Doriane Lambelet Coleman

Professor of Law


Doriane Coleman is a Professor of Law at Duke Law School, where she specializes in teaching and scholarship related to children and the law. Her scholarship has focused on the relationship between parents and the state and decision making for the child in the context of that relationship, and on cultural conflicts between traditional parenting practices and American legal norms. Coleman’s published work in these areas includes a book entitled Fixing Columbine: The Challenge of American Liberalism (2002), and law review articles including Storming the Castle to Save the Children: The Ironic Costs of a Child Welfare Exception to the Fourth Amendment, 47 William & Mary Law Review 413 (2005); Culture, Cloaked in Mens Rea in The South Atlantic Quarterly (2002); The Seattle Compromise: Multicultural Sensitivity and Americanization, 47 Duke Law Journal 717 (1998); and Individualizing Justice Through Multiculturalism: The Liberals' Dilemma, 96 Columbia Law Review 1093 (1996).

In the past few years, Coleman’s work has become increasingly interdisciplinary. This new focus has been fostered by her affiliations with Duke University’s Center for Child and Family Policy and Duke’s Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities and the History of Medicine. Based in these affiliations, her most recent projects include book chapters entitled Innovations in Child Maltreatment Prevention: Resolving the Tension Between Effective Assistance and Violations of Privacy(2008), and The Role of the Law in Relationships within Immigrant Families: Traditional Parenting Practices in Conflict with American Concepts of Maltreatment(2007); and law review articles entitled The Case for Legal Regulation of Physicians’ Off-Label Prescribing (with P. M. Rosoff), 86 Notre Dame Law Review ___ (2011); How to Draw the Line Between Reasonable Corporal Punishment and Abuse (with K. A. Dodge and S. K. Campbell), 73 Law and Contemporary Problems 107 (2010); and The Legal Ethics of Pediatric Research, 57 Duke Law Journal 517 (2007).

Her current projects include collaborations with relevant scholars on the use of healthy minors as organ donors for their ill siblings; the issues raised by intersex athletes for elite international sport; and the implications of developments in neuroscience for tort law.

Coleman received her Juris Doctor degree from the Georgetown University Law Center (1988), where she was an associate editor on the Georgetown Law Journal. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University (1982) with Distinction in All Subjects. Coleman practiced law for the Washington, D.C. firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now Wilmer Hale), from 1988 to 1991. In her previous life (as Doriane Lambelet) Coleman also competed internationally over 800 meters. She was the U.S. National Collegiate Indoor Champion in 1982 and the Swiss National Champion in 1982 and 1983. In 1979, she ran the world’s fastest time over 600 yards indoors.