Professor O'Connell teaches in the fields of family law, children's law and property. She serves on the editorial board of the interdisciplinary journal Family Court Review, and is active in a number of projects and associations that work to bridge the gap between the legal and mental health professions.

Professor O'Connell teaches regularly in the Postdoctoral Forensics Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She also teaches an annual seminar to the judges of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court and serves as an advisor to the court's Steering Committee on Administrative Reform. Along with law students from the Youth Advocacy Caucus (YAC), Professor O'Connell also runs a mentoring program at three area group homes for teens in state custody.

After graduating from the School of Law, Professor O'Connell was the first law school graduate to clerk for the Supreme Judicial Court of the state of Maine. She was an associate at the Boston firm Foley, Hoag & Eliot from 1976 through 1980, where she handled contract, insurance and public utility cases while running a pro bono family practice.

Fields of Expertise

  • Children/Juvenile Law
  • Education Law
  • Family Law
  • Property
  • Social Security

Selected Works

Selected Articles

“The Family Law Education Reform Project Final Report,” 44 Family Court Review 524, October 2006

“The Riddle of Troxel: Is Grandma the State?” 41 Family Court Review 77, January 2003

“The Rugged Feminism of Sandra Day O’Connor” (with Brown and Parmet), 32 Indiana Law Review 1219, 1999

“Parent Education’s Second Generation: Integrating Violence Sensitivity” (with Fuhrmann and McGill), 37 Family and Conciliation Courts Review 24, 1999

“Contingent Lives: The Economic Insecurity of Contingent Workers,” 52 Washington and Lee Law Review 889, 1995

“On the Fringe: Rethinking the Link BetweenWages and Benefits,” 67 Tulane Law Review 1421, 1993

“Coming Unfringed: The Unraveling of Job-based Entitlements,” The American Prospect, Spring 1993

“The Rehnquist Court’s Road to Serfdom: The Ominous Message of Rust v. Sullivan” (with Parmet), The American Prospect, 3(9), Spring 1992

“Alimony After No-Fault: A Practice in Search of a Theory,” 23 New England Law Review 437, 1988