Families are more diverse than ever, and family law is evolving to reflect their shifting and complex needs. This concentration offers a cutting-edge understanding of family-related legal issues and how to best resolve sensitive family disputes.

Curriculum and Requirements

Concentration Prerequisites

To be eligible for the Family Law concentration, you must take both Evidence and Federal Income Tax as two of your core electives. Credits for these courses do not count toward the 18-credit concentration requirement, but grades in these prerequisites do count toward the GPA honors requirement.

Concentration Requirements

To receive the certificate for this concentration, you must earn 18 family law credits, as follows:

Required Course Work
In addition to Evidence and Federal Income Tax (credits for which do not count toward the 18-credit requirement) you must take the following courses. Credits for these courses will count toward your 18-credit concentration requirement:

  • Family Law (2-3 credits)
  • One of the following dispute resolution courses: Negotiation, Mediation, Representation in Mediation, or ADR (1-3 credits)
  • Clinical Requirement (3 credits)

Core Courses
At least two of the following family and juvenile law core courses, or from other required courses listed above. (Note: not all of these courses are offered every year.)

  • Advanced Family Law I and/or II (2-3 credits)
  • Advanced Juvenile Law (Child Protection or Delinquency) (2-3 credits)
  • Divorce & the Divorcing Family (2 credits)
  • Domestic Violence (2 credits)
  • Elder Law (2-3 credits)
  • Juvenile Law (2-3 credits)
  • Law and Gender (2 credits)
  • Trusts & Estates (3 credits)
  • Other courses as approved by the concentration director

Remaining Credits
The balance of the credits, if any, are to be earned from the following courses, or from other core courses listed above. (Note: not all of these courses are offered every year.)

  • Administrative Law (3 credits)
  • Advanced Individual Income Tax (3 credits)
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (2-3 credits)
  • Bankruptcy (3-4 credits)
  • Bioethics (3 credits)
  • Business Organizations (4 credits)
  • Employee Benefits (2 credits)
  • Education Law (2 credits)
  • Immigration (2-3 credits)
  • Introduction to Representing Clients (2 credits)
  • Introdcution to Mediation
  • Law and Psychiatry (2 credits)
  • Negotiation (2-3 credits)
  • Poverty Law (2 credits)
  • Representation in Mediation (1-2 credits)
  • Real Estate Transactions (3-4 credits)
  • Therapeutic Jurisprudence (2 credits)
  • Trial Practice (2-3 credits)
  • Independent Research Project, family law-related topic (1-3 credits)
  • Moot Court credits, if the student participates in the Family Law Moot Court Competition (1-3 credits)
  • Other courses or journal work as approved by the concentration director in consultation with the course instructor
  • Additional clinical credits, in a family law-related placement

Clinical Requirement
Three of your 18 credits must be earned in the Civil Justice Clinic or in a family law-related externship, including the judicial or mediation externship. Credits for IRC do not count toward the clinical requirement. (A student may exceed 3 credits for their clinical course but may only count 3 toward the clinical requirement of this concentration.)

  • Determination of the family law status of any given externship will be made by the concentration director.
  • Clinical requirement may be waived if the student has substantial family law work experience. This determination will be made by the concentration director.
  • If the clinical requirement is waived, the student must still earn 18 credits elsewhere within the concentration to receive the certificate.

Writing Requirement
A student must write a substantial paper — or a series of shorter writings that together comprise a substantial amount of written work — on a topic or topics related to family law. (If the student writes a substantial paper, the student may use that paper to satisfy the law school's advanced writing requirement, provided that the student meets the guidelines for the advanced writing requirement as set forth in the academic catalog.) The topic or topics for the written work used to satisfy this requirement must be approved by the concentration director. A paper written for a journal may qualify if the topic is approved by the concentration director.

Honors
Students who achieve a GPA of 3.2 or better in the course work used for the concentration will receive the certificate for the concentration with honors.

A student may designate any course or paper as not counting toward the concentration, so long as it is not required for the concentration, and the student meets the concentration requirements with another course or paper.

The concentration director and the associate dean for academic affairs may waive any requirements for the concentration (other than the GPA requirement), if they both agree to do so.

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