Announcing New Family Law Offerings: Diane Abbey Law Institute for Children and Families

New York Law School Expands Its Nationally Recognized Family Law Program With New Journal and Juvenile Rights Clinic

Announcing New Family Law Offerings: Diane Abbey Law Institute for Children and Families

New Courses Are Made Possible by Partnerships With the ABA Family Law Section and The Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice

New York, NY (June 24, 2020) – Beginning this fall, New York Law School (NYLS) will further grow its nationally recognized Family Law program.

The COVID-19 pandemic—with its devastating and unequal impacts on health, education, and employment, particularly for communities of color—has generated new issues in family law and impacted families’ access to justice. NYLS, an established leader in family law through its Diane Abbey Law Institute for Children and Families, is expanding its programming to promote greater access to justice, contribute to meaningful legal scholarship, and support a pipeline of skilled, compassionate family lawyers.

“Advocating for our youngest New Yorkers and their families has always been critical—and the need is especially urgent now,” said Anthony W. Crowell, NYLS Dean and President. “The Abbey Institute is one of NYLS’s crown jewels and the gateway to our nationally recognized Family Law program. These additional offerings take the Institute’s reach to a new level. I thank Diane Abbey, Founder of the Institute; Professor Lisa Grumet, the Institute’s Director; and our outside partners in this vital work.”

The Juvenile Rights Law Clinic

NYLS is partnering with the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice on a new full-year clinic, beginning this fall. Under the supervision of experienced faculty at the Juvenile Rights Practice, students will assist in representing children in Manhattan Family Court proceedings in which parents and guardians are charged with abuse and neglect. Students may also represent children in related custody, immigration, juvenile justice, and school suspension matters. In addition, students may explore related policy and legislative reform, as well as impact litigation. Manhattan Family Court proceedings are currently operating online, and to the extent that continues in the fall, the clinic will conduct its work virtually. Learn more.

The Family Law Quarterly

The Family Law Quarterly is a leading scholarly journal produced by the American Bar Association Family Law Section. It includes articles authored by legal academics and practitioners as well as an annual year-in-review issue. Following a competitive, nationwide search, the ABA has selected NYLS to be its academic partner, beginning this fall, in producing the journal. A student Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Board, along with student junior and senior editors, will edit journal articles and research cutting-edge developments in the field. NYLS Professor Lisa Grumet, who directs NYLS’s Abbey Institute, will serve as Faculty Editor-in-Chief and will work with the NYLS student editors and the ABA Family Law Quarterly Board of Editors to oversee the journal’s production. Journal topics this year will include how children, families, and family law practice have been impacted by COVID-19. Learn more.

“NYLS has many wonderful students and graduates who have explored Family Law here and pursued meaningful and successful family law careers at nonprofits, child welfare and juvenile justice government agencies, and private firms,” said Professor and Abbey Institute Director Lisa Grumet. “We are thrilled to partner with the ABA Family Law Section and Legal Aid’s Juvenile Rights Practice to provide exciting new opportunities for students interested in children’s rights and Family Law.”

“As the new home of the Family Law Quarterly and with the new Juvenile Rights Law Clinic, NYLS takes a significant leap forward towards an even greater leadership position in Family Law,” said Associate Dean and Professor William P. LaPiana, who worked with Professor Grumet and the ABA Family Law Section to bring the journal to NYLS. “Under Professor Grumet’s leadership, our students have unparalleled opportunities to learn about and make careers in one of the most dynamic areas in American law.” 

“The Abbey Institute was created to prepare NYLS students for Family Law careers while helping children and families in need,” said Diane Abbey, Founder of the Abbey Institute. “These new opportunities accomplish both goals. Supporting families strengthens our entire city, and I am proud that NYLS is building a new generation of committed, caring advocates.”

“The ABA Family Law Section proudly welcomes New York Law School as the new home for the Family Law Quarterly,” said Michael Mosberg, Chair-Elect of the ABA Family Law Section and Partner at Aronson Mayefsky & Sloan, LLP. “Following a competitive, nationwide search process, New York Law School was selected because of its deep-rooted commitment to Family Law, the support of its administration, the energy and enthusiasm of its students, and the energy of Professor Grumet. On behalf of the ABA Family Law Section and our thousands of members, we are incredibly excited to move forward with New York Law School and the next chapter of the FLQ.”

“The Juvenile Rights Practice is excited to partner with NYLS in the establishment of the Juvenile Rights Law Clinic,” said Dawne Mitchell, Attorney in Charge of The Legal Aid Society

Juvenile Rights Practice. “The students are eager to learn and serve. And we are eager to enhance and bridge the academic learning experience of representing children in Family Court and the development of valuable professional trial and advocacy skills.”

A Broad Array of Family and Children’s Law Offerings

In addition to an introductory doctrinal course, seminar courses, and the new programs described above, NYLS’s offerings include:

  • An Education Law Clinic, in which students represent children who have been suspended from school
  • An Immigration Law and Litigation Clinic, in which NYLS students help provide legal representation to unaccompanied children and teenagers in New York immigration court and Family Court
  • An Elder Law and Guardianship Field Placement and Seminar, in which students assist with adult guardianship proceedings
  • Street Law, in which law students teach New York City high schoolers about legal topics
  • The Marriage License Project, through which students represent individuals who have been wrongfully denied marriage licenses because they were victims of identity theft
  • Family law externship opportunities
  • Simulation courses: “Family Law in Practice” and “Children and the Law in Practice”

In addition to Professor Lisa Grumet, the School’s family law faculty leaders include Professors Tamara Belinfanti, Richard Chused, Kris Franklin, Arthur Leonard, Richard Marsico, and Samantha Pownall ’11.

The expanded offerings support key goals of NYLS’s 2020 Strategic Plan: Ever Upward, including expanding experiential learning opportunities, enhancing writing programs, and engaging in greater social justice advocacy.