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SMU Dedman Law

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Assistant Professor of Law


Email: jdweaver@smu.edu

Phone: 214-768-2641

Education:

B.A., 1992, University of Pennsylvania
J.D., 1995, University of Virginia

Professor Weaver teaches Family Law, Professional Responsibility, and Children and the Law.  Her research and scholarship focus on the analysis of current laws and policy practices in the child protection and juvenile justice systems and their impact on children and families.  She also writes about the intersection of race, gender, and family law.  

Professor Weaver received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she served as notes development editor of the Virginia Law Review.  She began her legal career in 1995 with the national firm of Littler Mendelson and eventually began a solo practice in 1997.  She practiced in the areas of juvenile, employment and business law before coming to SMU Dedman School of Law in 2002. 

Professor Weaver was the first director of the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Child Advocacy Clinic, where she taught an interdisciplinary course and supervised law students who served as guardians and attorneys ad litem for abused and neglected children.  She also coordinated seminars and child welfare symposiums that provided continuing education for attorneys and social workers in the child welfare field.  Her creation of the Community Advisory Group and subsequent Youth-at-Risk Roundtables resulted in improvements in the quality of services and legal representation for children.  She received the honor of being named one of twenty-five Extraordinary Minorities in Texas Law by the Texas Lawyer in 2009 for her work as founding Director of the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Child Advocacy Clinic. 

Professor Weaver was promoted from lecturer to senior lecturer before joining the tenure track faculty at the law school in 2009.  She was the 2012 Chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Children and the Law, and was a visiting scholar at Emory University School of Law for two weeks in the fall of 2012.


Primary Articles

Grandma in the White House:  Legal Support for Intergenerational Caregiving, 43 Seton Hall L. Rev. 1 (2013).

The Principle of Subsidiarity Applied:  Reforming the Legal Framework to Capture the Psychological Abuse of Children, 18 Va. J. Soc. Pol’y & L. 247 (2011).

The Texas Mis-step:  Why the Largest Child Removal in Modern U.S. History Failed, Vol. 16 Wm. & Mary J. Women & L. 449 (2010)(lead article).

The African-American Child Welfare Act:  A Legal Redress for African-American Disproportionality in Child Protection Cases, 10 Berkeley J. Afr.-Am. L. & Pol’y 109 (2008).

 

Short Publications

The First Father:  Perspectives on the President’s Fatherhood Initiative, 50 Fam. Ct. Rev., 297 (2012).
 
African-American Single Grandmothers:  Does the Gender-Entrapment Theory Apply? Essay Response to Professor Beth Richie, 37 Wash U.  J. L. & Soc. Pol’y 153 (2011).



Speeches/Presentations

Grandma in the White House:  Legal Support for Intergenerational Caregiving, 2013 Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting, AALS Section on Children and the Law Panel Presentation, “Evolving Responsibilities:  The Impact of Recent Trends on Children and Families” (January 5, 2013)

Child Sexual Victimization:  When Abused Children Become Neglectful Mothers, Brown Bag Lunch Visiting Scholar Presentation, Emory University School of Law (November 8, 2012)

Grandma in the White House, Faculty Development Brown Bag Workshop, Georgia State University School of Law (November 6, 2012)

Grandma in the White House, Faculty Enrichment Workshop, University of Florida Levin College of Law (November 2, 2012)

Child Sexual Victimization:  When Abused Children Become Neglectful Mothers, 2012 Lutie A. Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Writing Workshop, Suffolk University Law School (June 30, 2012)

Family and Race in Post-Obama America, 2012 Lutie A. Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Writing Workshop, Suffolk University Law School (June 29, 2012)

African-American Grandmothers:  Does the Gender Entrapment Theory Apply?, Art, Life & Law, “Sharing ideas, experiences and solutions:  a conversation surrounding kinship care within the African American family,”  South Dallas Cultural Center (June 22, 2012)

The Principal of Subsidiarity Applied:  Reforming the Legal Framework to Capture the Psychological Abuse of Children, Blue Ribbon Task Force, San Antonio, Texas (June 18, 2012)

Grandma in the White House, Sustaining Families:  Global and Local Perspectives, Midwest Family Law Consortium, University of Iowa School of Law (June 16, 2012)
 
Child Sexual Victimization:  When Abused Children Become Neglectful Mothers, Sustaining Families:  Global and Local Perspectives, Midwest Family Law Conference, University of Iowa School of Law (June 14, 2012)
 
Child Sexual Victimization:  When Abused Children Become Neglectful Mothers, Emerging Family Law Scholars and Teachers Conference, Fordham University School of Law (May 22, 2012)
 
Grandma in the White House, SMU Faculty Forum, SMU Dedman School of Law (April 12, 2012)

Grandma in the White House, 2011 Lutie A. Lytle Faculty Writing Workshop, Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law (June 18, 2011).

The First Father:  Perspectives on the President’s Fatherhood Initiative, 2011 Annual Law and Society Meeting, San Francisco, California  (June 4, 2011).

The First Father:  Perspectives on the President’s Fatherhood Initiative, Emerging Family Law Scholars and Teachers Conference 2011, University of California Hastings College of Law (June 2, 2011).

African-American Single Mothers & Grandmothers:  Does the Gender-Entrapment Theory Apply?, Access to Equal Justice Colloquium on “Black Feminism, Gender Violence and the Build-up of a Prison Nation,” Washington University School of Law (March 28, 2011).

Grandma in the White House, Feminism and Legal Theory Project Workshop, “Aging as a Feminist Concern,” Emory University School of Law (January 22, 2011).

Family and Race in Post-Obama America, Third National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference, Seton Hall University School of Law (September 10, 2010).

Collaborative Practice in the CPS Context:  Helping Prevent the Ultimate Parental Alienation – Termination of Parental Rights, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) Annual Conference (June 5, 2010).

Capturing the Psychological Abuse of Children, Feminism and Legal Theory Project Workshop, Emory University School of Law (March 20 2010).

FLDS Reconsidered:  Establishing Substantial Psychological Abuse as Part of the Legal Standard for Emergency Child Removal, Children and the Law Junior Faculty Workshop, Washington and Lee University School of Law (July 17, 2009).

Legal Implications of the FLDS Compound CPS Case, SMU Godbey Lecture Series, Southern Methodist University (October 6, 2008).

Texas Mis-step:  Why the largest child removal in modern U.S. history failed, SMU Godbey Lecture Series, Southern Methodist University (September 29, 2008).

The African-American Child Welfare Act:  A Legal Redress for African-American Disproportionality in Child Protection Cases, Setting the Agenda:  Examining Critical Legal Issues Facing African-Americans and Minority Communities in the 2008 Election, Berkeley Journal of African-American of Law and Policy Symposium (November 9, 2007).

Education of Juvenile Delinquents:  The Forgotten Youth, Twelfth Annual Lat Crit Conference (October 6, 2007).


Media

Polygamy Ruling Raises Legal Debate on State Power, News Hour with Jim Lehrer, May 22, 2008, http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/law/jan-june08/sectkids_05-22.html.

High Court upholds polygamist sect case decision, NBC Nightline News, May 29, 2008, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/24881533#24881533.  

Mothers Tell Their Side of the Story, NBC Nightly News, April 16, 2008, http://www.smu.edu/flashvideo/?id=196.

Sweep of Polygamists’ Kids Raise Legal Questions, Associated Press, April 25, 2008, http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=4722560.

Child Advocacy and Options after Foster Care, KNON, KERA 90.1FM, Think! Radio show, November 20, 2006, http://smu.edu/newsinfo/stories/jessica-dixon-kera-20nov2006.asp