Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Marie-Amélie George

Professor Marie-Amélie George went to law school to become an advocate for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. After spending time in court as a domestic violence prosecutor at the Miami State Attorney’s Office, Professor George realized she needed to approach the problem differently. She started asking herself: How could she prevent these cases from happening?

That led her from the courtroom to academia, where she has become a leading expert in LGBTQ+ civil rights and family law. She received her Ph.D. in history from Yale in 2018, and since then she has researched the history of LGBTQ+ rights in America. What sets her work apart is her use of original historical records, which she collects by traveling to archives around the country. As a result, she can tell the story of LGBTQ+ rights in a way that no one else can.

“Although many documents are accessible online these days, the pieces of information I am looking for are not being digitized,” says Professor George. “I am reviewing original documents, listening to audio recordings of speeches that no one wrote down, and watching videos of commercials and films that are otherwise impossible to access.” Professor George additionally interviews those who were involved in LGBTQ+ rights litigation and legislation to fill in the gaps in the historical record.

Thanks to her painstaking efforts to uncover LGBTQ+ legal history, Professor George has become a leading expert in LGBTQ+ rights. As of late, prominent news organizations like the Washington Post, The Skimm, and the Houston Chronicle have asked for her comments and opinions. She also recently led a Legal Workshop for Harvard Law School.

Professor George is a recognized thought leader. The UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute recently awarded her the Michael Cunningham Prize for her 2019 article entitled “Framing Trans Rights.” She also received the Emerging Scholar in Gender and Law Award from Pace University for “Exploring Identity,” which she published in 2021.

Professor George continues to promote Wake Forest Law’s mission of educating the public. She is currently writing a book, Becoming Equal: American Law and the Rise of the Gay Family, based on her research. It will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2024.

For more updates on Professor George’s research and media appearances, please follow Wake Forest Law on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. You may also follow Professor George directly on Twitter, where she often shares other research and articles related to LGBTQ+ rights, family law, and more.