Professor runs for judgeship
A UH professor and attorney at the Civil Practice Clinic, who was once a victim of domestic violence, has taken her experience to give back to the Houston community.
Barbara J. Stalder grew up in a family in which she experienced domestic violence. Because of her personal experience, she developed a desire to become judge of the 280th District Court, which was created to help streamline the process of victims against violence.
“I think you have got to fight for what you believe in and make a difference — doing what you think is right,” Stalder said.
Stalder started out working as a court-appointed special advocate in El Paso, experienced firsthand the type of assistance domestic violence victims needed and decided to attend law school to represent these women and children.
One of Stalder’s main goals is to create a connection of services, including social workers and advocates, to make the system better for everyone. For instance, if a victim needed to waive their utility bill and the landlord did not grant it, Stalder hopes to implement a system where they know who to contact to get the form without having to drive across town or miss any information. One of her main goals is unity among all the departments to help the community.
UH Law Center alumnus Alex Hunt devotes his time to promoting Stalder’s campaign and ensuring she gets the right exposure and people understand her story.
“If Barbara gets elected, when you walk into the courtroom, there’s going to be a different atmosphere, and you know you’re going to be talking to someone who is fair (and) isn’t pro-victim or pro-perpetrator,” Hunt said.
Professor Janet Heppard was one of Stalder’s professors during her attendance at UH. Heppard is working on Stalder’s strategies for her campaign.
“It’s important to get someone who knows the law, because if you mess up, someone could die,” Heppard said.
Stalder has experience in family law and civil law working on pro bono cases at the civil clinic. Stalder also worked as an attorney for Aid to Victims Domestic Abuse.
The last day to vote is Tuesday, and more information about Stalder can be found through her Facebook or at law.uh.edu/clinic/fs.asp.