Family Law

Trauma-Informed Lawyering

Seminar - 2 hours. Recent developments in neuroscience and psychology support the contention that we live in a world impacted by trauma. But lawyers are not often trained in recognizing how trauma affects our work. Trauma-informed lawyering is an approach to the practice of law that equips students with the knowledge and skills to navigate these difficult environments.

Family Law

Discussion - 3 hours. An introduction to the legal regulation of the family. Coverage will include laws and public policies governing marriage and non-marital relationships; the parentage of children born through assisted reproductive technologies; the economic consequences of marital and non-marital dissolutions; child custody and visitation; and interstate jurisdictional issues.

Final Assessment: Exam

Family Protection Clinic

Each student is required to enroll for two semesters, receiving four units each semester for total of eight units. Students represent low-income persons in family law and related matters arising out of situations involving family violence. Students are supervised by the staff attorney at the clinic's office. The clinic begins with an intensive 3-day seminar during one of the first weekends of fall semester, eight hours each day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, focusing on domestic violence and office procedures.

Juvenile Justice Process

Seminar - 2 hours. This two unit class provides an overview of the major juvenile delinquency procedural hearings: detention, jurisdiction, disposition and transfer hearings.  The class will discuss the recent United States Supreme Court decisions on life without the possibility of parole for minors and how these decisions are influenced by recent scientific findings on brain development in young adults. The constitutional rights of students while in school will be reviewed in the context of mandatory drug testing and police interrogations and searches of students while on campus.

Law and Society Seminar

Seminar - 2 hours.   This course provides an overview of various intersections between sociology and law in the United States, from the origins of the country through current debates. Substantive topics may include how race, gender, class, or sexual orientation affect immigration and citizenship, education, housing and residence, or criminal justice. We will examine these issues through social science articles, case law, the U.S. Constitution and other laws, as well as media output (film and newsprint).

Marital Property

Discussion - 2 hours. California bar exam subject.  This course covers the California community property system, including the rights of marital and domestic partners during the ongoing relationship, and upon the end of the relationship by death or divorce.  This course does not address other family law topics such as child custody and support, spousal support, conflicts of law, and so on.

Conflict of Laws

Discussion - 3 hours. A study of how law operates across state and national borders. The topics covered include choice of applicable law in transactions involving multiple jurisdictions, recognition of judgments, and the exercise of jurisdiction.  Particular emphasis will be given to conflicts analysis in transnational cases.  The course deals with problems practitioners frequently encounter in a wide variety of fields, from commercial law to family law to law in cyberspace.

Final Assessment: Exam

Child Welfare and the Law

Seminar - 2 hours. This course focuses on the welfare and legal rights of children, especially the most at-risk in society including those in foster care and victims of crime and civil torts. Students will learn the substantive law of juvenile dependency and the special duties of lawyers representing children in dependency and civil cases, as well as child witnesses in criminal cases. Juvenile dependency law has been historically under-resourced in society. The goal of this class is to prepare the next generation of child advocates and to do our part in closing the resource gap.