Sara Alpert 3L Wins Prestigious Family Law Writing Contest

Sara Alpert 3L has won first place in the Family Law Writing Competition, sponsored by Hofstra University’s Maurice A. Deane School of Law and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), an international organization of family law professionals.

Sara’s winning article, “The Past and Future State of ‘De Facto Parents’ in New York,” will be published this July in Family Court Review, a quarterly academic journal by Hofstra Law and the AFCC. It discusses the recent New York Court of Appeals Decision In Matter of Brooke S.B., which finally overruled In Matter of Allison D., the controversial New York case that refused to allow “de facto parents” to seek standing for custody and visitation. Specifically, Sara argued that the Court of Appeals did not go far enough in its decision and that it should have instead adopted a broader test utilized in Wisconsin and several other states to determine who should be considered a “parent” under the law.

The competition was open to law students from any country and judged originally researched papers on current family law issues. Entries were scored based on their originality, timeliness, and research quality.

“Our selection committee found the article insightful, well researched, well analyzed, and well written,” the competition judges noted.

Sara wrote the article last fall for independent research credit with supervision by Adjunct Professor Lisa Grumet, Director of the Diane Abbey Law Institute for Children and Families.

Sara is also a John Marshall Harlan Scholar and the Notes and Comments Editor of the New York Law School Law Review. After graduation, she will serve at the New York Immigration Court as a Judicial Law Clerk in the Department of Justice’s Honors Program.