Susan Frelich Appleton

Lemma Barkeloo & Phoebe Couzins Professor of Law


A.B., 1970, Vassar College
J.D., 1973, University of California - Berkeley

Curriculum Vitae







Sherrie Malone- (314) 935-5989

Phone / Email

Phone: (314) 935-6449
Email: appleton@wulaw.wustl.edu  


Anheuser-Busch Hall, Room 576

Courses Taught

Adoption & Assisted Reproduction
Criminal Law
Conflict of Laws
Family Law
Gender, Sex, and Law (seminar)
Regulating Sex (interdisciplinary seminar)
Reproductive Control


Professor Susan Frelich Appleton is a nationally known expert in family law. Her research, scholarship, and writings address such legal issues as adoption, assisted reproduction, gender and parentage, surrogacy, and abortion rights. She has co-authored a family law casebook, now in its fifth edition, as well as a casebook on adoption and assisted reproduction, and she has published extensively on family law matters in law reviews. A member of the American Law Institute (ALI), she sits on the ALI Council and serves as an adviser to the Model Penal Code: Sexual Assault project. Previously, Professor Appleton held the office of Secretary of ALI (2004-13) and sat on the Board of Directors of the American Bar Foundation (2004-14). She has also served as an adviser to the ALI’s Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution and worked as consultant to the New Jersey Bioethics Commission, assisting that agency in its recommendations for laws addressing “surrogate-mother” arrangements. Professor Appleton is a recipient of the law school’s Triennial Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award and Washington University’s Distinguished Faculty Award. She was the John S. Lehmann Research Professor in 2009–10 and held the Israel Treiman Faculty Fellowship during 2012-13. She is a prolific speaker and panelist on topics that include gender, parentage, reproductive rights, child custody, and non-traditional families at workshops, conferences, and other venues, including UC Davis Law School, where she delivered the Brigitte Bodenheimer Lecture on Family Law in March 2013. At the law school, she served as vice dean (2013-14) and associate dean of faculty (1998-2003). In 2010-12, she served as Washington University’s first Ombuds, facilitating the informal resolution or management of faculty-related conflicts or concerns on the Danforth Campus. Before becoming a law professor, she clerked for law school alumnus, the Hon. William H. Webster, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.