Family Law.

Family Law Concentration

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 apply for a Concentration or Curricular Program, please submit an online application.

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 for Family Lawyers; Mediation; Mediation Clinic)

3.     An experiential learning component

4.     A writing requirement

5.     Further 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:

Group 1

  • Children & the Law
  • Child Welfare Law/Child Abuse & Neglect
  • Domestic Violence Law
  • NY Family Practice/NY Matrimonial Family Practice

Group 2

  • Estate & Gift Taxation
  • Estate Planning
  • Federal Income Tax I
  • Gratuitous Transfers
  • Wills, Trusts, & Estates

If you matriculated prior to Fall 2020, you must take at least one of the following:

  • Children & the Law
  • Child Welfare Law/Child Abuse & Neglect
  • Domestic Violence Law
  • Estate Planning
  • Gratuitous Transfers
  • NY Family Law Practice (also taught as “NY Matrimonial Family Practice”)
  • Wills, Trusts, and Estates

The Concentration’s experiential learning component entails 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.

The Concentration’s writing requirement may be satisfied by completing a paper for any seminar,* regardless of subject matter, so long as the paper relates directly to family law. Alternatively, this requirement may be satisfied by completing an independent study project that culminates in a paper relating directly to family law.

In order to qualify for this Concentration, a paper’s substantiality and relevance to family law are to be determined solely by the Director(s) of the Family Law Concentration. Students interested in the Family Law Concentration are strongly encouraged to consult with the Concentration Director(s) when choosing a paper topic.

* Seminars that typically furnish excellent opportunities to write on a subject related to 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
  • Twentieth-Century American Legal History