LAW 2844 - Interdisciplinary Seminar on Family Law and Policy
This seminar explores issues of family law and policy through an interdisciplinary lens with the goal of generating an agenda for law reform on a complex and controversial subject. The seminar discusses and evaluates approaches to implement resulting law reform recommendations, ranging from federal and state legislation to pilot projects. Each year, the seminar focuses on one topic, determined in advance by the faculty teaching the course. Illustrative topics include: youth at risk, alternative dispute resolution in family disputes, unified family courts, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, adoption policies, same sex marriage, health care for children, unmarried parents living together, special education for disabled children, self-represented litigants in family court, child abuse and neglect, juvenile offender punishment and policies and the role and ethical conduct of the lawyer for children and parents.
The seminar is team taught by members of the law school faculty, as well as faculty from other disciplines appropriate to the subject being addressed. It includes law students and students from other disciplines who are seriously committed to the goals of the seminar and who have the background to contribute to the seminar’s work.
The seminar begins with an overview of the laws, public policy, and social science and health approaches and trends relevant to the particular issue. Subsequent classes focus on the interrelationship between different disciplines and the development of a law reform agenda. The seminar provides an opportunity for students in different disciplines to learn about the theories, philosophies, ethics, and practices of the range of professions that confront family policy issues, and the impact of decision making in one forum on the practices and decisions made in another forum. Students are challenged to consider the strengths and weakness of the responses of various disciplines, and their interaction.
Students will be expected to undertake a substantial research project and write a paper and make a presentation on a topic within the seminar’s scope.
Enrollment is limited, and instructor permission is required for enrollment.
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