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Elaine Waterhouse Wilson

Professor Elaine Wilson

Professor of Law


  • 2016-17 WVU College of Law Faculty Significant Scholarship Award
  • 2015 WVU Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching
  • 2014-15 WVU College of Law Faculty Significant Scholarship Award
  • 2014 WVU College of Law Professor of the Year


B.A., Boston University
J.D., Boston University


Professor Elaine Waterhouse Wilson joined the faculty of the WVU College of Law in 2012, was granted tenure and promoted to full Professor of Law in July 2017, and served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from June 2018 to July 2023. 

Professor Wilson heads the College’s tax and estate planning law curriculum, teaching federal income tax, taxation of business entities, estate and gift taxation, and nonprofit organizations. In addition, she has taught the first-year course in contracts, estate planning, and trust and estates.

In 2014, the graduating class elected Professor Wilson their Professor of the Year. She is also a two-time recipient of the Faculty Significant Scholarship Award and a recipient of the WVU Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award.  She is the author of numerous publications on charitable organizations and nonprofit issues, including BNA Tax Management Portfolio 472, Private Foundations-Distributions (Section 4942). She regularly speaks on tax, nonprofit, and estate planning issues in West Virginia and around the country.

After graduating from Boston University’s Six-Year Law Program in 1993, she began her career as an associate in the Estates & Personal Department at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City. She then moved to Barnes & Thornburg in Indianapolis, where she made partner in 2002. In 2007, she joined the Chicago office of Quarles & Brady as a partner in the Tax-Exempt Organizations Group.

Professor Wilson is a former chair of the American Bar Association’s Charitable Planning and Exempt Organization Group of the Real Property, Trust and Estate Section, and the current President and member of the Board of Directors of the West Virginia Tax Institute. 

Publications, Research, and Intellectual Contributions

  • Cooperatives: The First Social Enterprise , 66 DePaul L. Rev. (2017)
  • Better Late Than Never: Incorporating LLCs Into Section 4943, Akron Law Review: Vol. 48 : Iss. 3, Article 2. (2015)
  • Is Consistency the Hobgoblin of Little Minds: Co-Investment under Code Sectioin 4941 (Winter 2017 ed., vol. 85, pp. 393). Kansas City, Missouri: Univ. of Missouri - Kansas City. (2017)
  • Bob Jones University v. United States : Commentary. Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions. London, England: Cambridge University Press. (in press)
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