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Get to Know: Daria Fisher Page

Daria Fisher Page, Clinical Associate Professor of Law

At the UI since: August 2017

Hometown:
Eastchester, New York

Family:
My husband, Aaron, who does human rights and criminal defense work, and our two sons, Wendell and Albie, who are three and five years old.

Alma Mater:
LLM, Georgetown University Law Center
JD, University of Michigan Law School
BA, Yale University

What did you do before joining Iowa Law? Before joining the Iowa faculty, I was a Visiting Associate Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where I directed The Community Justice Project, a clinic engaging poverty law issues through individual representation in litigation and organizational representation in transactional matters.  

What courses do you teach? At Iowa, I direct a clinic in which students represent individuals, nonprofits, and organizations working to strengthen their communities, create economic opportunity, and advance social justice in matters ranging from entity formation and strategic planning to coalition building and the design of advocacy plans.   The clinic will launch this spring semester.

What does your scholarship entail? My research and scholarship currently focus on access to, and experiences of, justice; meaningful community engagement; and legal education reform. I’m working on a piece right now that considers why and how law schools encourage students to overvalue expertise and rush to specialize, along with the risks and benefits of expertise and specialization for clients and communities. 


How did you decide to join the legal profession? It was a wandering path. When I made the transition to law, it was a pretty stark transition. My background is in the arts, but I decided I wanted to do something that was more focused on engaging people (not things) and addressing social justice issues.  Before law school, I worked in a district attorney’s office in New York in a unit that prosecuted white collar crime, organized crime, and political corruption.  In our cases I saw terrible abuses of power by elected officials, that law enforcement viewed the immigrant community as disposable, and that it was a rare circumstance in which I’d feel like it was a victory to send someone to jail.  All three realizations made law school seem like the clear next step.

What do you enjoy most about working in a higher education/law school setting? The students. That’s why we’re here. Especially in the clinic, I love watching students grow and make that transition from being a student and an intern to a lawyer, counselor, and advocate. I also love that in the clinic I get to have one foot in academia and one foot in the community. 

What do you like most about Iowa so far? At Georgetown, the law school is isolated from the rest of campus.  As part of my process for starting the clinic, I have had a chance to meet a variety of people in the community and in other departments at the University and to see the exciting work that is already happening here. It’s been inspiring to see the openness to and interest in collaborating.

If you could spend a day with anyone, from any era, who would it be and why? George Balanchine, who was a choreographer. I trained as a ballet dancer and he actually passed away when I first started training in the school that he founded. 

What’s your favorite book, or what are you reading right now & why do you enjoy it? I’ve been reading a lot of poetry lately. The last book of poetry I read was Bestiary: Poems by Donika Kelly. The other alternative on my nightstand is books suitable to three and five year olds.

Name a few of your favorite things: 

  • Coffee
  • Eating breakfast out
  • Biking 
  • Playing with my kids
  • Browsing second-hand records
     
Daria Fisher Page