Donald C. Clarke

Donald Clarke
David Weaver Research Professor of Law
2000 H Street, NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20052
[email protected]

Donald C. Clarke, a specialist in Chinese law, joined the law school faculty in spring 2005 after teaching at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle and the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, as well as practicing for three years at a major international firm with a large China practice. 

He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, and has published extensively in journals such as the China Quarterly and American Journal of Comparative Law on subjects ranging from Chinese criminal law and procedure to corporate governance. His recent research has focused on Chinese legal institutions and the legal issues presented by China’s economic reforms. 

In addition to his academic work on Chinese law, Professor Clarke founded and maintains Chinalaw (formerly Chinese Law Net), the leading Internet listserv on Chinese law, writes the Chinese Law Prof Blog, is a co-editor of Asian Law Abstracts on the Social Science Research Network, and has often served as an expert witness on matters of Chinese law. Professor Clarke also speaks and reads Japanese and has published translations of Japanese legal scholarship in Law in Japan. 

He is a member of the New York Bar and the Council on Foreign Relations.



BA, Princeton University; MSc, University of London; JD, Harvard University

In the News

"Xi Jinping: ‘President’ or ‘General Secretary’?"

October 13, 2022
Donald C. Clark’s blog post urging media to call Xi Jinping General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, instead of president, was cited in Politico’s China Watcher newsletter.

"View China's Xi as Party Leader, Not President, Scholars Say"

October 07, 2022
Donald C. Clarke’s recent essay criticizing Foreign Affairs, in both its editing and its translation of their article on Xi Jinping, was featured in an article on Voice of America news.

"US Law Firm Denounced for Joining Event to Mark Hong Kong Security Law"

May 20, 2022

Donald Clarke was quoted by the Financial Times regarding an event to commemorate the Hong Kong’s controversial national security law.

"Eileen Gu is the Poster Child for a New Type of Chinese Athlete. But One Wrong Move Could Send Her Tumbling"

February 07, 2022

Donald C. Clarke was quoted by CNN regarding China’s foreign-born athletes competing in the Olympics.

"Eileen Gu Doesn't Talk About Her Parents Much, But Her Mom Has Supported Her Olympic Dreams Since Day One"

February 07, 2022

Donald Clarke was cited by Women’s Health Magazine regarding the citizenship status of Eileen Gu.