Thursday, June 23, 2016

The University of New Hampshire School of Law shares with great sadness news of the passing of Professor Emerita Mary Pilkington-Casey. The UNH Law community offers its sincere condolences to Professor Pilkington-Casey’s family.

“Mary was a relentless advocate for abused and neglected children throughout an extraordinary professional career,” said Jordan Budd, Interim Dean at UNH Law. “The same tremendous compassion that made her an exemplary lawyer made her an even more cherished colleague and mentor to our students. Public service is an integral part of the UNH Law experience, and Mary embodied that commitment.  She was a role model, an inspiration, and a powerful example of how one lawyer can make a profound and positive difference in the lives of many others.”

Professor Pilkington-Casey dedicated her career to work in public service and was recognized by several organizations for her contributions. She was the 2005 recipient of the Marilla Ricker Achievement Award, 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.

She also received the Dr. Roger M. Fossum Award from the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect in 1997 for her work on the Eric L. class action lawsuit in collaboration with former UNH Law professor Bruce Friedman and attorney Ron Lospennato of the Disabilities Rights Center. The lawsuit addressed the treatment of abused and neglected children in New Hampshire, as well as issues with the foster care system.

Professor Pilkington-Casey played a critical role in the creation of the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Children’s Law Section, partnering with attorneys Cheryl Driscoll and Lucinda Hopkins on the effort, and also helped launch and develop the New Hampshire Alliance for Children and Youth. She was the co-author of state legislation concerning child abuse and neglect and testified before legislative committees on issues concerning children and the elderly. Prior to attending law school, Professor Pilkington-Casey worked as a social worker for the New Hampshire Division of Human Services, specializing in child abuse and neglect cases, and later as the chief of the Bureau of Adult Services, where she wrote the first Adult Services Elderly Abuse and Neglect Policy and Procedures for the State of New Hampshire.

Professor Pilkington-Casey was director of the Children and the Law Clinic at UNH Law for 18 years and later directed the Administrative Law and Advocacy Clinic. She served on several committees at UNH Law and on the board of directors of several community agencies, including the Salvation Army, Casey Family Services, and the New Hampshire Mediators Association.