Family Law

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Students in good standing who wish to develop special expertise in family law may enroll in Coastal Law’s Family Law Certificate Program. The program consists of a group of coordinated courses designed to provide students with the opportunity to study a wide variety of issues in family law. The curriculum is designed to provide students with the knowledge base and practical legal skills necessary to enter the field of family law professionally prepared for practice.

ringsThe core family law faculty members are committed to teaching in this subject area, have written extensively on a variety of family law issues, and have years of professional experience working in the field, including the experience from the bench of two family law judges. They also are committed to mentoring students enrolled in the Family Law Certificate Program. In addition to the core family law faculty, a number of Coastal Law full time, visiting and adjunct faculty members already teach or are qualified to teach a range of family law electives.

In addition to rigorous coursework in family law, the Family Law Certificate Program requires students to satisfy a skills component. Consistent with the practice-oriented philosophy of the law school, it would offer students opportunities to gain valuable practical legal experience through either externships with state and local agencies and law firms or one of our in-house legal clinics.

In order to receive the Family Law Certificate upon graduation, students must graduate with a minimum overall cumulative GPA of 2.5. While any Coastal Law student may enroll in any course in the family law curriculum, students who have maintained a minimum GPA of 2.5 and have enrolled in the certificate program will be given preference for limited enrollment electives. Upon graduation and satisfaction of the curriculum requirements, the student will receive a Certificate of Completion. Successful completion of the certificate program also will be identified on the student’s transcript, thereby enhancing his or her marketability to employers in the family law field.
To fulfill the certificate requirements, each student must take a minimum of 15 credits from courses described below or courses later approved to be taught at Coastal Law and approved for inclusion in the certificate program. Family law courses taken at other ABA accredited law schools, or law schools with which Coastal Law has an exchange program, may also count towards the certificate if approved. Each student in the program must satisfy the law school’s Advanced Legal Writing Requirement in one of the family law electives or through an approved Independent Study in family law. Students in the program also must satisfy a skills requirement by

1) taking Florida Family Law Divorce Practice and Procedure;
2) completing an approved family law externship,
3) participating in one of the family law clinical programs or
4) through either the Interviewing and Counseling course or the Alternative Dispute Resolution course. Because the availability of externships and live-client clinic positions is limited, students should understand that no preference can be afforded to them simply because they seek a Coastal Law Family Law Certificate.

REQUIRED COURSES
In addition to the coursework required for graduation, the following courses must be taken to qualify for the Coastal Law Family Law Certificate Program:

Family Law

3

Juvenile Law

3

Advanced Topics in Family Law Seminar

3

ELECTIVE COURSES
The elective courses listed below may be counted toward the 15 credit hours required for the certificate. The courses marked with an asterisk are courses in which students may satisfy the ALWR requirement.

Administrative Law*

2-3

Comprehensive Law Practice

2-3

Domestic Violence*

2-3

International Health & Human Rights of Children Seminar*

2-3

Education Law*

2-3

Elder Law*

2-3

Estate and Gift Tax

2-3

Estate Planning

2-3

Federal Income Tax

2-3

Gender, Sexuality & the Law*

3

Real Estate Transactions

3

Trusts and Estates

3

   

SKILLS COURSES

 

Interviewing and Counseling

2

Alternative Dispute Resolution

2

Florida Divorce Practice and Procedure

2

Family Law Externships & Clinics

3-9

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