Diane Abbey Law Institute for Children and Families
The Diane Abbey Law Institute for Children and Families provides opportunities for students interested in children’s and family law issues to engage in policy research and advocacy, individual client representation, and writing. The Abbey Institute also serves children and families in need in a variety of pro bono settings.
Abbey Institute students have researched, written, and proposed New York State legislation concerning juvenile justice reform, legalizing gestational surrogacy, and immunizing children (in light of recent measles outbreaks).
Through its Marriage License Project, the Abbey Institute provides free legal services to individuals who were denied a marriage license because they are victims of identity theft. In these cases, someone else fraudulently used the individual’s name to get married. Students interview clients and prepare administrative appeals. When a hearing is ordered, students deliver opening and closing statements, examine witnesses, and introduce exhibits.
Abbey Institute students also contribute to New York Law School conferences and symposia on children’s and family law topics. They have conducted legal and policy research, written journal articles, and worked on legislation related to these events.
In addition, students have participated in the New York State Access to Justice Volunteer Attorney Program in Brooklyn Family Court.
The Institute was founded by Diane Abbey and is directed by Professor Lisa Grumet.