GW Law is pleased to announce the appointment of Laurie S. Kohn, Associate Professor of Clinical Law and Director of the Family Justice Litigation Clinic, as the Jacob Burns Foundation Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs.
“I am honored to lead the clinical program and humbled to succeed Phyllis Goldfarb who shepherded the clinics for many years with great success,” Associate Dean Kohn said. “I look forward to working with Dean Matthew and my exceptional clinical faculty colleagues to grow and strengthen the program and look forward to using the insight and experience I have gained over two decades as a clinical professor and a legal services lawyer to create a vision for the clinics during this decade and beyond.”
In her new role, Associate Dean Kohn plans to collaborate more closely with the legal services community, the law school’s alumni network, the court system, and the University to develop a wide variety of innovative, interdisciplinary, and community-responsive clinical offerings. She has set lofty yet fully attainable goals including to provide clinical seats to all GW Law students who want them, to offer an increasing array of clinics to respond to community need and student interest, and to support the law school’s commitment to professional development.
According to Associate Dean Kohn, the role of clinics in law schools is more critical than ever. “Clinics have a unique role in law schools. We offer a rigorous education in lawyering and the law, but we also provide critical legal services to those who could not otherwise afford a lawyer,” she said. “We equip our students with the tools to address legal system inequities and to give voice to clients who often get overlooked or mistreated. This is an integral part of GW Law's commitment to increasing access to social justice and equity.”
Associate Dean Kohn joined the GW Law faculty in 2010. She collaborates closely with DC Superior Court on access to justice issues and judicial training and is a hearing commissioner with the DC Office of Police Conduct. She has written and presented extensively on domestic violence, family law, and restorative justice.
Associate Dean Kohn previously served as Co-Director of the Domestic Violence Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center, where she supervised students representing victims of domestic violence and litigated domestic violence and criminal contempt cases. Prior to her career in academia, she was an associate at Crowell & Moring specializing in medical malpractice and insurance coverage litigation.
Before entering private practice, Associate Dean Kohn focused on disability rights, assisting in the legislative phase of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s office, and later in the regulatory drafting and implementation phase of the ADA in the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice. She also worked at the Legislative Office of the American Civil Liberties Union, concentrating on reproductive rights and disability policy.