Domestic Relations Law (DRGL)

DRGL 0337. Family Law. (3 Credits)

The family plays a central role in American society, affecting both individual lives and the nation as a whole. Family law is the system of direct and indirect regulation that structures family life by determining both entry and exit from familial relationships, the rights and responsibilities that flow from family status, and the larger context for family life. Family law is one of the most important areas of law, as measured by its effect on people’s lives, the volume of litigation, and the financial and affective issues at stake. This course defines the reach of family law very broadly. We will cover the bread and butter of traditional family law (including marriage, divorce, and the child welfare system), but we will also reach more broadly to look at the relationship between families and poverty and the multiple ways the state structures family life. This course will cut across traditional law school disciplines, such as civil, criminal, and constitutional law. We will consider important and complex questions, including the following: What is a “family”? How does this definition vary according to the context? How does, and how should, family law address nontraditional families? How do race, gender, and class affect family law?.

Attributes: INLJ, LMCO, PIE.

DRGL 0422. Child Welfare Policy. (2 Credits)

This course examines the modern child welfare system (recently renamed the family regulation system) from its origins in the U. S. institution of slavery and the English Poor Laws to the current massive system of family policing, separation, fostering and permanent termination of parental rights. Topics covered include an overview of the laws at play in the family regulation system, poverty and parenting, systemic racism and the growing abolition movement. The course will include a series of guest speakers with lived experiences in the system and incorporate models of legal practice within the system.

Attributes: INLJ, LLM.

DRGL 0929. Child Welfare. (2 Credits)

This course is designed for students who are interested in understanding how the state intervenes in cases of suspected child abuse and neglect. Through an interdisciplinary lens of law and social work, this course offers a comprehensive overview of the child welfare system in America. When parents are deemed unable to provide adequate care for their children due to abuse and/or neglect, a state can intervene by providing oversight and services, including removal of the child from the home to ensure that children are cared for and safe. Through class discussion, and assigned readings and projects, this course will examine the history of the child welfare system and its evolution, the constitutional underpinnings of the role of the state with regard to family, key issues concerning both parental and children rights, and current directions. This semester-long course will impart both theoretical and practical knowledge.

Attributes: INLJ, LLM.