Children and Family Law in New York
This seminar course will provide students with an overview of children’s and family law issues in New York. Topics will include the structure of the Family Court system, child welfare, juvenile justice, education, domestic violence advocacy, mental health, and matrimonial law. Themes discussed throughout the class will include the varied needs of children and families who may have contact with multiple government systems; the varied roles of lawyers in working on behalf of children and families (including individual representation, government work, and non-profit policy advocacy); the challenges of representing individuals who are in crisis; resources challenges; the relationship between state and federal law in this area; and reform initiatives.
Class discussions will include visits from several guest speakers who practice in these areas. Students will observe and report on Family Court proceedings for one of their assignments. The majority of the grade for this course will be based on a two-part writing assignment in which students will propose a change in the law in New York relating to an issue concerning children or families (several topics will be proposed; students may also select their own). For the first part of the assignment, students will identify the problem and analyze current statutory/regulatory/case law concerning the issue. For the second part of the assignment, students will propose a change, including discussion of relevant legal issues and practical considerations. Students will present on their proposals at the end of the semester.
Recommended for the Following Professional Pathways: Family Law; Government/Public Sector; Immigration; General Practice – Litigation/Dispute Resolution
Prerequisite: Family Law