Course - Law


Recommended Courses:

Constitutional Law II is recommended but is not required.


This course explores the changing concept of "family" under American law. We will examine the formation and termination of family and intimate relationships with emphasis on the role of the state in giving or withholding recognition to certain relationships, and the increasing significance of contractual autonomy in intimate relations.  The legal and economic consequences of marriage and divorce and the state regulation of child custody and child support will be covered. 


 Abrams, Cahn, Ross, & Meyer, Contemporary Family Law (2d ed. 2009)

Course Supplement prepared and posted on line by Atwood. The readings for the course consist of judicial decisions, statutory materials, law review commentary, other interdisciplinary writings. 

Course Format

Lecture & class discussion of readings; analysis of hypothetical problems; role-playing; guest lectures

Written Assignments

Reactions papers are required for all guest lectures.  I will also assign at least one group project during the semester requiring a written submission.

Type of Exam

Open-book, open-note examination containing both essay and multiple-choice questions.  

Basis for grading

Student grades will be based primarily on performance on the final examination, but grades can be improved by outstanding class participation.  

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