Family Defense Clinic’s Christine Gottlieb ’97 to join NYU Law faculty as assistant professor of clinical law

Christine Gottlieb ’97, the current director of NYU Law’s Family Defense Clinic, will join the Law School faculty as an assistant professor of clinical law in June 2024, Dean Troy McKenzie ’00 has announced.

Chris Gottlieb

Gottlieb is an expert in racial justice, child welfare, and family regulation. Her recent scholarship has examined topics such as the racial justice implications of the res ipsa loquitur doctrine in child welfare cases, often used to find parents culpable of abuse in the absence of direct evidence of who committed the abuse. In a recent paper in Cardozo Law Review, she argued that the Supreme Court’s opinion in 2021’s Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, which narrowly allowed a religious organization to deny foster care certification to same-sex couples, is built upon misconceptions about the foster care system and its aims.

Gottlieb, who began teaching the Family Defense Clinic in 2002, has led the clinic in a number of important wins for families and has drafted legislation to improve family law. In October 2022, after a multi-year effort, the clinic helped overturn a precedent that made it difficult for out-of-state parents to gain custody of their children who had been placed in New York’s foster care system. In 2022, Gottlieb co-drafted New York’s Parental Equity Act, a new law that protects the custody rights of unmarried fathers.

“Chris’s scholarship reflects a profound understanding of the nuances surrounding parental rights termination and a commitment to serious study of the field,” said McKenzie in announcing Gottlieb’s new role.

Before joining the Family Defense Clinic, Gottlieb was a staff attorney in the Legal Aid Society’s juvenile rights division and clerked for Judge Fortunato Benavides on the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. She is a recipient of the Kathryn A. McDonald Award for Excellence in Family Court, the Brooklyn Defender Services Family Defense Practice Award, and NYU’s 2015 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Faculty Award, given to an outstanding faculty member who embodies King’s principles and commitment to justice.

Posted December 21, 2023.