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Biography

B.S., University of Illinois
J.D., University of Michigan Law School

Professor Melissa L. Breger has been teaching at the law school level for 20+ years, first at The University of Michigan Law School and then at Albany Law School since 2002. Prior to teaching, Professor Breger dedicated her career to children, women and families, with her formative years practicing in New York City in a number of capacities.

She is the recipient of several teaching and service awards, both on a local level and on a national level, including the Howard A. Levine Award for Excellence in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare; the Shanara C. Gilbert Award in recognition of her excellence in teaching and contributions to the advancement of social justice from the American Association of Law Schools; the L. Hart Wright Excellence in Law Teaching Award from the University of Michigan Law School; and the 2016 Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2018 Faculty Award for Excellence in Service, and 2019 Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship from Albany Law School. Professor Breger also received the Albany County Family Court Children’s Center Award “in recognition of her outstanding and tireless work assisting children and families in need and for her dedication to ensure that law students obtain the skills necessary to provide high quality and compassionate legal services to court litigants” in May 2008.

Professor Breger teaches a variety of courses at Albany Law School, including Evidence, Family Law, Criminal Procedure: Investigation (4th, 5th, 6th A), Gender & the Law, Children, Juveniles & the Law (hybrid online), Domestic Violence Seminar, and Children & the Law. She was the Director of the Family Violence Litigation Clinic from 2002 to 2010.

Professor Breger is the co-author of NEW YORK LAW OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, a two-volume treatise published by Reuters-Thomson-West, as well as the author of numerous law review articles regarding issues of family law, gender, and justice. Her scholarly interests include the rights of children and families, gender and racial equality, procedural justice in the courtroom, juvenile justice, the increasing epidemic of child sexual trafficking, implicit bias, law and culture, family violence, and the intersections between psychology and the law.

Forthcoming Publications
  • Stemming the Tide: Social Norms and Child Sex Trafficking Volume 126 (Penn State/Dickinson Law Review, forthcoming 2021)


  • Paddling the Pupils: The Legality (or Not) of Corporal Punishment in Schools (forthcoming) (with Victor Asal, Lucy Sorensen, and Charmaine Willis)» Link to Publication


  • EXPLORING NORMS AND FAMILY LAWS ACROSS THE GLOBE (Lexington Books/Rowman-Littlefield, forthcoming 2021)


  • NEW YORK LAW OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, Cumulative Supplement 2019-20 (Thomson-West-Reuters, 3rd ed., forthcoming 2020) (with Judge Lee Elkins, Deseriee Kennedy and Jill M. Zuccardy)

Melissa Breger

Melissa Breger

President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law