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

Family Law Concentration


To be eligible for the Family Law Concentration, a student must take both LAWS 311 and LAWS 305 as two of the core electives. Credits for these courses do not count toward the 18-credit concentration requirement, but grades in these prerequisites do count toward the concentration GPA requirement.


To receive the certificate for this concentration, a student must earn 18 family law credits, divided as follows (not all courses are offered every year):

1. Course Work

Required Course Work

In addition to LAWS 311 and LAWS 305 (credits for which do not count toward the 18-credit concentration requirement) a student must take the following courses. Credits for these courses will count toward the 18-credit concentration requirement:

LAWS 370Family Law3
Select one of the following courses:2-3
LAWS 372
Representation in Mediation
LAWS 374
Introduction to Mediation
LAWS 428
LAWS 515
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Core Courses

Choose at least two from the following courses or from other required courses listed above. (Not all of these are offered every year.)

LAWS 307Trusts and Estates3
LAWS 371Divorce and the Divorcing Family2
LAWS 384Juvenile Law3
LAWS 385Advanced Juvenile Law - Child Protection Practices2
LAWS 387Advanced Juvenile Law: Delinquency Proceedings2
LAWS 388Elder Law2-3
LAWS 435Advanced Family Law I - S2
LAWS 438Advanced Family Law II2
LAWS 600Law and Gender2
Other courses as approved by the concentration director in consultation with the course instructor.
Remaining Credits

The balance of the credits, if any, are to be earned from the following family law-related courses, or from other core courses listed above. (Not all of these are offered every year.)

LAWS 114Administrative Law3
LAWS 205Business Organizations4
LAWS 292Independent Research Project W2
LAWS 293Independent Research Project W3
LAWS 313Advanced Individual Income Tax3
LAWS 314Employee Benefits2
LAWS 315Trial Practice2-3
LAWS 369Real Estate Transactions3
LAWS 374Introduction to Mediation2
LAWS 386Domestic Violence: Law, Practice and Pol2
LAWS 428Negotiation2-3
LAWS 471Education Law2
LAWS 549Bioethics3
LAWS 564Poverty Law2
LAWS 572Immigrat'n & Natural'n Law3
LAWS 599Intro to Representing Clients2
Substantial paper courses where the paper is devoted to a family or juvenile law topic approved by the concentration director.
LAWS 525Moot Court I 11
LAWS 526Moot Court II 11-2
LAWS 528Moot Court III 11
Other courses or journal work as approved by the concentration director in consultation with the course instructor.

Moot Court credits, if the student participates in the Family Law Moot Court Competition (1, 2, or 3)

2. Clinical Requirement

At least 3, but no more than 3, of the 18 family law credits must be earned in the Civil Justice Clinic and/or in a family and/or juvenile law-related externship placement. Credits for IRC do not count toward the clinical requirement. (A student may exceed 3 credits for the clinical course but may only count 3 credits toward the clinical requirement of this concentration.)

a. The concentration director will determine the family-law status of any given clinic or externship.

b. The clinical requirement may be waived if the student has substantial family or juvenile law work experience. The concentration director will make this determination.

c. If the clinical requirement is waived, the student must still earn 18 credits elsewhere within the concentration to receive the concentration.

3. 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 or juvenile law. (If a student writes a substantial paper, it may be used to satisfy the Advanced Writing Requirement, provided that the guidelines are met as set forth in the Academic Regulations, section I.D.) The concentration director must approve the topic or topics for the written work used to satisfy this requirement. A paper written for a journal may qualify, if the concentration director approves the topic.

4. 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.

5. Options

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.

6. Waiver

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.