Professor of Law
for Children, Families and the Law
I am the Director of the Hofstra
University’s Center for Children,
Families and the Law, an integrated, interdisciplinary program of research,
education and public service to improve the treatment of children and families
by the legal system.
The Center consists of several programs:
and Family Advocacy Fellowship Program, in which students who are
committed to public service child and family advocacy for three years
after graduation can emerge with all law school loans forgiven, in
addition to perusing a unique course of study and paid summer externships.
interdisciplinary Child Advocacy
Clinic, in which law students represent abused and neglected
children with the help of mental health professionals.
- The P.E.A.C.E.
Program (Parent Education and Custody Effectiveness), a court-affiliated
education program that seeks to help parents manage conflict about their
children responsibly. I was one of the founders of P.E.A.C.E.
unique interdisciplinary courses in which law and mental health students
are educated jointly, Introduction to Child Advocacy and Negotiation,
Mediation and the Family Lawyer.
simulation based training program created by the National Institute for
Trial Advocacy (NITA) Training
The Lawyer To Represent the Whole Child, to be offered by the Center in March,
2004 in cooperation with NITA.
- Consultation with family court systems
around the Country on various projects and programs relating to family
The Center’s activities reflect
my long standing interests in alternatives to litigation, and family law. Some
highlights of my work over the years are:
book Children, Courts and Custody: Interdisciplinary Models for
Divorcing Families will be published by Cambridge University Press in
late Fall 2003.
March, 2002 I received a special commendation from AFCC for “outstanding
contributions to professionals who work with families in conflict.”
both 1995 and 2001, I was awarded the Chair’s Cup of the Family Law
Section of the American Bar Association for Meritorious service exceeding
what is expected of our leadership.
- I was the Reporter for the Standards
of Practice for Family and Divorce Mediation approved by the American
Bar Association, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and the
Association for Conflict Resolution.
was the Reporter for the American Bar Association’s Leadership Summit on
Unified Family Courts in 1998.
founded the bi-monthly Children and Law column of the New York
Law Journal, the leading publication for lawyers in New
am an elected member of the American Law Institute and a Fellow of the
American Bar Foundation.
Quotations from two of the greatest lawyers who ever lived
sum up my overall philosophy well:
“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to
compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often
a real loser--in fees, expenses and waste of time. As a peacemaker, the lawyer
has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business
enough.”-- Abraham Lincoln (1846) in Notes
for a Law Lecture, in Life and
Writings of Abraham Lincoln 328 (Random House, New York, N.Y., Philip V.
D. Stern ed. 1940).
“My joy was boundless. I had learnt
the true practice of law. I had learnt to find out the better side of human
nature and to enter men’s hearts. I realized the true function of a lawyer was
to unite parties driven asunder. The lesson was so indelibly burnt into me that
a large part of my time during the twenty years of my practice as a lawyer was
occupied in bringing about private compromises of hundreds of cases. I lost nothing thereby - not even money,
certainly not my soul.” -- Mohandas Gandhi (1954) in GANDHI’S Autobiography: The Story of My
Experiments With Truth 168 (Public Affairs Press, Washington, D.C.
Data Employment Teaching
and Honors Publications Conference
and Public Service Activities