Profile picture of Susan Gary

Susan Gary

Professor Emerita

Law, Law-JD, Appropriate Dispute Resolution Center, Business Law, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center
Phone: 541-346-3856
Office: 312 Knight Law Center


SUSAN N. GARY, Professor Emerita and formerly Orlando J. and Marian H. Hollis Professor at the University of Oregon School of Law, received her B.A. from Yale University and her J.D. from Columbia University. Before entering academia, she practiced with Mayer, Brown & Platt in Chicago, and with DeBandt, van Hecke & Lagae in Brussels. Professor Gary has taught trusts and estates, estate planning, estate and gift tax, nonprofit organizations, and an undergraduate course on law and families. She continues to teach trusts and estates. She has written and spoken about the regulation of charities, fiduciary duties including the prudent investor standard, stewardship trusts as a new form of business ownership, the definition of family for inheritance purposes, donor intent in connection with restricted charitable gifts, and the use of mediation to manage conflict in the estate planning context. She served as a trustee on the University’s Board of Trustees.

Professor Gary is an Academic Fellow and former Regent of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and served on the Council of the Real Property, Trust and Estate Section of the American Bar Association. She served as the Reporter for three projects of the Uniform Law Commission: the Uniform Electronic Wills Act, the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act, and the Model Protection of Charitable Assets Act. She was a member of the steering committee of the Intentional Endowments Network and continues to serve on its Fiduciary Investment Committee. She has served on the Advisory Board of the NYU National Center on Philanthropy and the Law and has held leadership positions in three sections (trusts and estates, elder law, and nonprofits) of the Association of American Law Schools.

In Oregon, Professor Gary has been a member of the Oregon Law Commission and served as Reporter for its Probate Modernization Work Group. As a member of the Executive Committee of the Nonprofit Organizations Law Section of the Oregon State Bar she led a review of Oregon’s nonprofit corporation statutes that resulted in legislation revising the statutes. She served on the Executive Committee of the Estate Planning Section of the Oregon bar for nine years, including serving as its chair, and served as Editor of the Estate Planning Section’s newsletter for 15 years. Significant recent articles are “The Changing Landscape of Business Succession: How and Why Purpose Trusts Matter,” Ohio State Bus. L. J. (forthcoming 2024), “Best Interests in the Long Term: Fiduciary Duties and ESG Investing,” 90 Univ. of Colorado L. Rev. 731 (2019), and “The Oregon Stewardship Trust: A New Type of Purpose Trust that Enables Steward-Ownership of a Business,” 88 Univ. of Cincinnati L. Rev. 707 (f2019). They are available on SSRN:

For more information, see Prof. Gary’s curriculum vitae.