General Course Requirements
The Certificate in Family Law can now be earned through several pathways. Earning a certificate allows student the opportunity to specialize in an area of law.
We have created curriculum guides for learners in General Family Law, Juvenile Justice, Civil Practice, and Public Interest. In addition, if you have a particular area of interest we will work with you to develop a program of study to fit your goal.
For students interested in family law but unsure about a specific practice area, the general certificate provides broad exposure but the flexibility to select courses of interest. Courses are selected each semester with the advisement from the faculty and staff of the Center on Children & Families.
Students must apply and be accepted for admission to the certificate program. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible in their law school career.
Students must meet all graduation requirements of the College of Law.
Concentration Requirement: At least 20 of the credits must be earned in courses designated in the Curriculum Requirements as set out below.
Students must achieve an average equivalent of 3.0 in 15 of the 20 credits earned in courses designated. There is no over all grade point average requirement beyond that required of the J.D. degree.
Courses previously completed
Courses previously completed (and meeting the grade requirements noted above) by students subsequently admitted into the program will be credited toward satisfaction of the concentration requirements.
Conferences with Program Coordinator
To be eligible for the certificate upon graduation, students must meet prior to each registration period with the Program Coordinator (Ms. Debbie Kelley) to fill out registration priority forms and to ensure that they are on schedule to complete all the requirements.
* Certificate students will receive registration priority for core courses only.
Family Law Certificate Requirements
Required Fundamental Courses: Students must successfully complete these two:
- Family Law (4 credits)
- Child Parent & State (3 credits)
Required Advanced Courses: Students must successfully complete at least one of a limited set of electives.
Required Skills Course: Students must successfully complete:
- One clinic or externship; clinic and externship strongly recommended, and
- One skills course
An extensive range of electives plus graduate courses in other disciplines
Any multidisciplinary course elsewhere in the University deemed by the Director to be appropriate based on the student’s overall record and goals may be added to this list. This may include appropriate graduate level courses 5000 and above in other departments or colleges (for example Education, Psychology, Family Youth and Community Sciences).
Seminar and Writing Requirement
Students must successfully complete an advanced writing project or other approved project.
These are focused curricula for identified areas of family practice. A student may also create their own pathway in consultation with the Director of CCF (for example, specializing in children and education, or children with disabilities). Finally, a student can combine general certificate or a specific pathway with another related certificate program.
- Civil Practice: marriage divorce, adoption, cohabitation contracts, etc. See our Civil Practice Pathway document.
- Juvenile Justice: prosecutor, public defender or criminal defense. See our Juvenile Justice Practice Pathway document.
- Public Interest/Public Sector: legal services, children’s rights, nonprofit organizations, legislative staff. See our Public Interest/Public Sector Practice Pathway document.
- Combined Certificate Programs: Family Law/Estates and Trusts; Family Law/ Criminal Law (See the director of CCF to discuss)