WNEU School of Law Speaker to Explore Love, Contracts, and Families

SPRINGFIELD — The Western New England University School of Law Clason Speaker Series will host a talk by Martha Ertman on Thursday, Jan. 28 at noon in the Blake Law Center Commons. The talk, titled “Love and Contracts,” is free and open to students, alumni, the university community, as well as the general public. Pizza will be served.

Ertman is a research professor at the University of Maryland School of Law. She researches and writes about the role of contracts in family relationships, polygamy homemaking, labor, and reproductive technologies.

Ertman will discuss her book Love’s Promises: How Formal & Informal Contracts Shape All Kinds of Families, which combines memoir and legal analysis to argue that love comes in different forms, each shaped by different contracts and nini-contracts that she calls “deals.” After telling her own moving and often irreverent story about becoming part of what she calls a “plan B” family of two moms and a dad raising a child, Ertman shows that all kinds of people — straight and gay, married and single, related by adoption or by genetics — use agreements to shape their relationships. Recognizing this reality, common contractual core shows that uncommon families are neither unnatural nor unworthy of legal recognition.

The Clason Speaker Series presents expert lectures to the School of Law. The series is named for Charles Clason, a prominent local attorney and member of the U.S. House of Representatives, who held the position of dean of the School of Law from 1954 to 1970. Today, the purpose of the Charles and Emma Clason Endowment Fund is to host speakers who will enhance the academic environment of the School of Law at the university.

For more information, call (413) 782-1405 or e-mail Professor Erin Buzuvis at ebuzuvis@law.wne.edu.

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