Sharon Clarke is an attorney and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, dual Masters Degrees in Public Health and Social Work from the University of South Florida, and a J.D. from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. During her years as a practicing Social Worker, Sharon held positions as the Director of an Adolescent Pregnancy Program and a Crime Victim’s Advocate with the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office - Bureau of Sex Offense and Domestic Violence.
While a student at Hofstra Law, Sharon was very active in numerous academic and extra curricular activities. She was a Child and Family Advocacy Fellow, a Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) Associate, Vice President of the Black Law Student’s Association, Co-Coordinator of the Domestic Violence Courtroom Advocate Project (CAP), an Admissions Student Ambassador, and Managing Editor of Articles for the Family Court Review. She participated in summer externships with the Queens County Integrated Domestic Violence Court and New York State Mental Hygiene Legal Services, where she wrote two chapters in the published training manual - MHLS Practice Manual for Providing Services to Children and Adolescents in the Mental Health System. Sharon also served as a researcher on the Family Law Education Reform Project (FLER) and had the distinction of having her student note - Strictly Liable: Governmental Use of the Parent-Child Relationship as a Basis for Holding Victim’s Liable for Their Child’s Witness to Domestic Violence - published in the January 2006 edition of the Family Court Review.
Sharon was one of only two students in her graduating class to receive a one year Legal Fellowship with the New York State Unified Court System. She began her fellowship in September 2006, and was offered a full-time position as a Court Attorney prior to the completion of her fellowship. In September 2008 she was promoted to her current position as Senior Court Attorney. As a Court Attorney, Sharon has had the opportunity to contribute to published judicial decisions on such issues as whether a former lesbian partner has standing to seek custody of her former partner’s biological child; and whether the parent of a child in foster care should be forced to consent to the immunization of her children when it goes against the parent’s religious beliefs.
Sharon is an active member of the Nassau County Bar Association and serves as a mentor to a middle school student through the Bar’s mentoring program. Additionally, she serves as a mentor to a high school student in the Legal Outreach Program. Sharon serves on the court’s Child Care Committee, Synergies for Success Committee, and Black History Month Committee. She is an active member of her church’s Legal Affinity Network, a member of the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, and the Amistad Long Island Black Bar Association.
Alexis graduated high honors from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.A. in sociology. Post graduation, Alexis worked as a family advocate at the Berkeley YMCA Head Start and volunteered with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate).
While a Fellow at Hofstra Law, Alexis interned with the Center for Family Representation and the Juvenile Rights Division of the Legal Aid Society. She was a researcher for the Family Law Education Reform (FLER) Project and attended the Wingspread Conference. Alexis was also a member of the Hofstra Law Review. Since graduation, Alexis has worked at the Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Division in Brooklyn.
Franca Fanizzi Sachs
Franca graduated from Queens College with a B.A. in sociology. After graduation, she worked at Children's Home Society of California, assisting families to meet their childcare needs. She also worked at St. Mary's Children and Family Services, first as an aftercare caseworker, where she assisted families in the transition from foster care to home, and later as a caseworker in the Abuse Treatment and Prevention Program, a residential treatment program for adolescent boys.
During her Fellowship at Hofstra Law, Franca interned with the Nassau County Attorney's Office, Family Court Bureau, with Agenda for Children Tomorrow, and with the Honorable Leonard B. Austin. She also assisted with the organization of NITA's Training the Lawyer to Represent the Whole Child program in June 2005 and was a staff member on the Family Court Review.
Franca currently works at The Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University as the Executive Director of Fellowship Programs. In that capacity, she is responsible for the administration of the law school’s three fellowship programs in Child and Family Advocacy, Health Law and Policy, and LGBT Rights.
Victoria attended the University of Notre Dame, where she served as a volunteer with several organizations designed to assist children and families in the South Bend area. Her experiences include working with children with developmental disabilities and children at risk of becoming victims of violence. She graduated with honors from the University of Notre Dame with majors in psychology and political science and a minor in Middle Eastern studies.
As a Fellow, Victoria spent her first summer working for a Maryland Family Court judge and her second with the Fairfax County Public Defender's Office assisting lawyers in representing youth in legal matters where they are charged with misdemeanor or felony crimes. She was an active member of Hofstra's Moot Court Team and received the Best Oralist Award in the 2005 Long Island Moot Court Competition. Victoria was also a Articles Editor of the Family Court Review. Since graduating from Hofstra Law, Victoria has worked at the Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Division in Queens, at the Children’s Law Center in Washington, DC, and with the DC Public School District.
Margaret holds a B.A. degree in music and an M.A. in art history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has completed Ph.D. coursework in fine arts at New York University. Prior to beginning law school, Margaret had an extensive and varied professional background as a marketer, editor, writer, museum educator and college professor and worked as a victim's advocate in the then pilot Integrated Domestic Violence Court in White Plains, New York. She had also volunteered with Westchester County Family Abuse Court Services as an advocate/counselor and has served as a legal intern with My Sisters' Place.
After becoming a Fellow at Hofstra Law, Margaret continued her work with the Westchester Integrated Domestic Violence Court and My Sisters' Place. She also assisted with the development of the ABA's Teenage Dating Violence Prevention National Summit in 2004.
Elizabeth received her A.B. in history from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. After finishing school, she taught special education in a Philadelphia middle school and worked as a social worker for individuals with disabilities.
Elizabeth spent her first summer as a fellow working for the New York State Administrative Judge for Matrimonial Matters, and her second with the Queens District Attorney's office in the special victims bureau. She participated in the ABA's Teenage Dating Violence Prevention National Summit in Washington, D.C., in 2004. Upon graduation, Elizabeth worked at the Bronx District Attorney's Office.