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Associate Professor of Law

Professor Barbara Babb

Director, Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children and the Courts

Director, Post-J.D. Certificate in Family Law Program
John and Frances Angelos Law Center, Room 534

Administrative Assistant: Marcellus Anderson
John and Frances Angelos Law Center, Room 536


J.D., Cornell University, 1981
M.S., Cornell University, 1978
B.S., with highest distinction, Pennsylvania State University, 1973

Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Expertise

Clinical Legal Education/Experiential Learning
Child Advocacy
Family Law
Family Justice System Reform
Interdisciplinary Scholarship and Teaching
Therapeutic Jurisprudence
Unified Family Courts

Babb, founder and director of the Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children and the Courts and director of the Post-J.D. Certificate in Family Law, joined the faculty in 1989 after three years as managing attorney of the Domestic Law Unit at the Legal Aid Bureau in Baltimore, Maryland. Prior to that, she was in private practice for several years with a law firm in New York. She was a visiting professor at the George Washington University Law School during the 1999 spring semester.

Babb teaches several courses in the family law area. Professor Babb's scholarship focuses on an interdisciplinary approach to family law through the application of therapeutic jurisprudence and an ecological/holistic perspective and to court reform in family law through the creation of unified family courts. She has written on family law issues in the Southern California Law Review, Indiana Law Journal, Family Law Quarterly, Family Court Review, Journal of Health Care Law and Policy and the Maryland Bar Journal, among others. Babb has spoken at the national and international levels on unified family courts and family law decision-making.

In 2016, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) appointed Professor Babb editor-in-chief of the Family Court Review. Babb has served on the Review’s editorial board since 1999. She has written numerous articles for the journaland has guest-edited three special issues. The quarterly review, which is published by AFCC in cooperation with the Center for Children, Families and the Law at Hofstra University School of Law, is the leading interdisciplinary academic and research journal for family law professionals.

She has participated in court and law reform projects in Maryland, nationally, and internationally. She is a co-founder of the Domestic Law Pro Se Assistance Project, a court-based program to assist self-represented family law litigants that currently operates in all of Maryland's Circuit Courts. Babb has taught the mandatory Professionalism course to new admittees of the Maryland Bar. She is a past Chair and current Executive Committee Member of the Family and Juvenile Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), and she has co-chaired the In-House Clinics Committee of the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education. Babb has served as a member of the Family and Juvenile Law Section Council of the Maryland State Bar Association and has co-chaired the Family Courts Committee of the American Bar Association's Section of Family Law. She has served as an Advisory Council member and member of the ABA's Standing Committee on Substance Abuse and has participated in that committee's model national unified family court project.  She frequently teaches continuing legal education courses in the family law and child advocacy areas.

Babb served as a consultant to Chief Judge Robert C. Murphy's Family Division Review Committee in 1993, to the Court of Appeals of Maryland's Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure to draft the Family Division Rule in 1997, and to Chief Judge Robert M. Bell's Ad Hoc Committee on the Implementation of the Family Divisions from 1998 and 2000. She chaired the Pro Bono Coordinating Council from 1990 until 1994, and she was a member of the Board of Directors of the People's Pro Bono Action Center, Inc. during that same period.

Babb was designated a Human Rights and Justice Champion by Maryland Legal Aid in 2011. She received a University System of Maryland Regents' Award for Outstanding Public Service in 1999 and the first Benjamin L. Cardin Distinguished Service Award from the Maryland Legal Services Corporation in 1998. Three years prior to that, she received the Women's Law Center's Rosalyn B. Bell Award for Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Family Law. Babb received the law school's Full-Time Faculty Outstanding Teaching Award in 2001 and the James P. May Excellence in Teaching Award in 1996.

Babb is a member of the New York and Maryland bars.

Selected Publications

Books and Book Chapters

Therapeutic Jurisprudence, in Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice, (Gerben Bruinsma and David Weinsburd, eds., 2014) (with David B. Wexler).

Family Courts in Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment, (forthcoming 2014).

Unified Family Courts: An Interdisciplinary Framework and a Problem-Solving Approach in Problem Solving Courts: Social Science and Legal Perspectives, (Richard L. Weiner and Eve M. Brank, eds., 2013).

Barbara A. Babb & Gloria Danziger, A Comprehensive Approach to Truancy for Baltimore City: A Roundtable Discussion (2007).

Performance Standards and Measures for Maryland's Family Divisions (Maryland Judiciary, 2002) (with Jeffrey Kuhn).

Articles and Essays

Family Courts Are Here to Stay, So Let's Improve Them, 52 Fam. Ct. Rev. 642 (2014).

Families Matter: Recommendations to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families in Court, University of Baltimore School of Law, Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children and the Courts (with Gloria Danziger) (June 2014).

Maryland's Family Divisions: Sensible Justice for Families and Children, 72 Md. L. Rev. 1124 (2013).
Alternate link for Maryland's Family Divisions: Sensible Justice for Families and Children.

Reevaluating Where We Stand: A Comprehensive Survey of America's Family Justice Systems, 46 Family Court Review 230 (2008).

A Truancy Court Program to Keep Students in School, 39 Maryland Bar Journal 44 (2006).

An Analysis of Unified Family Courts in Maryland and California: Their Relevance for Ontario's Family Justice System, 24 Canadian Family Law Quarterly 25 (2005).

Substance Abuse, Families, and Unified Family Courts: The Creation of a Caring Justice System, 3 Journal of Health Care Law & Policy 1 (1999) (with Judith D. Moran).

Where We Stand: An Analysis of America's Family Law Adjudicatory Systems and the Mandate to Establish Unified Family Courts, Family Law Quarterly, Vol. 32, No. 1 (1998).

Fashioning an Interdisciplinary Framework for Court Reform in Family Law: A Blueprint to Construct a Unified Family Court, 71 Southern California Law Review 469 (1998).

An Interdisciplinary Approach to Family Law Jurisprudence: Application of an Ecological and Therapeutic Perspective, 72 Indiana Law Journal 775 (1997).

Articles on Social Science Research Network

Recent Media

What Is Therapeutic Jurisprudence (TJ), Center for Families, Children and the Courts (April 10, 2014, 10:38 AM).

Maryland Morning: Social Media and Urban Youth, WYPR, (March 26, 2014).