Faculty Information

  • 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 17 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 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 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 Family 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), Domestic Violence Seminar, Gender & the Law, 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, law and culture, and the intersections between psychology and the law.

     

     

     
  • Project with Chief Justice Kaye

    NYS COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES OF CRIMINAL CHARGES (website)

    • Website designed, Columbia Law School Clinic, NYC, Fall 2005

    • Project launched, State of Judiciary Address, Albany, February 2006

    • Next colloquium, State Judicial Institute, White Plains, June 2006

Bo​oks

  • New York Law of Domestic Violence, Cumulative Supplement 2015-16 (3rd ed.) Volumes 1 and 2 (published by Thomson-West-Reuters)

  • New York Law of Domestic Violence, Cumulative Supplement 2014 (co-authors Judge Elkins, Deseiree Kennedy, Jill Zuccardy)100228708

  • Breger, Kennedy, Zuccardy & Elkins NEW YORK LAW OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (3d ed.) Volumes 1 and 2 (published by Thomson-West-Reuters) papers.cfm

  • NEW YORK LAW OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 2nd ed., (Thomson-West, 2007) (with Judge Lee Elkins and Jane Fosbinder)papers.cfm

Publications

  • Healing Sex-Trafficked Children: A Domestic Family Law Approach to an International Epidemic, 118 W. Va. L. Rev. 1131 (2016)papers.cfm

  • New York Law of Domestic Violence, Cumulative Supplement 2015-16 (3rd ed.) Volumes 1 and 2 (published by Thomson-West-Reuters)

  • Transforming Cultural Norms of Sexual Violence Against Women, Journal of Research in Gender Studies, Volume 4(2), 2014papers.cfm

  • New York Law of Domestic Violence, Cumulative Supplement 2014 (co-authors Judge Elkins, Deseiree Kennedy, Jill Zuccardy)100228708

  • From Kate Stoneman to Kate Stoneman Chair, Katheryn D. Katz: Feminist Waves and the First Domestic Violence Course at a United States Law School, Albany Law Review 77 (2014). Co-authored with Melissa Breger.

  • Breger, Kennedy, Zuccardy & Elkins NEW YORK LAW OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (3d ed.) Volumes 1 and 2 (published by Thomson-West-Reuters) papers.cfm

  • Transforming Our Cultural Norms and Deconstructing Sexual Violence against Women, Albany Law School Research Paper No. 4 for 2013-2014papers.cfm

  • The (In)Visibility of Gender and Motherhood in Family Court Proceedings, 36 NYU Review of Law & Social Change, 555, Fall 2012papers.cfm

  • Making Waves or Keeping the Calm?: Analyzing the Institutional Culture of Family Courts Through the Lens of Social Psychology Groupthink Theory, 34 Law & Psychol. Rev. 55 (2010)papers.cfm

  • Against the Dilution of a Child's Voice in Court, 20 Indiana International and Comparative Law Review 175 (2010)

  • NEW YORK LAW OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 2nd ed., (Thomson-West, 2007) (with Judge Lee Elkins and Jane Fosbinder)papers.cfm

  • Implementing a Jury Option in Family Violence Proceedings in FAMILY LAW: BALANCING INTERESTS AND PURSUING PRIORITIES 306 (Lynn D. Wardle & Camille S. Williams eds.) (2007) papers.cfm

  • Advancing the Future of Family Violence Law Pedagogy: The Founding of a Law School Clinic, 41 University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform 167 (2007) with Theresa Hughes

  • Introducing the Construct of the Jury into Family Violence Proceedings and Family Court Jurisprudence, 13 Michigan Journal of Gender & Law 1 (2006) papers.cfm

  • Co-author, 2006 CUMULATIVE SUPPLEMENT to NEW YORK LAW OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (Thomson-West, 2006) (with Judge L. Elkins and J. Fosbinder)

  • Teaching Professionalism in Context: Insights from Students Clients, Adversaries and Judges, 55 South Carolina Law Review 304 (2003) (with Gina Calabrese and Theresa Hughes)papers.cfm

  • Building Pediatric Law Careers: The University of Michigan Law School Experience, 34 Family Law Quarterly 531 (2000) with S. Scarnecchia, F. Vandervort, and N. Woloshinpapers.cfm

Forthcoming Publications

  • "Trauma in Sex-Trafficked Children” in HUMAN TRAFFICKING (Kimberly Ellis and Nora Cronin, eds.) (Lawyers & Judges Publishing, forthcoming 2016)

Selected Achievements

  • Professor Melissa Breger was reappointed for a two-year term as a member of the Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department’s Office of Attorneys for Children Advisory Committee. The reappointment commences August 1, 2016.

  • Professor Melissa Breger co-facilitated the “Know Your Rights Workshop” organized by the Center for Law and Justice, Inc., at the University at Albany’s School of Social Welfare on July 22, 2016.

  • Professor Melissa Breger was a panelist at the "Human Trafficking: An Upstate Perspective" CLE at Albany Law School on June 16, 2016.

  • Professor Melissa Breger received Albany Law School's Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching on May 20, 2016.

  • Professor Melissa Breger presented “Implicit Bias: Making the Invisible Visible” at the law firm of Barclay Damon on April 7, 2016. Her lecture was webcast to the firm's attorneys and staff members nationwide.

  • Professor Melissa Breger presented “How the Legal System Has the Potential to Change a Culture of Domestic Violence” at Boston University on March 24, 2016.

  • ​Professor Melissa Breger was invited to join the Editorial Advisory Board for a new journal being launched through Addleton Academic Publishers entitled Sociology and Social Work.

  • Professor Melissa Breger was invited to review and critique a manuscript for inclusion in the open access journal LAWS, published quarterly by MDPI in Basel, Switzerland.

  • Professor Melissa Breger's works were cited in eight statutes (two in Michigan, six in New York) in 2015.

  • Professor Melissa Breger organized the interdisciplinary conference "Domestic Violence Update: Where We Were, Where We Are Now, and the Work Ahead” and presented a paper for the conference at Albany Law School on October 23, 2015.

  • Professor Melissa Breger is quoted in footnote 8 of the United States v. Ray, No. 14-2159 (6th Cir. 2015).

  • ​Professor Melissa Breger presented a CLE for the Appellate Division, Third Department Office of Attorneys for Children in September 2015.

  • Professor Melissa Breger presented at the conference "Combatting Slavery in the 21st Century" at the United Nations on April 9, 2014.

  • Professor Melissa Breger presented her research “Healing the Wounds of Children Sexually Trafficked Internationally by Examining Strategies for Family Violence Prevention Domestically” at the International Society of Family Law (ISFL) Conference held at Brooklyn Law School from June 6 through 9, 2013.

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