Weekly Round-Up: April 11th, 2014


  • The Chancellor of the Department of Education has proposed a new regulation that will shift the guidelines for promoting 3rd through 8th grade students based on test scores to a more individual, performance based assessment. Teachers will be required to put together portfolios for students who are struggling and leave it up to the principal to decide whether the child should be promoted or would benefit from summer school. (WNYC)

Health Care

  • The White House has announced that the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, will resign and Sylvia Mathews Burwell will take her place.  Burwell has been the director of the Office of Management and Budget since last April.  Many speculate that Sebelius is stepping down due to a marred relationship with President Obama over the rocky roll-out of the Affordable Care Act.  For more information, please click here. (NYTimes)

Municipal ID Cards

  • The New York City Council has introduced a bill that would allow NYC residents to obtain a New York City municipal ID card. The reason for these ID cards is to alleviate some of the basic challenges undocumented immigrants and other people face who don’t have government identification. For example, the ID card could help people with opening bank accounts and having access to public facilities.
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Weekly Round-Up: April 4th, 2014


  • New York Law School’s Safe Passage Project initiative, which assists immigrant children who are facing possible deportation with their immigration matters, was recently featured by NY Daily News. The article follows Ian, a 3 year old from Mexico, while he was in court, and discusses the assistance that Safe Passage provides to Ian and many other children. According to Professor Lenni Benson, founder of Safe Passage, over 12% of the more than 6,000 cases on New York’s immigration docket are juveniles. Many of these children are fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries. (NY Daily News)

2014-2015 State Budget Agreement

The State Legislature approved the 2014-2015 budget on March 29th, 2014. Included in the budget are important changes for the Family Court and Education. Some highlights include:

Family Court-

  • The State Legislature approved the creation of 20 new Family Court Judgeships and allocated $5 million towards the Family Court Judgeship approval.


  • The budget increased the amount of school aid by $1.1 billion, 70% of which will go towards high-needs school districts.
  • The budget promoted the growth of charter schools by, among other things, providing for free space in public schools and also increased tuition funding for charter school students.
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Abbey Center Capstone Projects: Student Contributions to Family Law Practice

by: Susan Imam

On April 2nd, 2014 New York Law School held its sixth annual Faculty/Student Presentation Day. Among those presenting were four Abbey Center Associates who discussed their Capstone projects. Capstones are independent research projects that also serve a practical purpose, and generally are done in collaboration with a non-profit organization or government agency. The panel included Michael Cabasso (3L), Mallory McGee (2L), Janine Diljohn (4L), and Sabine Rospide (4L).

  • Michael Cabasso began the panel discussing community based programs for court-involved youth and proposed a guide for judges, attorneys, youth and others of the alternative services. Michael worked with the New York Center for Juvenile Justice.
  • Mallory McGee, who worked with the Queens County District Attorney’s office on Saturdays, presented on the Queens County District Attorney’s Office Weekend Intern program and introduced a guide for future interns.
  • Janine Diljohn discussed health care proxies and powers of attorney and how they both can be used by the ill and elderly. Janine worked with The Family Center.
  • Sabine Rospide concluded the panel by proposing a new divorce mediation clinic at NYLS which would allow students the opportunity, working under the supervision of an attorney, to assist a couple in negotiating the terms of their divorce and completing the paperwork.
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Weekly Round-Up: March 28, 2014


  • A recent federal court decision reviewing the Texas law passed last year which placed heavier restrictions on abortion clinics and doctors, found that the laws did not place an unconstitutional burden on a women’s access to abortion. The new law requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic and also places strict limits on a doctor’s ability to prescribe abortion-inducing pills. As a result of the recent decision, over a dozen abortion clinics will be shut down that fail to comply with the 30-mile hospital rule. For more about this law, please click here. (HuffingtonPost)


  • A recent study by the UCLA Civil Rights Project has shown that New York City schools are among the most segregated throughout the country.  According to the report, up to 85% of Black and Latino students attend “intensely segregated” schools.  The study also shows that over half New York City schools are more than 90% black or hispanic.  For more on the report, please click here. (Chalkbeat)


  • Last week, 300 same-sex Michigan couples were married before a federal appeals court granted a stay to stop the weddings from being performed.  Today, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government will recognize the marriages.  
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Weekly Round-Up: March 21, 2014


  • Yesterday, New York City Department of Education Chancellor Carmen Farina testified at a City Council Budget Hearing.  Chalkbeat (previously Gotham Schools) outlined “5 things we learned” from yesterday’s council meeting.  These “5 things” include plans for more dual language programs and emphasis on art education, as well as changes to teacher evaluations.  To read about the “5 things” please click here.

Family Court

  • As the New York State Budget deadline is approaching, the New York State Bar Association is urging the state legislature to increase the number of Family Court Judgeships in the 2014 budget. NYSBA’s President, David Schraver, stated that “Increasing the number of Family Court judges is a top priority of the New York State Bar Association.” In the 2014 State of the Judiciary Address, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman stated that legislative action is required to address the crisis in Family Court, and called for the creation of 20 new Judgeships. In addition, the 2013 Family Court Task Force Report illustrated the current burden on the Family Court system and how additional Judgeships would greatly alleviate this burden. The proposed Legislative and Judiciary Budget Bill can be viewed here.

Health Care

  • The Supreme Court of the United States will be hearing arguments about one of the more controversial points of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  
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