The award for Outstanding Advocate for Clinical Law Teachers will be presented to Deborah Epstein from Georgetown Law Center and the award for Excellence in a Public Interest Case or Project will be presented to the Albany Law School Civil Rights and Disability Law Clinic directed by Bridgit Burke for its Community Integration Project.
Outstanding Advocate for Clinical Law Teachers – Deborah Epstein Deborah Epstein, Director of the Georgetown University Law Center’s Domestic Violence Clinic and Associate Dean for Clinical and Public Interest Programs. Dean Epstein was instrumental in creating the Georgetown Summer Institute on Clinical Teaching, which brings together a small group of experienced clinicians in an intensive effort designed to improve teaching through plenary sessions, hands-on work and particularized feedback for each participant. Dean Epstein has spent more than twenty-five years working as an advocate for victims of domestic violence and has represented hundreds of women in civil protection order cases. Epstein co-chaired the DC Superior Court's effort to design and implement its Domestic Violence Unit, an early effort to integrate civil and criminal cases involving intimate abuse and, from 1996-2001, she served as Co-Director of the court’s Domestic Violence Intake Center. She has served as Chair of the DC Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board, as well as a member of the DC Mayor’s Commission on Violence Against Women, the DC Superior Court Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, and the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence Board of Directors. From 1993-2001 she directed the Emergency Domestic Relations Project (EDRP), a non-profit organization providing advocacy services within the Intake Center. She has published numerous articles and is a regular speaker on clinical education and issues facing domestic violence survivors in the legal system, at local, national, and international gatherings. Her nomination for this award was submitted by a group of clinicians from 10 different law schools, a testament to her generous contributions to the national clinical community.
Excellence in a Public Interest Case or Project – Albany Law School Civil Rights and Disability Law Clinic Community Integration Project For the last seven years Albany Law School’s Civil Rights & Disability Law Clinic has been advocating for individuals with developmental disabilities who have languished in institutional settings despite a clear legal mandate that individuals be given the opportunity to live in less restrictive settings. Through a combination of individual client representatives, impact litigation, policy development, community education and collaboration, the faculty and students have made it possible for numerous individuals to move to less restrictive community settings and they have paved the way for many more to do so.