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June 09, 2021 Columns

Editors’ Notes, Volume 54, Number 3

Lisa F. Grumet and Aliyah Polner

From the Editor in Chief

This issue is the first of two Family Law Quarterly issues concerning family law and COVID-19. After a year of considerable hardship, we are glad to present this issue at a time when vaccinations are well underway in the United States, and it is possible to consider a post-pandemic world. Thank you to authors Professor Elizabeth G. Thornburg, retired Judge Lynda B. Munro, Nicole M. Riel, Professor Robert G. Spector, and Melissa A. Kucinski and to Issue Editor Samuel Schoonmaker for their wonderful contributions to this issue and to the first FLQ virtual symposium event, Family Law During COVID-19: Virtual Hearings, Family Court Proceedings, and the Future, which took place on April 8, 2021. Thank you as well to Family Law Section Chair Michael Mosberg and all members of the FLQ Board of Editors for their vision, leadership, and support. Thank you also to Managing Editor Lisa V. Comforty; to ABA Designer Betsy Kulak and proofreader Betsy Blumenthal; and to ABA Family Law Section Director Cindy Swan, Program Specialist Danielle Pruger, and Program Associate Ann Mullen. Additionally, thank you to our readers and symposium attendees for your interest, support, and feedback in these challenging times.

I would like to reserve the remainder of this space for Aliyah Polner, who is the inaugural Student Editor in Chief at New York Law School (NYLS). Congratulations to Aliyah and to all NYLS Editorial Board members, Senior Editors, and Junior Editors for remarkable work in this publication’s first year at NYLS; and thank you to NYLS Dean Anthony W. Crowell, Associate Dean William LaPiana, and Diane and Arthur Abbey, for making this work possible.

All my best,
Lisa F. Grumet
May 2021

Faculty Editor/Editor in Chief
Family Law Quarterly
Visiting Associate Professor of Law, New York Law School
[email protected]

From the Student Editor in Chief

As a law student who is about to graduate and begin my legal career, virtual screens and phone calls are the only experiences I have had “in court.” Through a clinic that New York Law School offers in collaboration with a local nonprofit organization, I have been appearing under supervision in Manhattan Family Court, representing children who are the subjects of abuse and neglect cases. In my capacity as a student Attorney for the Child, I have been preparing my cases in a way that is likely similar to what I would have done before COVID-19. Even though my preparation is similar to pre-pandemic practice, there is a significant difference—I have never met any of my clients in person. However, I have seen their faces, heard their voices, learned their favorite toys, and joined them in melodically reciting the alphabet. While I have not stepped foot into a courtroom, I have cross-examined witnesses in a hearing, given a summation, and participated in judicial conferences.

My classmates have had similar virtual introductions to family law practice through clinical work and internships with the government, nonprofit agencies, and private law offices. While attending law school mostly online, we have had the opportunity to watch how the legal system has evolved during the pandemic and to observe how family law practitioners have adapted to these circumstances in order to best serve our clients. We have appreciated the opportunity to be part of the Family Law Section, and to learn from others, including the authors who have contributed to this issue.

It has been my sincerest honor to serve as the inaugural NYLS Student Editor in Chief and to work with all of the other student editors on these articles and upcoming issues. Some of us have never met in person, but we have come to know each other well while also learning about how family law practitioners and courts around the country have been addressing the pandemic. FLQ has kept us connected to our colleagues and to the legal community as a whole while providing us with the chance to consider how the experience of the pandemic may impact family law practice in the future. Thank you for reading this issue, and I hope that it will mean as much to you as it does to all of us.

Kindest regards,
Aliyah Polner

Student Editor in Chief
Family Law Quarterly
New York Law School
Juris Doctor Candidate 2021

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Lisa F. Grumet and Aliyah Polner