Office: Room 3249
Telephone: (313) 577-3986
Ph.D., Columbia University
J.D., Columbia Law School
B.A., Stanford University
Family Law, Contracts, Adoption in Law and Literature
Professor Sarah Abramowicz joined the faculty in Fall 2007 as an assistant professor of law. Her scholarship focuses on the history of child custody law and of legal adoption, and on the place of childhood in the troubled intersection between family law and other areas of law, especially contract law. She has taught courses on family law, contracts, and adoption in law and literature. Her work has appeared in the Columbia Law Review and in the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities.
Currently, Abramowicz is writing an article titled “Beyond Family Law.” It examines the intersection of family law with other fields such as criminal law, contracts, and immigration law. The article proposes that greater attention to the interests and needs of children in these areas will improve decision making, and offers a model for when family law’s “best interests” standard should play a role in adjudication of cases that involve children only indirectly. She is also working on a book, tentatively titled The Impossible Contract: Law, Parentage, and the Victorian Novel, that examines the connections between Victorian child custody law, the Victorian novel, and the rise of freedom of contract.
Abramowicz holds a Ph.D. in English literature from Columbia University. She received her law degree from Columbia Law School, where she was review and essays editor of the Columbia Law Review and a Kent Scholar. After receiving her J.D., she was awarded a fellowship in the Program on Careers in Law Teaching at Columbia Law School. She then served as a law clerk to the Hon. Amalya L. Kearse of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
"The Legal Regulation of Gay and Lesbian Families as Interstate Immigration Law: A Response to The Hidden Dimensions of Nineteenth-century Immigration Law," Vand. L. Rev En Banc (forthcoming).
"Rethinking Parental Incarceration," 82 U. Colo. L. Rev. 793 (2011).
"Childhood and the Limits of Contract," Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities 21 (2009): 36
"The Rights of Pretrial Detainees," in The Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual Ch. 28 (5th ed. Supp. 2002) (publication of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review)
"English Child Custody Law, 1660-1839: The Origins of Judicial Intervention in Paternal Custody," Columbia Law Review 99 (1999): 1344
- April 1, 2009
Sarah Abramowicz spoke on "The Forgotten Child: Reframing the Legal Canon," Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities, Suffolk University School of Law, Boston, MA, April 2009.
- August 1, 2008
Sarah Abramowicz spoke on "Unexpected Expectations in Victorian Child Custody Law and the Victorian Bildungsroman," Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Narrative Literature, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, March 2003.
- March 1, 2008
Sarah Abramowicz spoke on "The Impossible Contract: Adoption and the Limits of Contract in Dickens's Great Expectations," Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities, University of Texas, Austin, TX, March 2005.
- March 1, 2008
Sarah Abramowicz spoke on "From Lawyer to Detective in the Victorian Novel," Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities, Cardozo School of Law, New York, NY, March 2003.
- March 1, 2007
Sarah Abramowicz spoke on "Childhood and the Limits of Contract," Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C., March 2007.