Donald C. Clarke

Portrait of Donald C. 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

"Trump Says the Shoplifting UCLA Players Faced 10 years in Jail. That's Wrong."

November 22, 2017

Donald C. Clarke is quoted in The Washington Post about the UCLA players who were caught shoplifting in China.

"LiAngelo Ball, Other UCLA Players Unlikely to Face Severe Punishment, Chinese Law Experts Say"

November 09, 2017

Donald C. Clarke is quoted in USA Today about the UCLA players who are being charged with allegedly shoplifting in China. 

"Chinese Exiled Lawyer Teng Biao, To Do the Darkness of the Lightning" (In Chinese)

August 01, 2017

Donald C. Clarke is quoted in The New York Times regarding Teng Biao and what can be done to focus international attention on China.

"In China, Homeowners Anxiously Wait for Government to Give Them Land Rights"

July 10, 2017

Donald Clarke is quoted in The Globe and Mail about the renewal of land-use leases in China. 

"Has China Restored Private Land Ownership?"

May 16, 2017

Donald C. Clarke writes in Foreign Affairs about the implications of a new policy on full private ownership of land in China's cities.