Lawyer-Turned-Forensic Psychologist Evaluates Victims of Human Rights Abuse
As assistant attorney general of the State of New York and a lieutenant in the United States Naval Reserve, Stephen Reich, GSAS ’70 and ’72, gained experience in both prosecution and defense throughout the 1960s. While these experiences were exciting and rewarding, his true aspirations remained unfulfilled. He wanted more.So he enrolled in Fordham’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology through a United States Public Health Fellowship.
“I was mentored by Marvin Reznikoff, one of the leading psychological assessment professors in the United States,” Reich said, adding that Reznikoff was among many nationally and internationally recognized faculty in the psychology department, including Anne Anastasi, a pioneer in psychological testing.
After completing his degree, Reich won a postdoctoral fellowship at Cornell University Medical College. He later served on the faculty of Weill Cornell University Medical College for four decades.
Equipped with impressive credentials in law and psychology, and coupled with a deep desire to apply his skills to advance society’s greater good, Reich plunged into the next chapter of his professional life: psychological assessment and psychotherapy.
Today, he is the director of the Forensic Psychology Group, a New York City-based firm that provides expert forensic psychological services for law firms and lawyers around the country.
He provides expert testimony and psychological evaluations for a wide range of civil and criminal cases. Those he finds most rewarding involve assessing victims of human rights violations.
On one occasion, Reich evaluated Bengali dissidents, who were petitioning for political asylum. “Some of the cases represented horrible violations of human rights where the psychological damage was extreme. This work was as rewarding as anything I’ve ever done in my career.”
In addition to cases involving political asylum, Reich has also assessed victims of spousal abuse, citizenship waivers, employment discrimination and children of immigrants in danger of being deported to their countries of origin.
A renowned forensic psychologist, he’s also served as an expert witness in cases of murder, domestic violence and child abuse.
“The gratification of being of help to families in these extreme situations is powerful, and the reward of helping families remain together when they might otherwise be shattered is enormous.”
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