Professor Barbara Babb receives national award for her contributions to family law progress

Professor Barbara Babb with William Howe of the Oregon Family Institute.

Professor Barbara Babb with William Howe of the Oregon Family Institute.

Professor Barbara Babb, director of the University of Baltimore School of Law’s Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children and the Courts, was awarded the 2015 Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award on May 27 at the annual conference of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) in New Orleans.

The award recognizes outstanding research and achievements in the field of family and divorce. Professor Babb was selected for her long career of scholarship and activism to improve family courts and family law. Babb, who has been the guest editor of special issues of AFCC’s Family Court Review, has written numerous articles on unified family courts and problem-solving courts, employing the insight that unified family courts fulfill the ideals of therapeutic justice. Her articles have appeared in the Southern California Law Review, Indiana Law Journal, Family Law Quarterly, Family Court Review, Journal of Health Care Law and Policy, Maryland Bar Journal and Maryland Law Review, among others.

For the Maryland Law Review, Babb wrote “Maryland’s Family Divisions: Sensible Justice for Families and Children,” which examined the creation of separate family divisions in Maryland’s largest jurisdictions. Babb, with the staff of the Meyerhoff center, has been instrumental in transforming family justice in Maryland, helping to launch the family divisions, developing and writing Performance Standards and Measures for Maryland’s Family Divisions (Maryland Judiciary, 2002, with Jeffrey Kuhn) and, most recently, sponsoring a symposium for judges and court leadership to advance court practices.

The AFCC award is named for the late Dr. Stanley Cohen, a founding member of the organization who served as its executive director and as co-editor of the Review. AFCC, an interdisciplinary, international association with more than 5,000 members, advocates a collaborative approach to serve the needs of children among those who work in and with family law systems, encouraging education, research and innovation and identifying best practices.

Professor Babb’s scholarship is available at

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