Jabeen Adawi

Director, Family Empowerment and Legal Access Clinic
Clinical Assistant Professor of Law


Drawing from her expansive background in litigation and systems-solution building, Professor Adawi guides students in the clinic through individual lawyering growth to discover their potential for impact.  Throughout her career, Professor Adawi has been actively engaged in training and educating other professionals, which she now carries forward in her role as a professor. Professor Adawi grew her roots as an educator as a Clinical Teaching Fellowship at the Georgetown University Law Center’s Domestic Violence Clinic.  There, she taught and supervised law students engaged in intensive litigation, helping them develop their strategic thinking, counseling, and litigation skills.

Professor Adawi came to Pittsburgh after a decade-long career advancing the rights of gender-based violence survivors in the greater Washington D.C. area. In her non-profit career, she first worked with survivors to achieve recovery through litigation, negotiation, and extra-legal advocacy. This led Professor Adawi to develop a holistic approach to lawyering – one in which she serviced not only the immediate legal goals of the client but addressed any extra-legal needs that directly impacted their access to justice.

After her time in direct client services, Professor Adawi moved into systems development work, where she managed the creation and launch of the Victim Legal Network of DC (VLNDC) – a legal referral infrastructure aiming to reduce the pathway between a crime survivor and legal help. In creating the network, Professor Adawi adopted a highly collaborative approach and ensured that all member agencies were invested in the final outcomes, while also advocating for policies and procedure that would reduce barriers for crime survivors. Under her leadership, the network launched with 10 member agencies in 2018, garnering local and national interest. Using the framework Professor Adawi established, VLNDC maintained steady growth even after her transition to academics.

Professor Adawi holds an LL.M. in Advocacy from Georgetown University Law Center, a J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law, and a B.S., Magna Cum Laude, in Applied Physics from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Key/Recent Publications

Changing Every Wrong Door into the Right One: Reforming Legal Services Intake to Empower Clients (Spring 2022) Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy, Vol. 29, Issue III

Programs & Courses