Family Law

If you select this concentration--one of six concentrations at Quinnipiac University School of Law--you'll be exposed to a wide range of family-related law and lawyering skills. This concentration also has a strong dispute-resolution component, as litigation is often not the most effective solution for families in conflict and children at risk.

You'll learn the law related to families and children and expand your perspective beyond the purely legal to learn more about children and how they develop, family dynamics, the changing roles of families, what it means to be a parent and the issue of same-sex marriage.

You'll also work closely with other professionals, such as social workers, to learn how to find creative solutions to meet the needs of their future clients.

Our very active Family and Juvenile Law Society sponsors events on topics of interest in this field and provides networking and other career-enrichment opportunities.

For current students enrolled in Westlaw: For more information on the Family Law concentration, including how to declare as a concentration candidate and how to apply for the concentration certificate, please sign up for its TWEN page here

Requirements + Courses

Concentration Prerequisites
In order to be eligible for the Family Law concentration, you must take both Evidence and Federal Income Tax as two of your Core Electives. Credits for these courses do not count toward the 18-credit concentration requirement, but grades in these prerequisites do count toward the GPA honors requirement.

Concentration Requirements

Course Work
To receive the certificate for this concentration, you must earn eighteen Family & Juvenile Law Specialty Credits, divided as follows:

  • Required Course Work:
    In addition to Evidence and Federal Income Tax (credits for which do not count toward the 18-credit requirement) you must take the following courses. Credits for these courses will count toward your 18-credit concentration requirement:
    • Family Law (2-3)
    • Juvenile Law (2-3)
    • One of the following: Negotiation, Mediation Seminar (with or without the field placement), or ADR (1-3).
  • Core Courses
    At least one of the eighteen credits from the following family and juvenile law courses or from other required courses listed above. (Note: not all of these are offered every year):
    • Advanced Family Law (2-3)
    • Advanced Juvenile Law (all types) (2-3)
    • Trusts & Estates (3)
    • Marital Property (2-3)
    • Elder Law (3)
    • Divorce & the Divorcing Family (2)
    • Other courses as approved by the concentration directors in consultation with the course instructor.
  • Remaining credits
    The balance of the credits, if any, are to be earned from the following family & juvenile law-related Courses, or from other core courses listed above. (Note: not all of these are offered every year):
    • Administrative Law (3)
    • Alternative Dispute Resolution (2-3)
    • Bankruptcy (3-4)
    • Business Organizations (4)
    • Employee Benefits (2)
    • Education Law (2)
    • Introduction to Representing Clients (2)
    • Law & Psychiatry (2)
    • Mediation (Seminar and/or Externship) (1+2-5)
    • Mediation Advocacy (1-2)
    • Negotiation (2-3)
    • Real Estate Transactions (3-4)
    • Independent Research Project (2-3)
    • Substantial-paper courses where the paper is devoted to a family or juvenile law topic approved by the concentration director
    • Moot Court credits, if the student participates in the Family Law Moot Court Competition.(1-3)
    • Other courses or journal work as approved by the concentration director in consultation with the course instructor.

Clinical Requirement
At least 3, but no more than 3, of your 18 family/juvenile specialty credits must be earned in the Civil Clinic and/or in a family and/or juvenile law externship, or in the mediation externship. Credits for IRC do not count toward the clinical requirement. (A student may exceed three credits for their clinical course but may only count three towards the clinical requirement of this concentration.)

  • Determination of the family-law status of any given externship will be made by the concentration director.
  • Clinical requirement may be waived if the student has substantial family or juvenile law work experience. This determination will be made by the concentration director.
  • If the clinical requirement is waived, the student must still earn 18 credits elsewhere within the concentration in order to receive the concentration.

Writing Requirement
A student must write a substantial paper--or a series of shorter writings that together comprise a substantial amount of written work--on a topic or topics related to family or juvenile law. (If the student writes a substantial paper, the student may use that paper to satisfy the law school's advanced writing requirement, provided that the student meets the guidelines for the advanced writing requirement as set forth in the academic catalog). The topic or topics for the written work used to satisfy this requirement must be approved by the concentration director. A paper written for a journal may qualify, if the topic is approved by the concentration director.

Honors
Students who achieve a GPA of 3.2 or better in the coursework used for the concentration will receive the certificate for the concentration with honors.

A student may designate any course or paper as not counting towards the concentration, so long as it is not required for the concentration, and the student meets the concentration requirements with another course or paper.

The concentration director and the associate dean for academic affairs may waive any requirements for the concentration (other than the GPA requirement), if they both agree to do so.

Contact Information
For specific information on the program offerings, please contact:

Professor Carolyn Wilkes Kaas
Quinnipiac University School of Law
275 Mount Carmel Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518
Telephone 203-582-3234
Fax 203-582-3237
E-mail carolyn.kaas@quinnipiac.edu.