The Concentration in Family Law exposes students to the breadth of this area of law while affording opportunities for in-depth engagement with topics of particular interest.
To qualify for the Family Law Concentration, students must complete:
1. Family Law (introductory survey course).
2. A course on alternative dispute resolution, e.g., ADR; ADR & the Family Lawyer; Mediation; Mediation Clinic.
3. A substantial paper directly related to family law,* completed for either a seminar or an independent study.
Seminars that typically furnish excellent opportunities to write on family law include: Advanced Topics Law & Society Research; Child Abuse & Neglect; Criminal Law Colloquium; Gender, Sexuality, & Law; Law & Procreation; Religion & Law; Reproductive Rights & Reproductive Justice; and Twentieth-Century American Legal History.
4. An experiential learning component, i.e., successful completion of a clinic, practicum, externship, or summer internship substantially related to family law.*
Representative clinics include the Access to Justice Hybrid Clinic (Erie County Family Court Help Desk), the Family Violence & Women’s Rights Clinic, and the Mediation Clinic.
Representative externships include positions in the Attorneys for Children Unit at Legal Aid of Buffalo, the Center for Elder Law and Justice, the Children’s Legal Center, Erie County Family Court, Erie County Surrogate’s Court, the Family Unit of Neighborhood Legal Services, and New York Supreme Court’s expedited matrimonial division.
An internship may count toward the Concentration if a student submits to the Concentration Director(s) a memorandum detailing the internship’s content, its relationship to family law, and the amount of time spent on matters related to family law.
5. Additional course work related to family law.
If you matriculated in or after Fall 2020, you must take at least one course from each of two groups:
If you matriculated prior to Fall 2020, you must take at least one of the following:
* For both the experiential learning component and the writing requirement, substantiality and relevance to family law are to be determined solely by the Concentration Director(s). With respect to the writing requirement, students interested in the Concentration are encouraged to consult with the Director(s) when choosing a paper topic.