Contact: Elizabeth Coplan
University of Washington School of Law



Professor Peter Nicolas appointed Adjunct for the Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies department

Professor Peter Nicolas was appointed an Adjunct for the Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies (GWSS) Department last month. Selected for his years of scholarship concerning sexual orientation and the law, Nicolas hopes to strengthen the ties and increase “cross-pollination” between the law school and GWSS.

“Ideally, I’d like to see more of [GWSS] students taking our courses and vice-versa,” he said. “There are a number of law school courses in the sexuality and queer studies certificate program that is a multi-department initiative.”

Nicolas helped establish the joint certificate program in sexuality and queer studies between the law school and GWSS in the last few years. He has also written prolifically on the subject. His recent works include, “The Lavender Letter: Applying the Law of Adultery to Same-Sex Couples and Same-Sex Conduct,” “Common Law Same-Sex Marriage,” and The Geography of Love: Same-Sex Marriage & Relationship Recognition in America, and he is the author of a textbook to be released later this year entitled Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and the Constitution. He is often quoted on matters of same-sex marriage and legislation regarding sexual minorities in local and national publications, such as The Seattle Times, KUOW radio and The Chicago Tribune.

Nicolas graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1999, having served as a Notes Editor for the Harvard Law Review. Even then, his areas of interest included constitutional law and sexual orientation law. He joined the UW Law faculty in 2000 as an assistant professor and has advanced to a Jeffrey and Susan Brotman Professor of Law position since then. Nicolas also served as the Associate Dean for Academic Administration from 2008 to 2010.

With ample expertise on both the law school and sexual orientation law, Nicolas’ appointment will be a great asset to the GWSS Department.

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