Course - Law


Recommended Courses:

Constitutional Law II, Juvenile Law, and Community Property are recommended but are not required.


This course explores the changing concept of "family" under American law. We will examine the formation of families, marriages, and other unions. We will also look at legal and economics aspects of the termination of marriage, family and intimate relationships. We will explore the role of the state in giving or withholding recognition to certain relationships, and the increasing significance of contractual autonomy in intimate relations. Last, but not least, we will also address the state regulation of child custody and child support.


Required Text:

Contemporary Family Law

Abrams, Cahn, Ross, & Meyer
ISBN-13: 9780314276872
West - Latest edition – the 3rd

*Supplemental material will be posted. Students will need to print it and bring to class.

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


1.      Mid-Semester quiz 
2.   An open-book, open-note final exam containing both essay and multiple-choice questions as well as a short take-home component. I cater to all styles.
Basis for grading

Student grades will be based on performance on the mid-semester quiz, the group project, and the final examination but grades can be improved by outstanding class participation and reaction papers.

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