Schneider, Elizabeth M.
Schneider, Elizabeth M.
ADDRESSES: Office—Brooklyn Law School, 250 Joralemon St., Rm. 811, Brooklyn, NY 11201. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Writer, attorney, and educator. Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, NY, Rose L. Hoffer Professor of Law, 1983–. Staff attorney, Rutgers Law School-Newark Constitutional Litigation Clinic and Center for Constitutional Rights; visiting professor, Harvard Law School and Columbia Law School.
MEMBER: American Law Institute.
AWARDS, HONORS: Publishers Book Award, legal category, Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division of Association of American Publishers, 2000, for Battered Women and Feminist Lawmaking.
(With Clare Dalton) Battered Women and the Law, Foundation Press (New York, NY), 2001.
Contributor to books, including Woman in Sexist Society: Studies in Power and Powerlessness, edited by V. Gornick and B. Moran, 1971; The Prostitution Papers: A Candid Dialogue, 1972; Feminist Legal Theory: Foundations, edited by D. Kelly Weisberg, 1993; Justice Confronts Race, Domestic Violence, Lawyers, Money, and the Media, edited by J. Abramson, 1996; and Women and the United States Constitution: History, Interpretation, and Practice, edited by S. Schwarzenbach and P. Smith, 2003. Contributor to journals and periodicals such as New York University Law Review, University of Chicago Legal Forum, De Paul Law Review, Brooklyn Law Review, New England Law Review, Texas Journal of Women and the Law, Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, Georgetown Journal of Gender and Law, and Journal of Legal Education.
SIDELIGHTS: Elizabeth M. Schneider is a legal expert on gender discrimination and violence against women. Schneider has been a pioneer in the attempt to bring greater public awareness to the issues of gender law and domestic violence, both as a practicing attorney and as a legal thinker and scholar. She has successfully litigated cases on behalf of battered women, including State v. Wanrow, in which Native-American woman Yvonne Wanrow was initially convicted for shooting and killing a man who entered her babysitter's home, uninvited, inebriated, and apparently intent on causing harm. At the time of the incident, Wanrow was injured and able to walk only with crutches. The man was physically much larger and stronger than Wanrow, and Schneider maintains that the defendant's deadly use of a firearm constituted an appropriate response to the threat posed by her dangerous opponent. Schneider argued that, in terms of Wanrow's self-defense claim, what constitutes a threat to her person would not be necessarily the same as what would be considered threatening to an average man. Further, Wanrow's concept of "self" included her children, who were under her protection, and her ability to put up a "defense" was hindered by her physical condition. "In articulating Wanrow's perspective, Schneider and the other lawyers who worked on her case helped make the law appreciate that equal treatment did not mean identical treatment," observed Katharine K. Baker in the Yale Law Journal.
In Battered Women and Feminist Lawmaking Schneider carefully examines the legal, political, and social issues surrounding domestic violence and the system of coercion, control, and subordination that underlies it. She divides the book into four sections. The first looks at the history and social framework of domestic-violence issues. The second section puts forth a number of theoretical notions on legal elements of battering and violence. The third part offers an expert analysis of the law pertaining to domestic violence, while the last section considers the future of feminist lawmaking and legal protection of battered women.
"Schneider has done feminism a great service by writing this book," Baker noted. The author's "analysis is intelligent and persuasive and brings new understanding to the problem," remarked Mary Jane Brustman in Library Journal. "We are lucky to have Elizabeth Schneider," observed Mimi Wesson in the Women's Review of Books, "and fortunate that she has made her work, of both sorts, accessible to us in this admirable book."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, November 1, 2000, Mary Jane Brustman, review of Battered Women and Feminist Lawmaking, p. 112.
Women's Review of Books, December, 2000, Mimi Wesson, review of Battered Women and Feminist Lawmaking, p. 29.
Yale Law Journal, June, 2001, Katharine E. Baker, review of Battered Women and Feminist Lawmaking, p. 1459.