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Yiran Zhang
S.J.D. Candidate

yzhang at


Informality, Migration, and the Economic Household: Childcare and Related Work in China and the United States

My dissertation examines the intersection of care work and the informal economy through three case studies, respectively, about internal migrant workers and Filipina domestic workers in China and childcare subsidy programs in the United States.

Fields of Research and Supervisors

  • Family Law and Political Economy with Professor Janet Halley, Harvard Law School, Principal Faculty Supervisor
  • Care/Work Debate in Feminist Legal Theory with Professor Jeannie Suk Gersen, Harvard Law School
  • Chinese Law and Society with Professor William Alford, Harvard Law School.
  • Legal Theory and Welfare State Studies with Professor Duncan Kennedy, Harvard Law School

Additional Research Interests

  • Contracts
  • Employment and Labor Law
  • Immigration Law
  • International Labor Law
  • Legal Anthropology
  • Economic Sociology
  • Critical Legal Theory


  • Harvard Law School, S.J.D. Candidate 2016-Present
  • Harvard Law School, LL.M., 2015-2016 (requirements fulfilled, degree waived)
  • Tsinghua University, School of Law, China, LL.B., 2011-2015

Representative Publications

Academic Appointments and Fellowships

  • Harvard Law School, Spring 2021 Family Law, Teaching Fellow
  • Harvard Law School, Fall 2020 Comparative Law Workshop, Teaching Fellow
  • Harvard Law School, Spring 2018/ Spring 2020 Comparative Law: Why Law? Lessons from China, Teaching Fellow
  • Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, 2021- current, Graduate Student Associate
  • Harvard University Asia Center, 2019-2021, Graduate Student Associate
  • Harvard Law School, 2017-21, Graduate Program Fellow
  • Harvard Law School, 2020, John M. Olin Student Writing Prize in Law and Economics
  • Harvard Law School, 2017-current, F. Y. Chang Scholarship
  • Harvard University, 2019-2020, Victor and William Fung Scholar

Additional Information

Bar Admissions: Admitted to the bar of New York State, 2018; Passed bar exam of People’s Republic of China, 2015

Languages: English, Mandarin (native), French (beginner)

Last Updated: September 9, 2021