Debra Pogrund StarkProfessor of Law
Director, Domestic Violence Clinical Advocacy Program
The John Marshall Law School
315 S. Plymouth Court
Chicago, Illinois 60604
Phone: 312.427.2737 ext. 650
BA, summa cum laude, Brandeis University, Phi Beta Kappa
JD, cum laude, Northwestern University School of Law
Professor Stark proudly joined the faculty of The John Marshall Law School in 1994 after eight years in private practice with Katten Muchin. She currently focuses her activities as a law professor on: (i) engaging in empirical research, scholarship, and advocacy on behalf of survivors of domestic violence and victims of predatory lending and (ii) training students to provide compassionate and superior legal assistance to survivors of domestic violence.
In pursuit of these goals, Professor Stark created the law school's Domestic Violence Clinical Advocacy Program ("DVCAP") and serves as its Director. A key initiative of DVCAP that Stark developed is its "Safety Through Knowledge Legal Assistance Project" where specially trained students, working under the supervision of highly talented adjunct faculty and volunteer attorneys provide legal information, advice, and other forms of legal assistance in eight different areas of law to survivors of DV relating to the abuse they have experienced. Family Rescue, a domestic violence service organization, is a partner with DVCAP on this project and refers clients they are helping to DVCAP for legal assistance.
Professor Stark developed and co-teaches with adjunct faculty two innovative courses with clinical and experiential components: Domestic Violence Law & Practicum (JD-276); and Family Law Advocacy for Survivors of DV (JD-204X). These courses lay a solid foundation of training for the students prior to their taking the third, entirely clinical course: Family Law & Domestic Violence Clinic (JD-276CL) where students work with DV survivor clients in the "Safety Through Knowledge Legal Assistance Project" and/or clients seeking legal representation on a divorce or parentage case referred by Between Friends, a domestic violence service organization, in a partnership by and among DVCAP, Between Friends, and Beermann Pritikin Mirabelli Swerdlove.
Professor Stark has conducted empirical studies relating to judicial decision-making on orders of protection, reported on the results of these studies to the Presiding Judge of the court monitored, along with recommended steps to address the problems noted from the data. Her law review article, which reports on the results of these studies with policy implications, was published in the Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy.
As director of DVCAP, Professor Stark organizes an annual educational/training program on different aspects of domestic violence. Over 138 individuals registered to attend or view as a webinar the 2014 Annual Program: "Legislative Promise Now Within Reach: Best Practices When Seeking Order of Protection Remedies," and the materials developed for the program have been posted on the DVCAP webpage for future reference by attorneys and domestic violence advocates.
Professor Stark was a member of two work groups created by the Presiding Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Division of Domestic Violence that focus on improving the operations of the domestic violence court in Cook County and is a member of the Metropolitan Battered Women's Network.
In pursuit of her goal to address the problem of predatory lending, Professor Stark has engaged in interdisciplinary and empirical research exploring why so many consumers entered into overpriced and unaffordable home loans and has developed strategies to improve home loan decision-making. She is the author of numerous articles (published in law reviews, including the Harvard BlackLetter Law Journal and the Yale Law Journal Online, and peer edited psychology journals) and a book chapter on this topic and was awarded (with colleague Dr. Jessica Choplin) a grant from the National Science Foundation's Law and Social Sciences Division relating to this work. She was appointed in 2010 to the State of Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation's Residential Mortgage Board, a group tasked with making recommendations to address the home loan crisis here in Illinois, and served as Chair of the Residential Mortgage from 2012-2013.
Professor Stark has been appointed to various national leadership positions in the field of real estate law. She served as Chair of the Real Estate Transactions Section of the Association of American Law Schools in 2012, after serving on its Executive Committee (2008), as Treasurer (2009), as Secretary (2010), and as Vice-Chair (2011). She also served as the Chair of the American Bar Association, Real Property Section's Foreclosure and Related Remedies Committee between 1994-1997 and Vice-Chair of the Real Property Section's Pro Bono Committee between 2003-2005. Professor Stark is also the author of two innovative, project and skills based, textbooks on real estate law, one of which has been adopted by over 30 law schools in the U.S.
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