Karen Czapanskiy

Professor Emeritus of Law




(410) 706-2516


(410) 706-6644

Photo of Karen Czapanskiy


  • BA, 1969, University of California, Berkeley
  • JD, 1973, Georgetown University

Professor Czapanskiy joined the faculty of the University of Maryland Carey School of Law in 1983.  During her early years at the law school, she and her clinic students created a full-service program for women who had been abused by an intimate partner, representing them in criminal cases and family law matters, undertaking legislative advocacy and staffing a clemency project for women imprisoned for killing an abusive partner.  Later, she worked with clinic students, lawyers at the Homeless Persons Representation Project and other faculty to help women faced with the impacts of welfare reform on them and their families.  Her work in practice informed multiple publications on domestic violence, family law, welfare reform and gender bias.  More recently, she has been writing about law and policy as they affect families raising children with special needs.  Professor Czapanskiy teaches courses in family law and property and seminars on families raising special needs children.

A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and the Georgetown University Law Center, Professor Czapanskiy clerked for the Honorable Rita C. Davidson, the first woman appointed to an appellate bench in Maryland.  Before joining the faculty, Professor Czapanskiy was an attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, taught at the University of Hawaii Law School and the Washington College of Law.  Since joining the faculty in 1983, Professor Czapanskiy has served as the reporter for the Maryland Joint Special Committee on Gender Bias in the Courts and as a member of the Charter Review Commission of Montgomery County, Maryland.  She held the William J. Maier, Jr., Chair at West Virginia University College of Law, and has visited at the Washington College of Law of American University and the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America.  Beginning in the mid-1980s, she was one of the organizers of the Maryland/DC/Virginia Women Law Teachers Group. In 1992, she chaired of the Section on Women in Legal Education of the AALS.   She is a member of the American Law Institute and the Prytanean Society.  Professor Czapanskiy spent the fall semester of 1994 as a Fulbright lecturer at the University of Durban-Westville, South Africa.  She is a member of the American Law Institute and the Prytanean Society.  Since 2002, she has been active in electoral politics at the local and national levels.


Family Law: Cases, Text, Problems (5th ed. 2015) (with others).

Family Law: Cases, Text, Problems (5th ed. 2010) (with others). Abstract

Book Chapters

Stanley v. Illinois, Concurring Opinion of Justice Czapanskiy, in Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court 137 (Linda Berger et al. eds., 2016).

Gender Equality under the Constitutions of South Africa and the United States, in The Constitution of South Africa from a Gender Perspective (S. Liebenberg ed., 1995).

Child Support, Visitation, Shared Custody and Split Custody, in Child Support Guidelines: The Next Generation (Margaret Campbell Haynes ed., 1994). Abstract

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due: The Role of the Non-Economic Contribution of the Physical Custodian in Establishing Child Support, in Critical Issues, Critical Choices: Special Topics in Child Support Guidelines Development (1987). Abstract


Lead and Landlords, 10 Belmont Law Review 284 (2023). Abstract

The Constitution, Rape, and Coerced Intercourse: No Protection Required, 35 Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers 83 (2022). Abstract

Vaccination, Disabled Children and Parental Income, 24 Journal of Health Care Law & Policy 91 (2021). Abstract

Tax Policy, Structured Settlements and Factoring: Making Exploitation Easy and Profitable, 93 University of Detroit Mercy Law Review 455 (2020). Abstract

Preschool and Lead Exposed Kids: The IDEA Just Isn't Good Enough, 35 Touro Law Review 171 (2019). Abstract

Structured Settlement Sales and Lead-Poisoned Sellers: Just Say No, 36 Virginia Journal of Environmental Law 1 (2018). Abstract

Kids and Rules: Challenging Individualization in Special Education, 45 Journal of Law & Education 1 (2016). Abstract

The Shared Custody Child Support Adjustment: Not Worth the Candle, 49 Family Law Quarterly 409 (2015). Abstract

Special Kids, Special Parents, Special Education, 47 University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform 733 (2014). Abstract

1992: A Year of Women, Bravery, and Growth, 80 UMKC Law Review 751 (2012).

Disabled Kids and Their Moms: Caregivers and Horizontal Equity, 19 Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy 43 (2012). Abstract

Chalimony: Seeking Equity Between Parents of Children with Disabling Conditions and Chronic Illnesses, 34 N.Y.U. Journal of Law & Social Change 253 (2010). Abstract

The Right of Public Participation in the Law-Making Process and the Role of the Legislature in the Promotion of This Right, 19 Duke Journal of Comparative and International Law 1 (2008) (with Rashida Manjoo). Abstract

Book Review, 45 Family Court Review 335 (2007) (reviewing Linda C. McClain, The Place of Families: Fostering Capacity, Equality, and Responsibility). Abstract

To Protect and Defend: Assigning Parental Rights When Parents Are Living in Poverty, 14 William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal 943 (2006). Abstract

Unemployment Insurance Reform for Moms, 44 Santa Clara Law Review 1093 (2004). Abstract

Why Does It Matter Where I Live? Welfare Reform, Equal Protection, and the Maryland Constitution, 63 Maryland Law Review 655 (2004). Abstract

Domestic Violence and the Maryland Family Violence Option, 2 American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy, and the Law 447 (2003). Abstract

Parents, Children, and Work-First Welfare Reform: Where is the C in TANF?, 61 Maryland Law Review 101 (2002). Abstract

Clinical Legal Education: An Annotated Bibliography (2d edition), 7 Clinical Law Review at S1 (2001) (with J.P. Ogilvy). Abstract

ALI Child Support Principles: A Lesson in Public Policy and Truth-Telling, 8 Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy 259 (2001). Abstract

Musing about Community, or Why Is It Better to Be an American Grandparent than a Cuban Father?, 102 West Virginia Law Review 729 (2000) Abstract

Interdependencies, Families and Children, 39 Santa Clara Law Review 957 (1999). Abstract

Grandparents, Parents and Grandchildren: Making a Case for Interdependency in Law, 26 University of Connecticut Law Review 1315 (1994). Abstract

Domestic Violence, the Family and the Lawyering Process: Lessons from Studies on Gender Bias in the Courts, 27 Family Law Quarterly 235 (1993). Abstract

Anti-Harassment: Building Law School Policies, 4 Maryland Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues 1 (1993). Abstract

Babies, Parents, and Grandparents: A Story in Two Cases, 1 American University Journal of Gender and the Law 85 (1993). Abstract

Volunteers and Draftees: The Struggle for Parental Equality, 38 UCLA Law Review 415 (1991). Abstract

Gender Bias in the Courts: Social Change Strategies, 3 Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics 1 (1990). Abstract

Child Support and Visitation: Rethinking the Connections, 20 Rutgers Law Journal 619 (1989). Abstract

Time Limits Under the Freedom of Information Act: Another Problematic New Property Reform, 44 Maryland Law Review 38 (1985). Abstract

Grove City College v. Bell: Touchdown or Touchback?, 43 Maryland Law Review 379 (1984). Abstract

Bias Impeachment and the Proposed Federal Rules of Evidence, 61 Georgetown Law Journal 257 (1972) (with John Schmertz, Jr.). Abstract