Mary Beck earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing at St. Louis University and was later certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She taught in Schools of Nursing and Medicine and worked in hospitals and clinics for 13 years before enrolling in law school. Upon graduation from UM-C School of Law, Mary practiced law and developed a specialized adoption caseload. She is a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, the American Bar Association and the Missouri Bar.

TEACHING In 1993, Professor Beck joined the law faculty at University of Missouri at Columbia and assumed leadership of its Family Violence Clinic. In the clinic, she supervises law students representing abused women and children in civil and juvenile courts and guides students in social justice problem solving through legislation, litigation, and interdisciplinary research.. In the classroom, she teaches Advocacy, Family Violence, and Public Policy which analyzes interdisciplinary perspectives on domestic violence; local, national, and international responses to domestic violence; development of public policy; and using media to effect social change. She also teaches Client Interviewing and Counseling.

She and her students have successfully pursued gubernatorial petitions and extraordinary writs for clemency petitioners. Their most recent case is: State ex rel. Shirley Lute, Petitioner, v. Missouri Board of Probation and Parole, et al., Respondents. (consolidated with) State ex rel. Lynda Ruth Branch, Petitioner, v. Jennifer Miller, Superintendent, Chillicothe Correctional Center, et al., Respondents. Case numbers SC88026 and SC88111. Handdown Date: 04/17/2007. Professor Beck and her students represented Lynda Branch in a successful clemency petition and later filed a Writ of Habeas Corpus to obtain her release from the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole.

RESEARCHProfessor Beck has published in the Journal of Nursing Research, the Missouri Bar Journal, Missouri Medicine, the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, the San Francisco Law Review, the Missouri Law Review, and the St. Louis Public Law Review on topics related to pediatric care, health care law, family law, adoption, & trial procedure. She launched a monthly Medical Legal Column in Missouri's 2 medical association journals and edited it from 1995-1997. Her article, Towards a National Putative Father Registry Data Base 25 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Policy 1031 has formed a basis for much of her multistate and federal legislative drafting. Her research includes an empirical study comparing student rankings of their learning of the MacCrate Legal Skills and Values in different venues: clinics, theoretical classes, externships, and summer employment, and a empirical and investigative comparison of the justice system response to violence against women in each Missouri County. This investigation lasted 3 years, involved the MU Schools of Journalism, Law, and Medicine and was funded by the Missouri Dept. of Public Safety. A Missouri Bar Journal Article is in press reporting this research.

GRANTSMANSHIPProfessor Beck has obtained national, state, and private funding in association with the Family Violence Clinic. She obtained funding to maintain the clinic in its second and third years of operation from the U.S. Dept. of Education. She obtained funding from the U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Legal Assistance Program to develop an interdisciplinary family violence teaching project with the UMC Dept. of Psychiatry and Neurology. She obtained funding from two Missouri Dept. of Public Safety Programs -- the Stop Violence Against Women Program and the Victims of Crime Act Program -- to fund the clinic's outreach representation of indigent abused women in rural counties and more recently to fund a statewide investigation of the justice systemís response to domestic violence. She obtained 5 year funding from the Altria Corporation to support Family Violence Teaching Fellows.

PRACTICEProfessor Beck maintains a small private practice limited to adoption and surrogacy and has written an Amicus Curiae Brief filed in behalf of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys in an interstate contested adoption case. She works with legislators, adoption attorneys, and state agencies in Missouri, Louisiana, Virginia, South Dakota, Kentucky, and Alaska to develop adoption law that promotes the adoptive placement of children, that protects the rights of birth parents, and that implements secure adoption procedures. She also participates in a congressional initiative to develop a national putative father registry, which was developed by Senator Mary Landrieu in cooperation with the Dept. of Health and Human Services Administration of Children and Families, the White House, and the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. Professor Beck personally supervises law students in approximately 50 domestic violence civil or juvenile cases per year.

SERVICE Professor Beck's service posts have included Director of Clinical Services at the Columbia Free Clinic, member of the Columbia Catholic School Board, chair of the Missouri Bar Medical Legal Relations Committee, and chair of the Department of Social Services Statewide Adoption Committee's Legislative Subcommittee. Currently, she is sits on the Board of Mid Missouri Legal Services Corp. She also assists in the adoption of hard to place children every year.

PERSONAL Mary Beck is married to Niels Beck, a professor in the UMC School of Medicine. They have 2 daughters, 2 sons, a son in law, a daughter in law, 2 granddaughters, and a grandson.


104 Hulston Hall University of Missouri School of Law Columbia, MO 65211



Family Violence Clinic Interactive Tutorial

The Domestic Violence Project