Areas of Expertise
- Adult and Child Abuse
- Assisted Reproductive Technology Law
- Domestic Violence/Homicide
- Frozen Pre-Implantation Embryo Disposition
- Parental Rights
About Mary Beck
Professor Mary Beck taught in Schools of Nursing and Medicine for 13 years before joining the Missouri University law faculty in 1993 as Director of the Family Violence Clinic. The clinic closed as of fall 2020. It was a law school based practice wherein supervised Rule 13 certified law students represented indigent domestic violence victims, dying custodial parents, and national and international families with disabled children. Students also developed papers for publication on related issues and wrote a number of state laws. Her new favorite course is Sex, Reproduction, and the Law.
Professor Beck continues to teach part time at the Law School and has served as a faculty member and administrator in schools of nursing and medicine and worked as a certified family nurse practitioner at Missouri University Hospital and Clinics, the Columbia Free Clinic, and other publicly funded walk in clinics.
Professor Beck’s service includes drafting multi-state and federal legislation involving birth parents’ rights, adoption of children, stand by guardianship, and domestic violence; litigating pro bono appeals for disabled persons in adoption actions; and writing Amicus Curiae briefs to state courts and the United States Supreme Court. Professor Beck was an original member of the Missouri Battered Women’s Clemency Coalition and has participated in domestic violence clemency advocacy and litigation. Her students who worked on Clemency were the first law students ever to appear and argue (successfully) before the Missouri Supreme Court.
Professor Beck has published research is in the areas of congenital cardiac defects, domestic violence, adoption, and assisted reproductive technology in law reviews, adoption books, and in Bar Journals. Her work on putative father registry law has led to an appearance on CNN’s Anderson Cooper and mention in the NY Times. She has obtained state and federal grants to fund student representation of domestic violence victims and to fund multidisciplinary empirical research into Missouri’s police, prosecutorial, and judicial responses to domestic violence. The latter led to television, newsprint, and radio series on Missouri’s domestic violence responses, adoption, and related Missouri Bar Journal articles.
Professor Beck is married to Niels Beck and they have 4 children in 2 states, 2 sons-in-law, 1 daughter-in-law, and 9 grandchildren.
Latest News Featuring Mary Beck
- Last Family Violence Clinic Case Completed
- Professor Beck and Family Violence Clinic Students File Amicus Curiae Brief
Latest Publications from Mary Beck
- Frozen Pre-embryo Practice in Missouri
- Prenatal Abandonment: “Horton Hatches the Egg” in the Supreme Court and Thirty-four States
- A National Putative Father Registry
- Investigating the Justice System Response to Domestic Violence in Missouri
- Spotlight: Response to Violence against Women at the University of Missouri at Columbia