Maxine Eichner

Print This Page (PDF) Reef C. Ivey II Professor of Law


  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2006)
  • M.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1997)
  • J.D., Yale University (1988)
  • B.A. (magna cum laude), Yale University (1984)

Maxine Eichner joined the faculty of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law in January 2003. Her teaching interests include sex equality, family law, legal theory and torts. She writes on issues at the intersection of law and political theory, focusing particularly on family relationships, social welfare law and policy; sex equality; and the relationship of the family, the workplace, and market forces.

Professor Eichner attended Yale College and Yale Law School, where she was an articles editor of the Yale Law Journal. After law school, she held a Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship through Georgetown Law School, clerked for Judge Louis Oberdorfer in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and then clerked for Judge Betty Fletcher in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She subsequently practiced civil rights, women's rights, and employment law for several years at the law firm of Patterson, Harkavy, and Lawrence in Raleigh, N.C. She then entered graduate school in the political science department at UNC, eventually earning a Ph.D. in political theory while on the law school's faculty. In the course of her Ph.D. study, she held a fellowship in public affairs at the Miller Center of the University of Virginia.

Professor Eichner is the author of The Supportive State: Families, Government, and America's Political Ideals (Oxford University Press, 2010). The book considers the role that government should play in dealing with families and the dependency issues that families face. She is also an editor of Family Law: Cases, Text, Problems (eds., Ellman, Kurtz, Weithorn, Bix, Czapanskiy, and Eichner, 2010). Currently, she is a Reporter for the Uniform Law Commission's Visitation and Custody Issues Affecting Military Personnel and Their Families Committee. In May, 2012, she won the Van Hecke-Wettach Award for scholarship from UNC School of Law for her book, The Supportive State.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Selected Publications

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  • The Family and the Market -- Redux, 13 THEORETICAL INQ. L. 97 (Rights and Obligations in the Contemporary Family: Retheorizing Individualism, Families and the State Symposium) (2012). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, SSRN, Hein]
  • FAMILY LAW:  CASES, TEXTS,  AND PROBLEMS, 5th ed. (with I. Ellman, P. Kurtz, L. Weithorn, B. Bix, and K. Czapansky) (Lexis Nexis 2010). [SSRN KF504 .E55 2010]
  • Feminism, Queer Theory, & Sexual Citizenship, in GENDER EQUALITY: DIMENSIONS OF WOMEN'S EQUAL CITIZENSHIP, (with J. Grossman and L. McClain) (Cambridge Press 2009). [SSRN KF478 .G46 2009]
  • Marriage and the Elephant: The Liberal Democratic State's Regulation of Intimate Relationships Between Adults, 30 HARV. J.L. & GENDER 25 (2007). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, SSRN, Hein, BEPress]
  • Who Should Control Children's Education?: Parents, Children, and the State. 75 U. CIN. L. REV. 1339 (2007). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, SSRN, Hein, BEPress]
  • Children, Parents, and the State: Rethinking Relationships in the Child Welfare System (symposium), 12 VA. J. SOC. POL'Y & L. 448 (2005). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, SSRN, Hein]
  • Dependency and the Liberal Polity: On Martha Fineman's The Autonomy Myth, 93 CAL. L. REV. 1285 (2005). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, SSRN, Hein, BEPress]
  • On Postmodernist Feminist Legal Theory, 36 HARV. C.R.-C.L. L. REV. 1 (2001). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, SSRN, Hein]
  • Square Peg in a Round Hole: Parenting Policies and Liberal Theory, 59 OHIO ST. L.J. 133 (1998). [Westlaw, Lexis/Nexis, SSRN, Hein]
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