BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Two landmark anniversaries will be marked Oct.
19 at the "Conference on Intimate Partner Violence/50 Years of
Family Court" as the University at Buffalo Law School pays tribute
to the "ripple effect" of its work against domestic violence.
Originally scheduled to take place at UB, overwhelming interest in
the conference required organizers to seek a larger venue. The
event will be held in Samuel's Grand Manor, 8750 Main St.,
Williamsville, beginning at 8:30 a.m.
The conference is free. Registration, which is required, is
available at http://www.law.buffalo.edu/AlumniEvent.asp.
It was 20 years ago that clinical professor Suzanne Tomkins and
Catherine Cerulli, JD, PhD, established the school's Domestic
Violence Clinic, now known as the Women, Children and Social
Justice Clinic. And it has been a half-century since the
establishment of the New York State Family Court, whose caseload
includes helping move families toward wholeness after abuse.
The morning session of the conference, called "Intimate Partner
Violence: The Ripple Effect of Education, Research and Advocacy,
"will bring together scholars, advocates and members of the
judiciary and bar; professionals in the fields of law enforcement,
mental health, education and social services; and students from
throughout the university.
"We wanted to think about the impact that individual students'
projects and the clinic overall have had over the years," says
Professor Susan Vivian Mangold, an organizer of the conference.
"It's important to see that this work on a local level has had
these ripple effects over time not only nationally but
internationally. The conference is also an opportunity for judges
and other advocates to come together and hear from colleagues about
the challenges they are facing."
The problem of domestic violence remains widespread. According
to the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic
Violence, "intimate partner violence" surfaces in about 1 of every
320 households nationwide. It is estimated nationally and
internationally that one out of four women will experience domestic
violence in their lifetime.
Professor Kim Diana Connolly, director of clinical legal
education and vice dean for legal skills at the UB Law School,
states, "This conference will allow us to highlight the important,
cutting-edge work that the Women, Children, and Social Justice
Clinic has been doing for two decades as part of a strong clinical
Clinical instructor Remla Parthasarathy adds, "Over the past two
decades, community members, coalitions and task forces in our area
have consistently turned to the Women, Children, and Social Justice
Clinic for guidance, materials and assistance. They rely on us to
provide quality, state-of-the-art information that directs our
community's response to intimate partner violence. We are proud
that many of the clinic's graduates have gone on to pursue highly
successful careers in domestic violence-related areas."
Keynote speakers for the event include Leigh Goodmark, professor
at the University of Baltimore Law School and president of the
Clinical Legal Education Association, the nation's largest
membership organization of law faculty. Goodmark, an expert in
domestic violence and author of the recently published book A
Troubled Marriage: Domestic Violence and the Legal System, will
offer both a retrospective and a look ahead at clinical legal
education in the domestic violence arena.
Another speaker, Aruna Papp, is a Canada-based advocate and
expert on the challenges of global diversity in addressing domestic
violence. Author of the recent book Unworthy Creature: A Punjabi
Daughter's Memoir, she'll discuss the emerging area of how to
provide effective help to North American women whose immigrant
cultural traditions, such as honor-related crimes, put them in
A lunchtime address by Catherine Cerulli '92, former director of
research for the Women, Children, and Social Justice Clinic, will
survey the research that has been done on domestic violence and how
legal responses have used that research to develop best practices.
Cerulli is well-positioned to provide this research overview since
her own work has earned numerous awards, including a recent
multimillion-dollar grant from the federal Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention. She currently serves as director of the
Susan B. Anthony Center, a research institute at the University of
The conference will continue with an afternoon symposium
organized by Hon. Lisa Bloch Rodwin '85, a Family Court judge, and
other members of the New York State judiciary to celebrate the 50th
anniversary of New York State Family Court. "Family Court: Past,
Present and Future" highlights the evolving work of the court,
looking back over 50 years and ahead to new challenges.
A reception will follow.