To earn a Certificate in Family Law, a student must complete the eighty-six (86) semester hours required for the Juris Doctor degree and satisfy all JD requirements. Within the elective course work required for the JD degree, a student must complete fifteen (15) credit hours from the listed Family Law courses with a minimum GPA of 3.00 in those courses. One course is required. Two writing courses are required. One course with a practice component is required. One additional elective must be completed. All courses are three (3) credits unless otherwise indicated. Certificate courses may not be audited.

An applicant must earn a minimum GPA of 3.00 in the Certificate courses. If a student takes more than the 15 credits required for the Certificate, all of the family law courses will factor into the final GPA. A student must declare on this form which of the courses will count toward the Certificate even if a grade is not yet known. A student may earn a maximum of one Certificate while enrolled in law school.

Course Requirements 

Writing Course Requirements

Choose two from the list below:


LAW 509


(3 hrs) Provides an introduction to the creation and governance of family relationships, including such topics as marriage, adoption, neglect, conciliation, parentage proceedings, child custody problems, domestic violence, duty to support and property rights vis-a-vis members of the family unit.

LAW 510


(3 hrs) Covers those topics relating to the dissolution of marriage, including judicial jurisdiction in dissolution and custody cases, regulation of marriage, annulment, bases for dissolution, spousal support, equitable division of property, child custody and support.

LAW 250


(3 hrs) Required for JD. The student must write an in-depth paper of Law Review quality on a topic of the professor's choosing.

LAW 455


(3 hrs) Legal drafting courses on various topics give students an opportunity to hone their research and writing skills on an advanced legal. Students may take one course per semester. All courses are limited enrollment.

LAW 213


(3 hrs) This course will examine the criminal system response to domestic violence, focusing on the transformation of laws and institutions to address a problem historically conceptualized as "private." Topics will include: barriers to victim cooperation and law enforcemnet; law and policies governing mandatory arrest and prosecution; marital rape; battering during pregnancy; battered women who kill; expert testimony on battered woman syndrome; child protection concerns; evidentiary issues arising in domestic violence trials; anti-stalking legislation; civil/criminal protective order practice; and recent US Supreme Court decisions impacting domestic violence.

LAW 313


(3 hrs) This course will deal with the legal processes for dealing with juvenile crimes and status offenses.

LAW 321


This course will explore issues related to adoption law. The course content will include the historical background of the American law of adoption, adoption procedure, parental consent to adoption, voluntary and involuntary termination of parental rights, choosing adoptive families, the Indian Child Welfare Act, race and sexual orientation issues in adoption, international and interstate adoption, and wrongful adoptions.

LAW 323


(3 credits) This course deals with the legal processes for dealing with child abuse and neglect.

LAW 334


(3 cr. hr.) This is a skills course designed to teach students how to build their own law practice.

LAW 363


(3 cr. hr.) A skills-based course designed to introduce students to restorative justice theoryand practices in the context of family law and family dynamics. During the course, the students will gain exposure to, and experience with, the circle process, a form of dialogue that brings people together to discuss difficult or complicated issues in a respectful and meaningful manner. Through simulations and hands on practice, the students will also experience facilitating (keeping) a circle to help prepare them to co-facilitate circle processes for families referred by the Parentage and Child Support Court in the future.

LAW 366


This course covers advanced financial issues including pensions, contingent stock options, property transmutation as well as more complicated considerations of child custody and support in both interstate and international contexts. The course covers substantive law and engages the students in a practical application of the law such as a negotiation or a drafting exercise. At the instructor's option, all students will be required to complete a service learning component working in the field, which typically must be performed during business hours.

LAW 429


(3-6 hrs) Students work in one of the clinic modules under the supervision of a clinical attorney concentrating on real life problems with real clients and organizations. Instructor's permission required.

LAW 409


(3 hrs) Concerned with planning for the transfer of property to younger generations and to charities. Focuses on the techniques for reducing income, estate and gift taxation.
LAW 210 or LAW 212 is a prerequisite for this class.

LAW 438


(3 hrs) Designed for students who seek to understand the application of the zealous representation standard within the mediation process. The course provides students with a basis to evaluate critically when and how to represent clients in mediation. They experience the mediation process through classroom simulations as mediators, attorneys and clients. Through simulated teaching methology, students focus on effective advocacy in mediation.

LAW 457


3 credit hours. This course examines various feminist legal theories and their impact on the philosophy of law. After introductory materials addressing equality theory and constitutional standards, the class will apply feminist legal theories to different substantive areas, especially violence against women.

LAW 487


(3 hrs) An examination of local and federal laws and policies aimed at creating and preserving housing, low-income and affordable housing, both rental and owner-occupied. Includes consideration of housing-related litigation and issues related to subsidized housing, landlord-tenant court, fair housing, and predatory mortgage lending.

LAW 511


(3 hrs) This course will focus on the intersection of law and gender, identifying and analyzing the gender norms reflected in our legal system. The course will focus on how U.S. laws reflect and embody societal attitudes toward gender.

LAW 514


(3-6 hrs) Students work in one of the clinic modules under the supervision of a clinical attorney concentrating on real life problems with real clients and organizations. Instructor's permission required.

LAW 524


2 or 3 credit hours. This program is designed to give upper level students practical experience in an externship with a public agency, non-profit organization, member of the judiciary, or for-profit organization, such as a private law firm or in-house counsel for a corporation. Upper level students, who have at least 28 credit hours and a GPA of 2.0, may apply to participate. Participants are accepted on a case by case basis. Externships are unpaid. No student can receive more than 3 credit hours per semester and no more than 9 credit hours toward their JD degree if 3 of those credits are earned during a summer placement. Otherwise, students are limited to 6 credits hours total. A placement for 3 credit hours is expected to complete 180 hours of work whereas 120 hours of work is expected for a 2 credit hour placement.,

LAW 546


(3 hrs) Provides an overview of poverty law and the legal problems encountered by the poor in our society. The course considers legislative and administrative representation as methods of poverty advocacy, as well as the current trend away from constitutional litigation and toward state responsibility. It considers the legal developments in poverty law including housing, education, family and public benefits.

LAW 702


(3 hrs) Cross listed course for Public Services program. Deals with the new speciality of elder law. Considering today's demographics, many attorneys will require a knowledge of the unique problems of the aging population. Through statutes, cases and research, students will understand the lawyer's role in counseling the elderly, assess the legal needs of an elderly client and provide counsel as to the available options.

LAW 711


3 credit hours. Cross listed course for Public Services program. Examines a number of significant legal and policy issues raised by the human immunodeficiency virus and the acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Includes issues such as discrimination, access to health care services, payment of medical costs, tort and criminal liability for transmission, and end of like concerns.

LAW 731


(3 cr.) This course will explore the legal and ethical issues involved in assisted reproduction. Technological developments in reproduction have raised a host of legal and ethical concerns such as funding for stem cell research, payment to gamete donors, custody or ownership of frozen embryos and human cloning. This course will explore the full range of issues including parentage, reprogenetics, privacy, informed consent, and access to treatment.

LAW 428


(3 hrs) Students who have earned at least a 3.00 g.p.a. after completion of at least 40 credits may undertake independent study under the supervision of a full-time faculty member. The student must produce an indepth research paper of publishable quality not substantially covered by a currently offered course. Fulfills the Seminar requirements. Instructor's permission required.

LAW 544


(3 credit hours) This course will examine the primary issues of Jewish Law affecting women, particularly as they pertain to family law. Among the topics that will be highlighted are marriage, divorce, sexual relations, and child rearing responsibilities. The course will involve an examination of both the classical Jewish law texts on these topics (in English) as well as a discussion of more current positions on the issues covered. There are no prerequisites and students need not have any background, or religious affiliation to take this class.