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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.

Her book entitled “Exploring Norms and Family Laws Across the Globe” is forthcoming in Spring 2022.


In the News

President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law Melissa Breger authored the Ms. Magazine article, “‘Matilda’ Spotlights an Unsettling Truth: Spanking in Schools Is Still Pervasive in the U.S.” on December 12, 2022.

​Professor Melissa Breger was quoted in the article, "Emerging activist in Saratoga Springs understands juvenile detention system from the inside," in the Schenectady Gazette on July 26, 2020.

Professor Melissa Breger was quoted in the Schenectady Gazette article, "Lawsuit alleges minor-against-minor abuse from late-1970s; Niskayuna schools a defendant," on Jan. 29, 2020.

​Professor Melissa Breger's co-authored article "School spankings are banned just about everywhere around the world except in US" was published in the Conversation and syndicated by major media outlets nationwide on July 31, 2019.

Professor Melissa Breger was mentioned for her work with the NYS CLE Board in the New York Law Journal article “Changes to State CLE Requirements Now Include Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias” on March 23, 2018.

Professor Melissa Breger was quoted in the Altamont Enterprise article "Sex trafficking is here, largely fueled by social media" on February 27, 2018.

​Professor Melissa Breger was quoted in Crixeo's National Human Trafficking Awareness Day article, "Human Trafficking: 5 Important Things You Should Know," on January 11, 2018.

Professors Melissa Breger and Donna Young spoke with News 10 ABC for the segment“Teaching about harassment in the workplace,” which centered on students’ interest in learning about the laws governing sexual harassment, on November 29, 2017.

Selected Achievements

Professor Melissa Breger's publication "Corporal Punishment, Social Norms and Norm Cascades: Examining Cross-National Laws and Trends in Homes Across the Globe," has been accepted for inclusion at the 2021 Law and Society Annual Meeting, which will be held in virtually May 27-30, 2021.

​Professor Melissa Breger was appointed to the New York State Bar Association's Committee on Children & the Law.

Professor Melissa Breger has been selected as this year's co-recipient of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Children and the Law's Howard A. Levine Award for Excellence in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare.​

​Professor Melissa Breger chaired a scholarship panel (virtually) at the Law and Society Association meeting in May 2020 on State Power & the Lives of Children.

Professor Melissa Breger's NEW YORK LAW OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE was cited by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in Barrera v. Graham (January 2019).​

Professor Melissa Breger presented "Making the Invisible Visible: Implicit Bias in Law and Society" at the firm Carter Conboy in Albany on May 15, 2019.​

​Professor Melissa Breger's co-authored treatise, NEW YORK LAW OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, was cited by the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands in the decision Gayanich v. Gayanich.

​Professor Melissa Breger's treatise NEW YORK LAW OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE was cited in the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands' opinion in Gayanich v. Gayanich.

Professor Melissa Breger received the Faculty Award for Excellence in Service​ at Albany Law School's 167th Commencement on May 18, 2018.

​Professor Melissa Breger was appointed to the New York State Bar Association's Committee on Children & the Law.