Welcome to Emily J. Stolzenberg — An Accomplished Scholar and Hofstra Law’s New Visiting Assistant Professor of Law and Center for Children, Families and the Law Research Fellow

 In Family Law, Winter 2018-19

We would like to extend a hearty welcome to Professor Emily J. Stolzenberg, who has joined the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University’s faculty as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law and Center for Children, Families and the Law Research Fellow. Professor Stolzenberg, an accomplished scholar who has a most impressive and diverse educational and professional background, will be teaching one family law seminar per semester at Hofstra Law and will also be the Center’s first Fellow.

In the Spring 2019 semester, she is co-teaching the Family Law Policy Seminar with Professor Andrew Schepard, which will explore the use of plain language and simplification in the legal system in conjunction with the upcoming Siben Conference to be held at Hofstra Law on March 29, 2019. In the Fall 2019 semester, Professor Stolzenberg will be teaching the Family Court Review Seminar, in which 2Ls on the Family Court Review staff develop topics for, do research on, and write and revise their student Notes. Eight of these Notes are then selected for publication in an upcoming issue of the FCR.

Professor Stolzenberg is a 2012 graduate of Yale Law School, where she served as an Online Editor of the Yale Law Journal and an Editor of the Yale Journal of Law & Feminism. Prior to attending law school, she obtained an M.Phil. in Political Theory from the University of Oxford, Worcester College. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Princeton University, graduating magna cum laude with an A.B. in German and a Certificate in Contemporary European Politics and Society. She was an early inductee into Phi Beta Kappa, received the Daniel M. Sachs Class of 1960 Graduating Scholarship for study at Oxford, and earned German Department prizes for best senior thesis and junior year academic work, as well as the Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence in both her freshman and sophomore years.

Prior to joining Hofstra Law, Professor Stolzenberg taught LL.M. Legal Research and Writing at Columbia Law School as an Associate in Law and Lecturer in Law. She is a Visiting Scholar at Columbia’s Center for Gender & Sexuality Law for the 2018-2019 academic year. Before transitioning into academia, Professor Stolzenberg gained valuable matrimonial and family law experience as an Associate at Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell in Washington, D.C., where she represented domestic relations clients in negotiations, mediations and all phases of trial and appellate litigation. Professor Stolzenberg also clerked for the Honorable Robert D. Sack of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and worked at the Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville, VA, in the JustChildren Program and Elder Law Initiative.

Professor Stolzenberg became interested in families while writing her M.Phil. thesis on feminist political theory and fell in love with family law when she took a family law course in her 1L spring. “Families are extremely important,” she says. “They help us to meet a range of physical and emotional needs, while also providing our first experiences of living with others. If we want to live in a just society, we have to start with just families, and family law shapes what kinds of families we have.”

Professor Stolzenberg’s current research, which seeks to reconcile individual autonomy with family obligations, lies at the intersection of family law and private law theory. Her article “The New Family Freedom,” 59 B.C. L. Rev. 1983 (2018), analyzes how an emergent, libertarian vision of autonomy as property rights delegitimizes attempts to impose financial obligations in nonmarital and post-divorce families. Her current project, “Properties of Intimacy,” argues that family law is overly protective of titleholders’ ability to exclude intimates from their property. These theoretical inquiries could justify a range of doctrinal reforms, including limiting or abolishing separate property; strengthening community management of resources; changing the criteria for distributing property upon divorce; increasing the availability of post-relationship financial transfers; augmenting review of family contracts; and developing shared property regimes for at least some kinds of nonmarital relationships.

Professor Stolzenberg is very excited about her new position at Hofstra Law. “Hofstra is a great community in which to be writing about and teaching family law,” she says. “The school has an outstanding family law faculty, houses a renowned family law journal, and attracts a large number of students who are passionate about the subject. And the Center’s connections with the bench, bar, nonlegal family professionals, and Hofstra alumni make it an especially exciting environment in which to develop and advocate for legal reforms.”

We are also very excited about having Professor Stolzenberg join us at the Law School and at the Center, and we look forward to a long and productive association with her. We wish her the very best as she brings a new perspective and great legal talent to Hofstra Law and its students.

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