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Domestic violence in America: Law student wins national essay contest

College of Law student Samantha Sobel

College of Law student Samantha R. Sobel won first place in the Yanez & Associates Law Scholarship Essay Contest and Scholarship Program for her paper, “Should parents convicted of domestic violence have their parental rights terminated?”

The essay focused on domestic violence in America with the goal of increasing awareness of the growing issue. Sobel is a student in Stetson’s Social Justice Advocacy Concentration Program (pictured on Stetson Today‘s front page).

Yanez & Associates’ national essay contest and scholarship program offered a $2,000 prize to the first place winner and a $1,000 prize to the second place winner. Participants were invited to write 2,500-3,500 words on a topic.

“This was a topic very close to my heart because it combined two areas of law that I have dedicated my law school career to: juvenile dependency and family law,” said Sobel. “I worked very closely with survivors of domestic violence when I was interning with Bay Area Legal Services, as well as volunteering with Community Action Stops Abuse in St. Petersburg, Florida. I have also worked with the Florida Department of Children and Families: Children’s Legal Services, dealing directly with the issue of terminating parental rights and cases involving domestic violence.”

Those experiences prompted Sobel to write her juvenile law seminar paper on the failure to protect laws and childhood exposure to domestic violence.

“I attribute winning first place to my passion and experiences in these areas of law,” said Sobel. “It is truly validating and provides me additional incentive to continue my work in the areas of juvenile dependency and family law after my fast-approaching law school graduation.”

Stetson University College of Law