CUNY Law Review’s Spring Symposium: “Reimagining Family Defense”

On Friday, April 8th, we hosted our 2016 Symposium, Reimagining Family Defense. More than 100 people attended the half-day event to engage in a discussion of how family defense can become more available throughout the U.S.

The plenary panel featured contributions from Professor Kara Finck of the University of Pennsylvania Law School; Diane Redleaf, Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago based Family Defense Center; and Lauren Shapiro, Director of the Brooklyn Family Defense Project.

Marty Guggenheim, Director of NYU Law School’s Family Defense Clinic, moderated the plenary session, which focused heavily on the need to increase legal representation for parents in child welfare cases. Professor Guggenheim was presented with the CUNY Law Review Scholarship for Social Justice Award.

Making parental voices more prominent in child welfare cases was a focus of the symposium. Members of Rise Magazine, a publication written by and for parents involved in the child welfare system, were invited to share their thoughts on how attorneys and judges can make parents’ family court experiences more empowering.

The event also included the following breakout discussions:

  • Structural Racism and Family Defense:
    • Moderator: Babe Howell – Professor, CUNY School of Law
    • Amy Mulzer – Professor, NYU School of Law
    • Tara Urs – The Defender Association Division, King County Department of Public Defense
    • Keston Jones – NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene Center for Health Equity
    • Erin Cloud – Attorney, The Bronx Defenders Family Defense Practice
  • Interdisciplinary Approaches to Family Defense:
    • Moderator: Julie Goldscheid – Professor, CUNY School of Law
    • Robyn Powell, JD – Heller School of Social Policy & Management at Brandeis
    • Emma Ketteringham – Managing Director, The Bronx Defenders Family Defense Practice
    • Sarah Cremer – Social Worker, The Bronx Defenders Family Defense Practice
  • Problem Solving Courts and Family Defense:
    • Moderator: Ann Cammett – Professor, CUNY School of Law
    • Jane Spinak – Clinical Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
    • Stacy Charland – Managing Attorney, Neighborhood Defender Services Family Defense Practice
    • Marcelle Brandes – Arbitrator, Mediator, and Retired Family Court Judge

The University of the District of Columbia’s David A. Clarke School of Law Professor Mathew Fraidin’s keynote address concluded the event.

The law review’s upcoming family defense themed journal issue, which will feature scholarship by many of the advocates who spoke at the symposium, will be released this winter.

We hope to see many more of you at our next symposium! Please see below for a few photos from the event.

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Professor Ann Cammett welcomes everyone at the event.

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A glimpse of the attendees at CUNY Law Review’s spring symposium.

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One of the first panels of the CUNY Law Review Spring Symposium.

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