Meet Amy Barasch
I was raised in New York City, where diversity is the norm, and curiosity, energy and ambition are in the drinking water. I searched for my own passion by working as a journalist in NYC and Paris. I wanted to make change, and when I looked around at who had the power to do that, I saw lawyers. A few important journalists were able to raise awareness, but lawyers could actually legislate, create policy, and advocate for individual and system change.
It was in law school that I became dedicated to directing my efforts towards women in poverty. For years I have used legal tools to address the harm that intimate partner violence causes in our communities, as a litigator, a teacher, and a policy-maker. When you go to law school, and you read legal decisions that use a “reasonable man” standard, or put a father on an equal playing field with a mother because he made breakfast on Saturdays (while she did everything else), it challenges our understanding that the law is fair and equitable.
After law school I worked with all kinds of employers, gaining a breadth of experience, but always working to give back. Working at Her Justice makes my somewhat meandering professional path make sense in retrospect! A place that champions women, using the law, and partnering with law firms checks every box for me. I worked at a law firm out of school, supporting their volunteer practice. I have represented women in family court seeking orders of protection, custody and child support. I have litigated abuse and neglect proceedings. I ran a state agency dedicated to developing interagency solutions to domestic violence. I helped create and then run a single-stop center for victims of partner violence in New York City.
Throughout all of these jobs, the curiosity to learn, the energy to try to solve inequities and the ambition to make a difference have driven me forward. Her Justice is committed to making sure everyone is able to move forward from an equal playing field, and recognizes that systemic inequities have often made that particularly hard for our low-income women clients. We champion the necessity of challenging assumptions, and use the law as a tool to shift the power to those who have not always had access to it.
Over the years I have learned so much from my clients – their faces and stories are always with me. I profoundly respect these women, what they have gone through and where they have ended up. I admire their courage and their heart – and it is always these determined women that I think of when I aim for a change, a new law or a new policy.
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