Dwight Duncan


Dwight Duncan


Law School / Faculty




UMass School of Law 221


Pontifical University of the Holy CrossJCD
Pontifical University of the Holy CrossJCL
Georgetown University Law Center JD
Harvard CollegeAB


  • Constitutional Law
  • Legal Ethics
  • Religion and the Law
  • Bioethics


Research interests

  • Legal history
  • Legal philosophy

Professional background

Professor Duncan is an honors graduate of Georgetown University Law Center. A native Washingtonian, he practiced law there with the telephone company, now part of Verizon. 

Professor Duncan has written articles on legal, moral, and religious issues. He has argued several cases before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the Appeals Court and has written briefs for the U.S. Supreme Court.

He is a member of the Massachusetts and Washington, DC bars, the Board of Directors of the Pro-Life Legal Defense Fund, and serves on the Board of Advisors of Massachusetts Citizens for Life. 

Additionally, he has participated in a number of high profile cases:

McGuire v. Reilly, First Circuit (2001) (buffer zone law appeal) (brief)

Stenberg v. Carhart, U.S. Supreme Court (2000) (partial-birth abortion) (amicus brief)

Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, U.S. Supreme Court (2000) (amicus brief)


Principal author of Supreme Court Briefs on the prevailing side in Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Group of Boston, 515 U.S. 557 (1995),  the St. Patrick’s Day Parade case decided unanimously in 1995 

Parading the First Amendment Through the Streets of South Boston, 30 New Eng. L. Rev. 663 (1996) 

The Federal Marriage Amendment and Rule by Judges, 27 Harv. J. L. & Pub. Pol’y 543 (2004)

The Use and Abuse of History in Compassion in Dying, 20 Harv. J. L. & Pub. Pol’y 175 (1996) (with Peter Lubin)

Follow the Footnote, or the Advocates as Historian of Same-Sex Marriage, 47 Cath. Univ. L. Rev. 1271 (1998) (with Peter Lubin)

Participant in Symposium: Should the Government Recognize Same-Sex Marriage, 7 U. Chi. L. School Roundtable 1 (2000)

On the Use and Abuse of Double Effect, 1 Nat’l Cath. Bioethics Qtrly 321 (2001)

Book review of K. Woodward’s Making Saints in 3 Ius Ecclesiae 735 (1991)

Book review of Ronald Dworkin’s Life’s Dominion in Catholic World Report, May 1994, at 56

Book review of Garry Wills’ Papal Sins in Catholic World Report, October 2000, at 62

Case note Roe v. Wade Goes Suicidal in Catholic World Report, May, 1996, at 42

Case note Lowering the Wall of Separation between Church and State in the United States, in 10 Ius Ecclesiae 275 (1998)

Foreword to From Trial Court To The United States Supreme Court: Anatomy Of A Free Speech Case by Paul J. Walkowski & William M. Connolly, Boston: Branden Publishing Co., 1996 at vii.