Michael J. Higdon

Interim Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and W. Allen Separk Distinguished Professor of Law
Michael J. Higdon
Contact Information
Law 280
  • Constitutional Law
  • Family Law
  • Legal Writing & Rhetoric
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • and Estates

Michael J. Higdon

Interim Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and W. Allen Separk Distinguished Professor of Law

Professor Michael J. Higdon has been a member of the College of Law faculty since August 2009.  He teaches and writes in the areas of Constitutional Law; Sexuality, Gender and the Law; Wills & Trusts; and Family Law. His scholarship in these areas has been published in several journals, including the Duke Law Journal, the George Washington Law Review, the Iowa Law Review, the Alabama Law Review, the Indiana Law Journal, and the Fordham Law Review.

Higdon received the J.D. in 2001 from the University of Nevada, graduating first in his class and receiving the James E. Rogers Award for outstanding academic achievement. While in law school, he served as editor-in-chief of the Nevada Law Journal. After graduation, he clerked for Judge Procter Hug, Jr. of the U.S. Court of the Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Higdon has received the law school’s Harold C. Warner Outstanding Teacher Award, the Carden Award for Outstanding Service to the Institution, the W. Allen Separk Faculty Scholarship Award, the Marilyn V. Yarbrough Faculty Award for Writing Excellence, and the Carden Award for Outstanding Achievement in Scholarship.

He currently serves as the Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Prior to that, he served as the Associate Dean for Faculty Development for four years.  He has also served as Faculty Fellow in the Provost’s Office of Faculty Affairs, and he currently represents the University of Tennessee as one of its delegates in the SEC Academic Development Leadership Program.

  • Education & Experience
  • Publications

J.D. (summa cum laude) 2001, University of Nevada, William S. Boyd School of Law

M.A., 1997, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

B.A., 1995, Erskine College


Wills, Trusts, And Estates: An Integrated Approach (Foundation Press 2d.ed., 2021) (with Danaya C. Wright & Bridget J. Crawford).


Common Law Divorce, 74 Alabama Law Review 365 (2022)

LGBTQ Youth and the Promise of the Kennedy Quartet, 43 Cardozo Law Review 2385 (2022)

If You Grant It, They Will Come: The History and Enduring Legal Legacy of Migratory Divorce, 2022 Utah Law Review 2095

(In)Formal Marriage Equality, 89 Fordham Law Review 1351 (2021)

Parens Patriae and the Disinherited Child, 95 Washington Law Review 619 (2020)

While They Waited:  Pre-Obergefell Lives and the Law of Nonmarriage, 129 Yale Law Journal Forum 1 (2019)

The Quasi-Parent Conundrum, 90 University of Colorado Law Review 941 (2019)

Biological Citizenship and the Children of Same-Sex Marriage, 87 George Washington Law Review 124 (2019)

Constitutional Parenthood, 103 Iowa Law Review 1483 (2018)

Polygamous Marriage, Monogamous Divorce, 67 Duke Law Journal 79 (2017)

State Misdemeanant, Federal Felon: Adolescent Sexual Offenders and the INA, 2017 University of Illinois Law Review 963

Social Science Research Network (SSRN)

Full list of SSRN scholarly papers