Joanna Woolman, director of the Child Protection Program and associate professor of law, is the first recipient of a new professorship at Mitchell Hamline School of Law focused on empirical research.
The John H. Faricy Professorship in Empirical Research in the Law will rotate annually among faculty members. Woolman’s plan is to collect data on the experiences of parents in the child protection system in Minnesota on a county-by-county basis.
“I’m thrilled to be chosen for this honor,” Woolman said. “The support from this chair will allow the Child Protection Program to expand in an important area—parent representation. I personally believe very strongly in the direct link between effective empirical research and the improvement of social and legal policies. I hope that the work of the Child Protection Program using this support will positively affect families, children, and the law in Minnesota.”
Mitchell Hamline’s Child Protection Program has developed a multidisciplinary model for parent representation using social workers, student attorneys, and parent mentors. This model is now being expanded in Ramsey County and other parts of the state.
Woolman, and the Child Protection Clinic, were recently named “Champions for Children” by Minnesota Communities Caring for Children, a group that focuses on preventing child abuse.
The new professorship was created by John H. Faricy Jr. ’82, founder of Minneapolis-based Faricy Law P.A., to provide professors with resources to do research and test theories and legal practices using quantitative techniques.
“We often proceed in the practice of law and in life with biases until research shows us otherwise,” commented Faricy on establishing the professorship. “Empirical scholarship can help us test our biases and to better understand what our laws and the practice of law should be.”
Faricy comes from a long line of family members who graduated from Mitchell Hamline legacy schools, including both of his grandfathers. His grandfather Roland J. Faricy ’22 was co-founder of the noted St. Paul law firm Faricy, Burger, Moore, Costello & Hart, and hired Warren E. Burger ’31, who went on to serve as U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice from 1969-1986.