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About Debra Pogrund Stark

Professor Stark received her B.A. degree from Brandeis University, summa cum laude, phi betta kappa, and her J.D. degree from Northwestern University School of Law, cum laude. She proudly joined the faculty of The John Marshall Law School in 1994 after eight years in private practice with Katten Muchin. Since 2008 she has focused on 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 its “Family Law & Domestic Violence Clinic” course and serves as the director of both. In recognition of the innovative ways in which the Family Law & Domestic Violence Clinic operates to train law students, the clinic won the Illinois State Bar Association’s “Excellence in Legal Education” Award in 2016. 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, representation, in eight different areas of law that can be useful to survivors of domestic violence to become safe and independent. The eight areas of law are: (i) orders of protection, (ii) divorce/parentage and child protection, (iii) crime victim compensation, (iv) housing protections, (v) employment protections, (vi) debt relief/credit repair, (vii) tax liability relief, and (viii) immigration relief. DVCAP currently partners with six domestic violence service organizations on this project: Apna Ghar, Between Friends, Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center, Connections for Abused Women & Their Children, Family Rescue, and Sarah’s Inn, who provide risk assessments and safety planning to the clients referred for legal assistance. A second major initiative of DVCAP is to develop law reform proposals based on empirical, interdisciplinary and multi-state research, including “What’s Law Got To Do With It? Confronting Judicial Nullification of Domestic Violence Remedies” 10 Northwestern L. Rev. 130 and “Seeing the Wrecking Ball in Motion: Ex Parte Protection Orders and the Realities of Domestic Violence” Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender & Society (forthcoming). The third major initiative of DVCAP she has spearheaded is the creation of innovative legal resources for survivors of domestic violence, including interactive online legal resources, and organizing annual domestic violence educational conferences to help improve society’s response to the problem of domestic violence. Prof. Stark is also an expert on real estate law and has engaged in substantial empirical research, scholarship, and legal advocacy on behalf of victims of predatory lending.

Additionally, she is one of the top 10% of all authors downloaded overall on SSRN.


Present Director, Domestic Violence Clinical Advocacy Program, John Marshall Law School
Present Professor, John Marshall Law School

Curriculum Vitae



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Honors and Awards

  • 2016 ISBA Excellence in Legal Education Award

Contact Information

The John Marshall Law School
315 South Plymouth Court
Chicago, Illinois 60604
Phone: 312.360.2650
Office: Room 929
Office Hours: Mon. & Weds. 4-5:45 p.m. or by appointment

Recent Works (1)

Articles (39)