Professor Pilkington-Casey received the 2005 Marilla Ricker Achievement Award. The award is presented each year by the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association to an outstanding woman lawyer who has achieved professional excellence and paved the way to success for other women lawyers. Professor Pilkington-Casey’s public service work was a significant factor in her receipt of the award. Professor Pilkington-Casey was also praised for her positive influence with law students who worked with her in the University of New Hampshire School of Law’s Children and the Law Clinic and the Administrative Law and Advocacy Clinic.
In October 1997 Professor Pilkington-Casey received the Dr. Roger M. Fossum Award from the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect for her work with Professor Bruce Friedman and Attorney Ron Lospennato of the Disabilities Rights Center on the Eric L. class action lawsuit. The lawsuit filed in Federal Court concerned the treatment of abused and neglected children in the State of New Hampshire. It also addressed issues regarding children in foster care and the lack of adoptions for children languishing in foster care. She also worked with Attorneys Cheryl Driscoll and Lucinda Hopkins to develop the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Children’s Law Section.
Prior to attending law school, Professor Pilkington-Casey was employed by the New Hampshire Division of Human Services where she worked as a social worker specializing in investigating child abuse and neglect cases, as social service planner and consultant, and as chief of the Bureau of Adult Services. While in the Adult Services Bureau, Professor Pilkington-Casey testified before the legislature and wrote the first Adult Services Elderly Abuse and Neglect Policy and Procedures for the State of New Hampshire. After law school, Professor Pilkington-Casey clerked for the New Hampshire Superior Court.
Professor Pilkington-Casey worked with other professionals and advocates in developing the New Hampshire Alliance for Children and Youth. She also has served on a number advisory boards of community agencies including the Merrimack County Visitation Center, Second Start, Bishop Brady High School, and the Salvation Army. She has co-authored state legislation concerning child abuse and neglect and has testified before legislative committees concerning child and elderly issues.
While a faculty member it was my pleasure to serve on a number Board’s of Director for community programs including:
- Belknap - Merrimack Counties Community Action Program – the agency has a number of programs such as the Concord Area Transit busses; transportation for the elderly to doctor’s appointments and grocery stores; Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program providing subsidies for milk and nutritious food; Senior Grandparent Program; the Weatherization Program that provides funds for oil to heat homes and assistance with preparing homes for cold weather; along with a number of other programs.
- The Concord Area Transit, the Family Focus Program, and the Senior Companion Program Boards within the Belknap - Merrimack Counties Community Action Program.
- Bishop Brady High School – A Catholic High in Concord.
- Casey Family Services – an agency that provides long term foster homes for abused and/or neglected children that keep the children in close touch with their families whenever possible.
The agency provides a higher payment to foster families than DCYF as well as counseling services for the child and the foster family when required.
Because of the funds available to the agency, children are provided with whatever services will assist the child to become successful in life including tutors, dance classes, horseback riding lessons, art lessons and summer camps.
- Rainbows Program, St. John Regional School, Coordinator – this program assists children whose parents are divorced express their concerns using small groups activities so the children have support from classmates as well as the adults involved in the program.
- Hopkinton Independent School – a small independent school for grades one through eight.
- Merrimack County Visitation Center – an agency providing supervisors for parents who otherwise would not be able to have any contact with their children.
- New Hampshire Bar Association Law Related Education Committee
- New Hampshire Mediators Association
- Project Second Start – an agency that encompasses a day care program; GED program; alternative high school program; skills to prepare adults to improve their possibilities by teaching computer skills, administrative skills, and teaching adults to read; and an English as a second language program.
- Salvation Army
Professor Pilkington-Casey taught Children and the Law and Family Law. The landscape for Family Law is rapidly changing as states address same-sex marriage, the federal and state Defense of Marriage Acts, and methods for having children. Other topics include pre-marital agreements, roles and responsibilities in a marriage, and alternatives to marriage. The course is a survey course covering a variety of topics to prepare students to represent clients in their practice of law after graduation. Other topics include same sex marriage and transgender/transsexual individuals’ rights regarding the right to marry and the right to have custody of their children.
Children and the Law is also a survey course. Students discuss topics concerning children such as if a fetus is a child, court decisions regarding the ability of youth to be held accountable for their actions in the same manner as an adult, and when the state can become involved with a family. Students also discuss the impact of the recession and legislative decisions on children, youth, and their families. Additional topics for discussion are the rights of transgender children in educational and in the home setting; bullying; and same-sex children.
Professor Pilkington-Casey taught Gender and the Law, a survey course on topics for class discussion including the Constitutional rights statutory rights, and case law of opposite-sex, same-sex, and transgender individuals involved in subject matter covering issues including military academies, sports, sexual harassment in educational institutions; employment issues including appearance, wages, bona fide occupational qualification, sexual orientation; the treatment of women if the media; family life, women in the legal system; and immigration.
Professor Pilkington-Casey also was the Director of the Children and the Law Clinic teaching students in a classroom and the real life provision of services to clients through the Clinic setting. In the classroom setting students were taught the laws regarding children and families involved in court proceedings for custody cases, abuse and neglect cases, children in need of services, delinquency and termination of parental rights cases. In the Clinic setting students learned through working on cases assisting Professor Pilkington-Casey as the Guardian ad Litem or attorney for children. Students learned oral advocacy skills such as interviewing the child and family members, medical personnel and therapy providers, school personnel and police officers as well as advocating for the children in Court. The students learned written advocacy skills involving writing Guardian ad Litem reports, motions, and letters to professionals explaining the reason for an evaluation to be completed or requesting specific information.
After 18 years as the Director of the Children and the Law Clinic, Professor Pilkington-Casey was the Director of the Administrative Law and Advocacy Clinic also teaching students in a classroom and the real life provision of services to clients through the Clinic setting. In the classroom setting students were taught the law and process to advocate for clients in state administrative agencies on topics including the Administrative Procedure Act, agency development of rules, agency orders, and the judicial process for review. In the Clinic students interviewed clients and witnesses, prepared requests for discovery, and drafted pleadings, briefs before hearings officers and appellate boards and the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
In addition to teaching, Professor Pilkington-Casey served on committees at the Law School and as the Board of community agencies. A few of the Law School committees included the Diversity Action Committee, the ADA Committee, and the Scholarship Committee. Serving as a Board of Director on community agencies included the Salvation Army, Bishop Brady High School, Casey Family Services and the New Hampshire Mediators Association.