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Madeline Kochen named director of new public interest law programs

STANFORD -- Stanford Law School has created a new full-time position of Director of Public Interest Law Programs and named attorney Madeline Kochen to the post.

Public interest law includes legal aid to the poor, government service, and work for nonprofit organizations like those concerned with civil rights, the environment, children or the elderly.

"This new position symbolizes Stanford Law School's commitment to public service," said Paul Brest, dean of the school. "Madeline's leadership will help us realize that commitment."

Kochen, who was selected after a nationwide search, has 14 years public interest experience in the state of New York.

While a student at Yeshiva University's Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, she interned for two years with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Reproductive Freedom Project. Her first post after graduating with a J.D. in 1981 was with the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County, doing criminal appeals for indigent defendants.

During this period she also passed the New York State bar examination and was admitted to practice in various courts up to and including the U.S. Supreme Court.

Kochen worked for five years (1983-88) with the New York Civil Liberties Union, initially as a staff attorney and legislative counsel, and later as the founder and director of the NYCLU Women's Rights/Reproductive Rights Project.

In 1988, Kochen was awarded a Charles H. Revson Fellowship for the Future of the City of New York. As a Revson fellow, she was able to pursue studies at Columbia University in philosophy, sociology and religion, while participating in a weekly seminar on inner-city problems and solutions.

From 1989 to 1992, Kochen was the law assistant to Acting Justice Elliott Wilk of the New York Supreme Court. For the past year, she has been practicing law while conducting scholarly research on historical and institutional aspects of legal bondage.

She has a number of publications to her credit, including two page-one articles in the New York Law Journal. The first, "Constitutional Implications of New York's 'Get' Statute," appeared Oct. 17, 1983, and the second, "A Review of New York State Law Affecting Name Changes," on Oct. 3, 1985.

She is co-author of a chapter, "A Woman's Right to Control her Body," in the book, The Rights of Women.

Kochen has had an impact on the laws of her native state. A bill she drafted passed the New York legislature as the Marital Name Change Law (Chapter 583 of the Laws of 1985), which enables people getting married to keep or change their names as they see fit. She previously co- authored the state's Personal Privacy Protection Law (Chapter 652 of the Laws of 1983), which regulates government record keeping to protect individual privacy rights.

At Stanford, Kochen will direct the Law School's public interest law programs, which include career counseling for students considering public interest careers and educational programs for all students on the range of opportunities for public service. She looks forward, she says, "to working with students, faculty, and the public interest community to create new opportunities and programs as well."

Kochen speaks enthusiastically of her new responsibilities. "I see myself as an advocate for public interest law both within the law school, and also on its behalf outside the university.

"It is my hope and goal to inspire students to consider public interest law careers, to support and guide students who have already identified this option, and to cultivate new opportunities for students to gain experience and pursue careers in the field of public interest law."

The date she officially joined the Stanford Law School staff was Aug. 1, 1994. In addition to being director of Public Interest Law Programs, she holds the title of Assistant Director of the school's Office of Career Services.

Kochen was born March 14, 1957, in Rochester, N.Y,. and received her diploma from Scarsdale High School in 1975. She entered Yeshiva University in New York City a year early, following her junior year of high school.

As a Yeshiva undergraduate, she majored in Judaic Studies, won a Judaic Studies Award, and served as Jewish Law Editor of the student newspaper. She received her bachelor's degree in January 1978 magna cum laude.

Kochen speaks Hebrew fluently. Before law school she pursued in-depth study of Talmudic law in Israel, and later worked as a law student intern for a lawyer in Tel Aviv.

Kochen is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Kochen of Mamaroneck, N.Y.



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