Samantha Godwin, JD, LLM



I am a lawyer licensed to practice in the District of Columbia, a Resident Fellow at the Yale Law School Information Society Project, and Of Counsel at Talos Law in DC. I divide my time between legal scholarship and legal consulting and practice. I did much of my education in the United Kingdom and studied at Cambridge on a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. I have been employed as a research fellow at Georgetown University Law Center and I have worked as a teaching fellow at Yale, teaching sections on bioethics and health law.

Outside of work, I am interested in questions in political philosophy and applied ethics, independent films, and modern art. I play squash, enjoy electronica and love to travel as often as I can.


Yale Law School, LLM

Georgetown University Law Center, JD

University College London, MA Philosophy
University College London, BA Philosophy

Bar Admission

Washington DC

Selected Publications

Whither the “Improvement Standard”? Coverage for Severe Brain Injury after Jimmo v. Sebelius,  

44 Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 182 (2016). 

(co-authored with Joseph Fins, Megan Wright, Claudia Kraft, Alix Rogers, Marina Romani and Michael Ulrich)


Against Parental Rights,

47 Columbia Human Rights Law Review. 1, 1 (2015).

Bad Science Makes Bad Law, How The Deference Afforded to Psychiatry Undermines Civil Liberties,

10 Seattle Journal of Social Justice 647 (2012).


Social Construction of False Necessities and the Material Basis of Socio-Legal Power,

32 Pace Law Review 362 (2012).


Children’s Oppression, Rights and Liberation,

4 Northwestern. Interdisciplinary Law Review 247 (2011).

Selected Presentations

“Religion, Culture and Children’s Rights” Presented at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, (September 2016).


“Cultural Practices and Children’s Rights” Presented at the Third Annual Mid-Atlantic Law and Society Association meeting, New York City, (Oct. 10, 2015).


“Competence, Paternalism, and Dignity” Presented at the XXVII World Congress of the International Association for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (IVR) Washington, DC (July 31, 2015). 


“The Place of Autonomy Interests in Children’s Law” Presented at the Law and Society Association Annual Conference, Seattle, WA, (May 28-31st, 2015). • Paper also presented at the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities conference Washington, DC (Mar. 8, 2015).


“A Critique of Parental Rights” presented at the Law and Society Association Annual Conference, Minneapolis, MN, (May 30, 2014).  • Updated and expanded paper accepted for presentation at the Works In Progress seminar series, Yale Law School, New Haven, CT, April 2nd, 2015, under the title “Against Parental Rights.”

• Paper also presented at the Association for the study of Law, Culture and Humanities, Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, VA, (Mar. 10, 2014). • Paper also presented at the Cambridge Political Philosophy Workshop Cambridge, UK (Nov. 29, 2013).


“On Oppression’s Relationship to Identity” presented at the Law and Society Association Annual Conference, Boston, MA (Jun. 2, 2013). •Paper also presented at Advanced Legal Studies Seminar, Yale Law School, New Haven, CT, (Feb. 20, 2014). •Paper also presented at Georgetown Law Summer Workshop, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington DC, (Aug. 7, 2012).


“State Power and Legal Ownership: How Market Economies and Private Property Relate to Personal Freedom and Legal Coercion” paper presented at Freedom, Action, Politics, The Biannual Brennan Graduate Student Conference 2011, Loyola University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, (Sept. 10, 2011)

“Egalitarianism, Social Hierarchy, and Interpersonal Power” conference paper presented at Warwick Graduate Conference in Political Theory 2011, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK, (July 2nd, 2011).


“Bad Science Makes Bad Law, How the Deference Afforded to Psychiatry Undermines Civil Liberties” conference paper presented at 21st Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference, Sussex Law School, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK, (Apr. 14, 2011). 


“Finance Capital, Private Property Norms, and Injury Without Remedy,” conference paper presented at Critical Legal Conference 2009, Leicester School of Law, UK (Sept. 12, 2009).


“Legal and ethical issues arising from the epistemic status of mental diagnosis in children,” conference paper presented at the 21st Annual Meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Philosophy & Psychiatry. San Francisco, CA, (May 17, 2009).