UB Law School Conference Marks Progress Against Domestic Violence

Release Date: October 2, 2012 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A conference and symposium being held at the University at Buffalo Law School on Oct. 19 will pay tribute to two landmark anniversaries in the fight against domestic violence: the 20th anniversary of the Law School's Women, Children and Social Justice Clinic, and the 50th anniversary of New York State Family Court.

The conference, "Intimate Partner Violence: The Ripple Effect of Education, Research and Advocacy" will begin at 9 a.m. in 106 O'Brian Hall, UB North Campus.

It 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 to examine the "ripple effect" of education, research and advocacy on intimate partner violence and social justice in the local, national and international arenas.

UB Law's Domestic Violence Clinic was founded in 1992 under the direction of Suzanne E. Tomkins and Catherine Cerulli, both JD '92, to provide educational and practical experience to students to address the needs of domestic violence victims in the community.

Over the past 20 years the clinic has evolved into the Women, Children and Social Justice Clinic, with a broader focus on the advocacy work needed to address the problem of intimate partner violence.

"We wanted to think about the impact that individual students' projects and the clinic overall have had over the years," says Susan Vivian Mangold, professor of law and 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 program is also an opportunity for judges and other advocates to come together and hear from colleagues about the challenges they are facing," she says.

Following morning sessions examining the evolution of intimate partner violence advocacy and the globalization of that advocacy, Cerulli, now director of the Susan B. Anthony Center at the University of Rochester, will deliver a luncheon keynote address. In her remarks, Cerulli will provide a historical view and update on the research on intimate partner violence and how it informs our legal and social responses at the victim and community levels.

After the keynote, the program will continue in the Letro Courtroom in O'Brian Hall with a symposium to celebrate the 50th anniversary of New York State Family Court.

The symposium, "Family Court: Past, Present and Future," will feature nine current and former family court judges from the 1970s through the present day who will discuss the historical caseload of the court, the issues that family court attempts to address and its evolution to present-day practice.

Last year, family court judges across the state presided over nearly 180,000 cases involving families and children victimized by domestic violence, abuse, neglect or juvenile delinquency.

"We hope this program assists students and attorneys in understanding how Family Court has radically evolved over the last 50 years, both in the type of cases the court hears and in its response to the changing face of Family Life in America" says Family Court Judge Lisa Bloch Rodwin, JD '85, organizer of the symposium.

The conference, which includes lunch, is free and open to the public. Registration is required. http://www.law.buffalo.edu/AlumniEvent.asp.

For more details about the conference, visit the website http://baldycenter.info/conferences/intimate-partner-violence/index.html.

In addition to the UB Law School, co-sponsors of the conference include the Baldy Center for Law & Social Policy in the Law School; the Bar Association of Erie County; the Eighth Judicial District Gender and Racial Fairness Committee; the Minority Bar Association of Western New York; New York State Unified Court System, Eighth Judicial District Family Court; the UB Civic Engagement and Public Policy Research Initiative; the UB Gender Institute; the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York, Western New York Chapter; and the Women Lawyers of Western New York.

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