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Barbara J. Cox

Barbara J. Cox

Professor of Law Emeritus

Faculty Emeriti


California Western's associate dean for academic affairs from 1997-2001 and vice dean from 2015-2017, Professor Cox is a national authority on sexual orientation and the law, and women and the law. She has written numerous articles on interstate recognition of marriage and civil unions of same-sex couples. As a commissioner on the Madison Equal Opportunities Commission in Wisconsin, Professor Cox helped draft one of the earliest domestic partnership ordinances in the country. She has published articles on obtaining recognition for alternative families in journals such as the National Journal of Sexual Orientation Law and the Southern California Review of Law and Women's Studies.

Cox is past chair of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Section on Women and the Law and the AALS Section on Gay and Lesbian Issues, and former deputy director of the AALS. She chairs the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the national Freedom to Marry organization, and completed six years on ABA Accreditation Committee in June 2011.

  • J.D. University of Wisconsin [cum laude]
  • B.A. Michigan State University [cum laude, political philosophy]
  • Civil Procedure I & II
  • Property II
  • Comparative Issues in Gender
  • Family & Sexuality
  • Women and the Law


  • Mary Bernard Ray & Barbara J. Cox, Beyond the Basics: A Textbook for Advanced Legal Writing (3d ed. West 2012).
  • Mary Bernard Ray & Barbara J. Cox, Teacher’s Manual for Beyond the Basics: A Textbook for Advanced Legal Writing (3d ed. West 2012).

Book Chapters

  • Barbara J. Cox, Same-Sex Couples Seek Federal Benefits and Interstate Recognition of Their Relationships, in The International Survey of Family Law: 2010 Edition 401 (Bill Atkin ed., 2010).
  • Barbara J. Cox, My Life-long Commitment to Equal Justice and Civil Rights, in It’s Harder in Heels: Essays by Women Lawyers Achieving Work-Life Balance 103 (Jacquelyn Hersh Slotkin & Samantha Slotkin Goodman eds. 2007).

Law Review Articles

  • Barbara J. Cox, Marriage Equality is Both Feminist and Progressive, 17 Rich. J.L. & Pub. Int. (2014).
  • Barbara J. Cox, “The Tyranny of the Majority is No Myth”: Its Dangers for Legally Married Same-Sex Couples, Symposium Issue on “Minority Rights and Majority Rule: The Arguments and Policies behind the Proposed 2012 Minnesota Constitutional Amendments and the Danger or Myth of the Tyrannical Majority,” 34 Hamline J. Pub. Law & Pol’y 247 (2013).
  • Barbara J. Cox, The Gendered Aspects of Social Justice Work and Occupational Segregation in the Legal Academy: A Review of 2003, 80 UMKC L. Rev. 787 (2012).
  • Barbara J. Cox, Why Appellate Courts Have Rejected the Argument that the Defense of Marriage Act Trumps the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, 41 Cal. W. Int’l L.J. 189 (2010) (article prepared as co-convenor of symposium jointly sponsored by California Western School of Law and Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School).
  • Barbara J. Cox, “A Painful Process of Waiting”: The New York, Washington, New Jersey, and Maryland Dissenting Justices Understand that “Same-Sex Marriage” is Not What Same-Sex Couples Are Seeking, 45 Cal. W. L. Rev. 139 (2008).

Book Reviews, Lawyering Publications, and other Publications

  • Mark Walker, Legal Experts Weigh in on Same-Sex Marriage Hearings, San Diego Union-Tribune (March 27, 2013, 8:27 PM) (commentary regarding recent Supreme Court decision provided by Barbara J. Cox).
  • Barbara J. Cox, Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston, 515 US 557 (1995), in Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States (David Tanenhaus ed. 2009).
  • Barbara J. Cox, Clara Shortridge Foltz Professorship Acceptance, 39 Cal. W. Int’l L.J. 371 (2009).
  • Barbara J. Cox, Equal Rights are Now Promised Every Californian, San Diego Union-Tribune (May 16, 2008), (discussing the California Supreme Court’s In Re Marriage Cases opinion).
  • Barbara J. Cox, Some Ruminations about Marriage Equality and the Four Recent Supreme Court Cases (Tom Homann Law Association, San Diego, CA) Spring 2008, at 3-4.
  • Barbara J. Cox, 1 Sexuality Research & Social Pol‘y J.106 (2008) (reviewing Andrew Koppelman, Same Sex, Different States: When Same-Sex Marriages Cross State Lines (2006)).
  • Barbara J. Cox, The 40th Anniversary of Loving v. Virginia: Its Enduring Vitality, L.A. Daily J. (June 12, 2007) (reprinted in Res Ipsa, Mar. 2008).