Faculty Spotlight

Professor Lynch Co-Authors Op-Ed: ‘Keep Women's Safety at Forefront’

Mary Lynch

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Albany Law School Professor Mary A. Lynch has teamed up with Leigh Goodmark, professor and clinical director at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, to argue that the president of the United States is endangering women through his executive actions and immigration policies.

Their co-authored op-ed, "Keep women's safety at forefront," was published March 26 in the Albany Times Union.

"Asking local law enforcement to do federal immigration enforcement on top of the rest of their duties means, in a zero sum world, that someone will lose. In this case, it is women subjected to abuse," professors Lynch and Goodmark wrote, adding that the "president's [Executive Order 13768] and the obsession with undocumented immigrants also deprives local law enforcement and district attorneys of cooperative witnesses willing to come forward to prosecute abusers and sexual offenders without fear of deportation. If Immigrations and Customs Enforcement continues to arrest victims who seek orders of protection, as it recently did in El Paso, all women lose. Those who experience, see, hear, or can testify about abuse or sexual assault will keep mum and avoid law enforcement rather than risk deportation."

They also voiced concern with the president's preliminary budget proposal: "Many fear that he will slash funds allocated to support victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, research on these issues, and victim-centered prosecution. In his address to Congress, Trump promised to build up the military, invest in infrastructure, and create the controversial Victims of Immigration Crime Enforcement office, but he never once mentioned support for the DOJ's Violence Against Women initiatives. And in the recently released 'Budget Blueprint,' there is no promise to combat violence against women and sexual assault. Instead, the president details increased DOJ funding for border security, national security, and other initiatives while eliminating approximately $700 million of DOJ funding of 'unnecessary spending.' "

Professor Lynch is a nationally recognized expert on issues related to violence against women and legal education. As director of Albany Law School's Domestic Violence Prosecution Hybrid Clinic, she supervises students working in Special Victims Units and domestic violence courts throughout the Capital Region.

Last year Professor Lynch was appointed the law school's Kate Stoneman Chair in Law and Democracy, named for Katherine "Kate" Stoneman, who in 1898 became the first woman to graduate from Albany Law School and was the first woman admitted to the practice of law in New York State.

Professor Lynch also is the director of the Center for Excellence in Law Teaching, editor of the ABA Blawg 100-honored website Best Practices for Legal Education, and serves on the editorial advisory board for the Journal of Experiential Learning. She is a former co-president of the national Clinical Legal Education Association and has served as an executive member of the Association of American Law Schools' Clinical Legal Education Section. Professor Lynch served as a member of the New York State Bar Association's Task Force on the Future of the Legal Profession and chaired its Educating and Training New Lawyers subcommittee. She is a past recipient of Albany Law School's Excellence in Teaching award and the Kate Stoneman Special Recognition award for her contributions to the advancement of women in the legal profession. She has also been honored by the local chapter of N.O.W. and Irish America Magazine.

Prior to joining the Albany Law faculty in 1989, Professor Lynch worked as an appellate and trial attorney in the New York County District Attorney's office. In 1996, while serving as director of the school's Domestic Violence Law Project, Professor Lynch and seven Albany Law students won clemency for a woman who was incarcerated for killing her abuser.

She is a graduate of New York University and Harvard Law School.

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