David S. Clark

Maynard and Bertha Wilson Professor of Law, Director of the Certificate Program in International and Comparative Law

Professor Clark joined the Willamette faculty in January 2002 as the first incumbent of the Maynard and Bertha Wilson Professorship. Making good use of his fluency in several languages, Clark has taught in Europe, Latin America and East Asia. He has been a frequent scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg and has held the Alexander von Humboldt and Max Planck Society research fellowships. Clark previously taught at the universities of Colorado, Houston, Louisiana State and Tulsa. He was also the Max Kade Visiting Professor of Law at Bucerius Law School in Hamburg (2007 and 2002), Inns of Court Fellow at Inner Temple in London (2000), Fulbright Chair in Comparative Law at Trento University (1999), Wing Tat Lee Chair in International and Comparative Law at Loyola University Chicago (1996), and Dan Hopson Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at Southern Illinois University (1987).

Clark has published 12 books and more than 50 articles on comparative law, procedure, courts, and law and society, which track his teaching areas. His most recent books are Comparative Law: Historical Development of the Civil Law Tradition in Europe, Latin America, and East Asia (LexisNexis, co-author 2010), Encyclopedia of Law and Society: American and Global Perspectives (Sage, three volumes, editor 2007), The Organization of Lawyers and Judges (published separately in 2003 as part of the International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law), a second edition of Introduction to the Law of the United States (Kluwer, co-editor 2002), used widely in LLM programs in Europe and America, and the 300-entry Oxford Companion to American Law (co-editor 2002). He is now working on a new edition to the popular comparative law casebook, The Contemporary Civil Law Tradition: Europe, Latin America, and East Asia.

Since 1978 Clark has been active in the American Society of Comparative Law, the preeminent organization in its field. He served as its treasurer from 1989 to 1995, vice president from 1998 to 2002, president from 2002 to 2006, and honorary president from 2006 to 2008 as well as its delegate since 1995 to the American Council of Learned Societies (on whose board of directors he served from 1997 to 1999). He is a titular member of the International Academy of Comparative Law. In addition, Professor Clark is active in national legal education organizations. He was chairperson of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Comparative Law (1986 to 1987), the AALS Committee on Curriculum and Research (2001-2005), and its Special Committee on Faculty Recruitment Practices (2005-2008). He was also chairperson of the Law School Admission Council’s Grants Subcommittee and served on its Test Development and Research Committee.

Clark teaches Civil Procedure, Comparative Law, European Union Law, Anglo-American Legal History, and Conflict and Dispute Resolution. He also supervises Willamette’s semester abroad program for study at the Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany, and the Certificate Program in International and Comparative Law. Clark is a member of the California Bar.

The Maynard and Bertha Wilson Endowed Professorship was made possible by a generous bequest by Maynard Wilson, a 1940 graduate of the College of Law, and his wife Bertha of Cottage Grove, Oregon.


  • JSM, Stanford University
  • JD, Stanford University
  • AB, Stanford University