Mary Kay

Emerita Dean and Chancellor and Distinguished Professor of Law


Professor Mary Kay Kane was born and raised in Detroit. She attended the University of Michigan where she received a B.A. degree in English and a J.D. in law in 1971. Upon graduation from law school, she became co-director of a national science foundation project on privacy and social science research data, spending one year at the University of Michigan and two years at Harvard Law School working on that project.

She began teaching in 1974 at the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School and came to Hastings in 1977. She served as Associate Academic Dean from 1980-82, as Acting Academic Dean during the 1987-88 academic year, as Academic Dean from 1990-93, and as Dean from 1993-2006, and as Chancellor from 2000-2006. She has been a visiting professor at the University of Michigan, the University of Texas at Austin, and Boalt Hall.

Professor Kane’s major area of interest is civil procedure. She has written several articles and books in that field, including a Nutshell on Civil Procedure, the seventh edition of which was published in 2012. She also co-authored a Hornbook on Civil Procedure, whose fifth edition was published in 2015, a Hornbook on the Law of Federal Courts, whose seventh edition was published in 2011, as well as the third and fourth editions of fourteen volumes of the national treatise, Federal Practice and Procedure. She also served as the Co-Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Complex Litigation Project, developing proposals for handling multiparty, multiforum disputes in the federal and state courts.

In 2001, Professor Kane served as the President of the Association of American Law Schools. She currently is a member of the Council of the American Law Institute. She also served as a member of the Standing Committee on Practice and Procedure of the United States Judicial Conference from 2000-2006, and as a member of the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar from 2004-2010.


  1. University of Michigan

    J.D., Law

  2. University of Michigan

    B.A., English

Selected Scholarship

  1. The Exercise of Jurisdiction Over and Enforcement of Judgments Against Alien Defendants 01/1988

    Hastings Law Journal

  2. Of Carrots and Sticks: Evaluating the Role of the Class Action Lawyer 01/1987

    Texas Law Review

  3. Suing Foreign Sovereigns: A Procedural Compass 01/1982

    Stanford Law Review

  4. Civil Jury Trial: The Case for Reasoned Iconoclasm 01/1976

    Hsatings Law Journal

  5. Standing, Mootness, and Federal Rule 23 - Balancing Perspectives 01/1976

    Buffalo Law Review