Robert T. Danforth John Lucian Smith, Jr. Memorial Professor of Law

Phone: 540-458-8524


Office: 461 Lewis Hall 

SSRN  •  CV  •  Scholarly Commons  •  High Res Photo

Area of Expertise

Tax, Trusts and Estates, Estate Planning


BA, 1980, Washington University

JD, 1986, Duke University


Admitted to practice in District of Columbia, North Carolina, and Virginia; summer associate, Arnold & Porter, Washington, D.C., Summer 1985; summer associate, Hunton & Williams, Raleigh, N.C., and King & Spalding, Atlanta, Summer 1986; law clerk to Judge Stephanie K. Seymour, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, 1986-87; Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Tulsa College of Law, Fall 1986; associate, Arnold & Porter, Washington, D.C., 1987-91; associate, 1992-97, Of Counsel, 1997, McGuire, Woods, Battle & Boothe, L.L.P., Charlottesville and Tysons Corner, Va.; Lecturer, University of Virginia School of Law, 1995-97; Assistant Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University, 1997-2002; Associate Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University, 2002-2006; Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University, 2006 - ; Visiting Professor of Law, College of William & Mary, 2004; Law Alumni Association Fellow in Teaching Excellence, Washington & Lee University, 2004-2005; Alumni Faculty Fellow, 2005-2006; Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, 2007-2012; John Lucian Smith Jr. Memorial Professor of Law, 2017- ; Assistant Dean for Finance and Administration, 2019-22.

Recent Publications

Estate and Gift Taxation (Carolina Academic Press 3d ed. 2019) (including teacher's manual) (with Brant J. Hellwig)

Understanding Estate and Gift Taxation (Carolina Academic Press 2d ed. 2019) (with Brant J. Hellwig)    

Grantor Trusts: (Sections 671-679), Tax Management Portfolio No. 819-2nd (Bloomberg BNA 2017) (with Howard M. Zaritsky)  

Revocable Inter Vivos Trusts, Tax Management Portfolio No. 860-2nd (Bloomberg BNA 2018) (with Howard M. Zaritsky)  

Taxation of Jointly Owned Property, Tax Management Portfolio No. 823-3rd (Bloomberg BNA 2013)  

Federal Income Taxation of Trusts and Estates (Carolina Academic Press 4th ed. 2018) (including annual cumulative supplements and teacher's manual) (with Mark L. Ascher)  

Federal Income Taxation of Estates and Trusts (Thomson Reuters 3d ed. 2001) (including semi-annual cumulative supplements) (with Howard M. Zaritsky and Norman H. Lane)

- See Prof. Danforth's full list of publications at his Scholarly Commons page.