The Center on Applied Feminism serves as a bridge between feminist legal theory and the law.
Unique within the legal academy, the center seeks to apply feminist insights to legal practice and the policy arena. In particular, the center examines how feminist theory can benefit legal practitioners in representing clients, shape legal doctrine and play a role in policy debates and implementation. The center has faculty affiliates from throughout the university. In addition to holding conferences and regular colloquia on emerging legal areas that intersect with feminism, the center sponsors the Special Topics in Applied Feminism course and helps students plan for careers in feminist advocacy.
In 2018-19: The center co-sponsored with the UB Law Review the 11th Feminist Legal Theory Conference: Applied Feminism and #MeToo. The conference mixed activism and scholarship focusing on sexual harassment and gender-based violence law. Sixteen scholars and practitioners presented papers concerning a wide array of legal topics, from sexual assaults during police searches to the credibility of survivors in courtrooms.
The keynote speaker was Debra Katz, the lawyer who represented Christine Blasey Ford during the confirmation hearings for now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh. In addition, hotel workers from a union presented about being sexually harassed and their campaign to end such treatment in hotels. Center members continued to work with UB law students and the Reproductive Justice Inside coalition to create model policies for reproductive health care and menstrual hygiene product access for Maryland correctional facilities.