Elizabeth L. MacDowell

Elizabeth L. MacDowell

Director of the Family Justice Clinic

Professor of Law

Elizabeth L. MacDowell's image
Areas of expertise:

Domestic Violence Law & Policy, Feminist Theory, Family Law, Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, Poverty Law


Professor MacDowell is Director of the Family Justice Clinic, a family law clinic focusing on the intersection of family law with criminalization, child welfare, and other forms of state intervention into families. Her research focuses on intersectional issues of race, class, gender, domestic violence, access to justice, and the impact of criminalization on low-income families. The American Association of Law Schools recently named her a Bellow Scholar for her empirical study (with Emily Troshynski of UNLV) of domestic violence self-help clinics. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, Professor MacDowell served as Recent Developments Editor of the Berkeley Women's Law Journal (now the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice), and as a member of the Moot Court Board and Workers’ Rights Clinic. Prior to entering the academy, Professor MacDowell was in private practice in Los Angeles, California, where she specialized in family law and domestic violence law and policy. She also has experience in complex business and employment litigation, and has litigated constitutional claims on behalf of incarcerated clients. She was a founding member of the Pro Bono Civil Rights Panel for the Central Federal District Court of California. Professor MacDowell joined the UNLV faculty from Chapman University School of Law, where she developed and taught a clinical course in the Chapman Family Violence Clinic and taught courses on family law and domestic violence law and policy. At UNLV, Professor MacDowell also teaches Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure and Poverty Law. She is admitted to the state bars of California and Nevada, and to the California Northern and Central Federal District Courts. Professor MacDowell is a member of the Society of American Law Teachers; she is also a member of the Feminist Legal Theory Critical Research Network, and the Race and the Law Critical Research Network of the Law and Society Association. 

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