Faculty Affiliate


Carliss Chatman is an Associate Professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law specializing in the fields of corporate law, commercial law, ethics, and civil procedure. Professor Chatman brings 11 years of legal practice as a commercial litigation attorney in Houston, Texas working in complex commercial litigation, mass tort litigation and the representation of small and start-up businesses in the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and lends it to a common sense approach to her teaching and scholarship, bringing practical experience to all of her classes, and making complex legal concepts within reach for students of all backgrounds. In practice, she focused on trial law, appeals and arbitration in pharmaceutical, healthcare, mass torts, product liability, as well as oil, gas and mineral law. In addition to negotiating settlements and obtaining successful verdicts, Professor Chatman has also analyzed and drafted position statements regarding the constitutionality of statutes and the impact of statutory revisions for presentation to the Texas Legislature. In addition to her more traditional scholarship, Professor Chatman writes for broader audiences in publications including: Slate, Time Magazine, CNN Online, TheGrio, Barron’s, and the Washington Post, with features in press pieces on Forbes and in the New York Times, and with media appearances on CBS News and CBS Radio, Propublica, Reuters, and NHK. She has produced panels and her podcast, Getting Common is available on Spotify, Apple Music and replays via Voice America online radio. 

Professor Chatman reimagines and reframes thinking on corporations and contract law considering the racialized and gendered impact of business decisions and the limits on the freedom to contract experienced by marginalized groups, with a focus on how both structure and culture combine with systemic legal norms to create inequalities and injustice. She also connects understanding of how to identify and pursue viable solutions to address these inequalities through the open comprehension of legal personhood, corporate governance, and legal ethics.

Professor Chatman is a 2004 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, where she was a member of the Texas Journal of Women and the Law, and served on the Student Recruitment and Orientation Committee. She received her bachelor’s degree in 2001 from Duke University with honors in English.