Professor of Clinical Law Emerita Holly Maguigan, a faculty member at NYU Law for more than 30 years, died on November 15, 2023, Dean Troy McKenzie has announced.
Maguigan’s expertise in the criminal trials of battered women, coupled with her interdisciplinary approach to research and teaching, distinguished her as a highly respected figure in the field. Her scholarly work, including the publication of “Explaining Without Pathologizing: Testimony on Battering and its Effects,” contributed significantly to the understanding of family violence.
“Beyond her professional accomplishments, Holly was a compassionate and dedicated individual,” McKenzie said in his announcement. “Her commitment to cultural considerations in domestic violence cases was evident in her work with the Family Violence Prevention Fund’s National Advisory Committee. Holly’s love for learning and her passion for justice were evident in every facet of her life.”
At the Law School, Maguigan taught Evidence, a seminar on global public service lawyering, and a comparative criminal justice clinic. A longtime advocate for fair trials, Maguigan served on the boards of directors for the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women, MADRE, and the William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice.
She served as co-president of the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) and was named Great Teacher of the Year by SALT in 2014. In a testimonial read at the SALT awards ceremony, Maguigan’s former student Michele Host ’00 wrote, “There are many things that make Holly Maguigan a great teacher. Her compassion. Her intellect. Her wit. But it is her willingness to treat students, clients, and colleagues like family that makes her an extraordinary one.”
Maguigan earned her AB from Swarthmore College, her MA from the University of California, Berkeley, and her JD from the University of Pennsylvania. Following graduation, she worked as a public defender, later practicing at Kairys, Rudovsky, Messing, Feinberg & Lin LLP before joining NYU Law’s faculty in 1987.
Posted November 17, 2023