she also serves Associate Director and Head of Domestic Programs and Initiatives at the Center on Race, Law and Justice, and as faculty co-director of its Stein Center for Law and Ethics.  Professor Paul-Emile’s scholarship has been published widely in leading law reviews as well as in the New England Journal of Medicine and covered by national and international news outlets. For her article, “Blackness as Disability,” she received the Law and Society Association’s 2019 John Hope Franklin Prize, awarded for exceptional scholarship in the field of Race, Racism and the Law.”  Professor Paul-Emile served as associate counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law and practiced civil rights law at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where she was a National Association for Public Interest Law (now Equal Justice Works) Fellow and later the William Moses Kunstler Fellow for Racial Justice. She also served as Senior Faculty Development Consultant at the New York University Center for Teaching Excellence.  Professor Paul-Emile holds an A.B. degree in Political Science and American Civilization, with honors, from Brown University, a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and a Ph.D. in American Studies from New York University.  At LAPA, she will be working on a book project that examines how lawmakers are able to regulate drugs differently irrespective of the dangers the drugs may pose and independent of their health effects, and the process followed to achieve this phenomenon.


Shitong Qiao is an expert on property and urban law with a focus on comparative law and China. At the University of Hong Kong, he teaches comparative property law, law of cities, law and development, and Chinese law, and has won multiple research prizes and grants. In the past fifteen years, he has conducted extensive fieldwork in multiple settings ranging from rural villages, urban villages, to urban middle-class residential neighborhoods in China, exploring the interplay of law, social norms, and the government’s role in these contexts. His first monograph, Chinese Small Property: The Co-Evolution of Law and Social Norms (2017), won the inaugural Masahiko Aoki Award for Economic Paper from Tsinghua University and was reviewed in leading international and Asian law journals. He has published numerous journal articles and book chapters. His research has been frequently cited by property and urban law theorists, scholars of China studies, and Chinese policy-makers and Supreme People’s Court justices, and has been covered by leading Chinese and English media. In Spring 2020, Professor Qiao was the Jerome A. Cohen Visiting Professor of Law at New York University Law School, which he previously served as Global Associate Professor of Law in 2017. He has also held visiting positions at Duke Law School and Peking University School of Transnational Law.  He received his L.L.B. and M.Phil from Wuhuan University and Peking University, respectively, and a J.S.D. from Yale Law School. At LAPA, he will be working on his monograph, The Authoritarian Commons: Neighborhood Democratization in Urban China, which explores whether a liberal commons can emerge in an authoritarian state.


Robert Spoo’s research combines legal and literary perspectives at the intersection of copyright law, authorship, publishing history, informal norms, and theories of the public domain. Formerly an English professor and editor of the James Joyce Quarterly, Professor Spoo was drawn to the law in part because of the obstructive role that copyright holders can play in relation to creativity and scholarship. He was a member of the legal team that sued the James Joyce estate for its misuse of copyrights and its bullying of a literature scholar in Shloss v. Sweeney. Much of his published work focuses on the role of informal norms in publishing and authorship and the ways in which such norms have historically been employed to imitate copyrights in markets lacking formal legal protections. In addition to books and editions on James Joyce, Ezra Pound, and other modern authors, Professor Spoo recently published Without Copyrights: Piracy, Publishing, and the Public Domain (2013), a study of copyright-like norms in nineteenth- and twentieth-century publishing, and Modernism and the Law (2018), a survey of modern literature and the legal regimes of obscenity, defamation, copyright, privacy, and publicity. The latter book was written with the support of a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship. Professor Spoo holds a B.A. in English from Lawrence University, a Ph.D. in English from Princeton University, and a J.D. from the Yale Law School.  After law school, he clerked for the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor when she was a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and practiced law with major firms in New York, San Francisco, and Tulsa. At LAPA, his project will explore the “courtesy” norms that nineteenth-century American publishers fashioned to fill the U.S. copyright vacuum for foreign authors’ works.