Visiting Professor Mae Kuykendall is teaching family law and a marriage theory seminar in the fall 2012 term. Prof. Kuykendall is a professor of law at Michigan State University, where she teaches constitutional law, mergers and acquisitions, and seminars on various subjects, including judicial biography, corporate law and policy, and constitutional structure. Her current scholarship focuses on issues relating to a marginal role of narrative in business law and the implicit role of cultural narrative in constitutional adjudication. Other interests include the role in certain institutions of votes of no confidence, under-examined possibilities for procedural innovation in family law, and the role federalism might play in moderating the culture war over marriage. A former regional director at the National Center for State Courts and social science researcher at the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Improvements in the Administration of Justice, she has interests broadly framed under the label, "mediating institutions in civil society." She has published op-ed pieces on these institutional issues in The New York Times and The Chronicle of Higher Education (in interview format) and an Issue Brief for the American Constitution Society.
Prof. Kuykendall has organized recent Michigan State Law Review symposia on business law and narrative and on the concept of e-marriage as a means of modernizing marriage procedure, posing a challenge to territoriality in marriage law, and supplying an analytic tool for examining state policy interests in conflicts of law rules applied to marriages. Her recent article (with Adam Candeub), "Modernizing Marriage," appeared in the Michigan Journal of Law Reform and was followed by her piece, "Equality Federalism," in the Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law. Prof. Kuykendall's article, "Resistance to Same-Sex Marriage as a Story about Language: Linguistic Failure and the Priority of a Living Language" (in the Harvard Civil Rights Civil Liberties Law Review), contributed an early identification of language about marriage as the critical cultural flash point. She served as senior associate dean for academic affairs at the Michigan State University College of Law and is president of the Michigan State University chapter of the American Association of University Professors.
After attending law school, Prof. Kuykendall clerked for the Hon. Joseph W. Hatchett on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. She then practiced law in New York City with the firm of Debevoise & Plimpton, where she primarily worked in private placements of insurance company funds.
Prof. Kuykendall received a PhD in political science, with highest honors, from the University of North Carolina. She received her JD, cum laude, from Harvard Law School.