About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

42 Harbinger 1 (2017-2018)

handle is hein.journals/harbg42 and id is 1 raw text is: INTERVIEW - PROFESSOR MARTIN GUGGENHEIM
Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for publication.
AG: Prof. Guggenheim, thank you so much for speaking with us today.
The Family Defense Symposium took place in April 2016. It's been twenty-
five years since the Family Defense Clinic started at NYU Law. How do you
think the symposium went?
MG: I thought it was a great day. It was wonderful to see so many people who
had been in the clinic as students and teachers and fellows. It also brought out
many of the great lawyers in New York City who care about the field. We had
some wonderful nationally recognized scholars to celebrate not just the clinic but,
for many, the meaning of the clinic's anniversary-the reality that family defense,
as an important field of practice-is a real thing. There were about 170-200 people
AG: I can imagine it must have been extraordinary. Can you tell us about
how the field of family defense started?
MG: Well, originally child welfare intervention by the government-that led
to coercive removal of children-really began in the 1970s. That was the modern
version of it. Before that, children entered the state's care, but not through a formal
legal proceeding. So there had been, in states like New York, attorneys assigned to
represent indigent parents throughout that time since the 1970s.
But what those lawyers usually did was, to borrow from the closest analogy-
when the state gives someone accused of doing something the consequence of
losing fundamental rights-the criminal defense field. And in criminal defense, for
better or worse, indigent defenders really are courthouse lawyers. They make the
center of their attention the courthouse. They see the courthouse as the most
important place for advancing their clients' interests. So when we started the clinic
in 1990, we were trying to figure out what is the right way-a good way-to
represent parents.
Through trial, error, and discovery, we learned that the courtroom is not the
best place for us. We learned that time out of courtroom is exponentially more
important. The courtroom can sometimes be critical to success. But we needed to
penetrate the agency level of practice. Because in the practice, you have two
proceedings happening at the same time. You have the court hearing. But the
agency also schedules conferences with parents, at which crucial decisions are
We quickly appreciated that we needed to attend those conferences and shape
those conversations. In order for parents to get their children back, they must


What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing thousands of academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.

Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline.

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most