Carliss Chatman Associate Professor of Law

Phone: 540-458-5352


Office: 469 Lewis Hall 

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Area of Expertise

Corporate Law, Contracts, Professional Responsibility  


JD, University of Texas School of Law

BA, Duke University


Professor Chatman teaches an array of business law, commercial law, and ethics classes including: Contracts and Sales and Leases; Agency and Unincorporated Entities, Corporations, Business Associations, and Securities Regulation; Professional Responsibility; and a Transactional Skills Simulation course with a Mergers and Acquisitions focus that incorporates corporate law and UCC Article 9. Her scholarship interests are in the fields of corporate law, ethics, and civil procedure. Her scholarship is largely influenced by 11 years of legal practice in complex commercial litigation, mass tort litigation and the representation of small and start-up businesses in the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As a result, her scholarship is intersectional with a focus on issues at the heart of commercial litigation: the interplay of business entities, government and natural persons.

Professor Chatman's work is also influenced by over two decades of service on non-profit boards and involvement with community organizations. Through leadership positions, she has developed expertise in corporate governance and non-profit regulation. She has also been instrumental in strategic planning and fundraising efforts. Professor Chatman has actively advocated on behalf of non-profit organizations at state and federal legislatures.  

Prior to law teaching, Professor Chatman was a commercial litigation attorney in Houston, Texas. In practice, she focused on trial law, appeals and arbitration in pharmaceutical, healthcare, mass torts, product liability, as well as oil, gas and mineral law. In addition to negotiating settlements and obtaining successful verdicts, Professor Chatman has also analyzed and drafted position statements regarding the constitutionality of statutes and the impact of statutory revisions for presentation to the Texas Legislature.  

Professor Chatman is a 2004 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, where she was a member of the Texas Journal of Women and the Law, and served on the Student Recruitment and Orientation Committee. She received her bachelor's degree in 2001 from Duke University with honors in English.

Recent Publications

"We Shouldn't Need Roe," UCLA Journal of Gender & Law (2022)

"The Soft-Shoe and Shuffle of Law School Hiring Committee Practices" (with Najarian R. Peters) UCLA Law Review Discourse (2021)

"Corporate Family Matters," UC Irvine Law Review (2021)

"The Trump Administration Should Have Attorney Whistleblowers," SMU Law Review Forum (2020)

"If a Fetus Is a Person, It Should Get Child Support, Due Process, and Citizenship," Washington and Lee Law Review Online (2020)

"The Myth of the Attorney Whistleblower," SMU Law Review (2019).

"The Corporate Personhood Two-Step," Nevada Law Journal (2018)