The Certificate Program in Family Law offers students having a special interest in the field of family law a structured framework to pursue that interest, as well as special and formal recognition for doing so. The program has flexibility to allow students to pursue a particular subset of courses related to family law.   

The program is designed to ensure that students

  • are exposed to a broad range of issues in family law and procedure;
  • have the experience of writing a supervised research paper; and 
  • obtain some practical experience in the field of family law. 

Advising

Students are strongly encouraged to meet with one of the chairs or a faculty adviser.  Paperwork must be submitted to the campus chair prior to the end of the add/drop period during the semester in which the student expects to fulfill the requirements for the certificate.

The chairs of the program for the 2016­­–17 academic year are Professors Twila Perry in Newark and Kimberly Mutcherson in Camden. Faculty advisers for the Newark campus are Professors Suzanne Kim and Randi Mandelbaum.  Faculty advisers for the Camden campus are Professors Victoria Chase, Ann Freedman, Ruth Anne Robbins, and Meredith Schalick. Please seek out an adviser early for guidance regarding the program.

Requirements

The program is open to all Rutgers Law School students. To complete the certificate program, students are required to take a minimum of 15 credits in approved courses. All of the certificate-eligible courses must be taken for a grade and not pass/fail. Students must graduate with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA in the certificate-eligible courses to receive the certificate.

Rutgers Law School will endeavor to offer students reasonable opportunities to satisfy the requirements of the certificate program. It should be understood, however, that resources are limited and that the demands of the program will have to be balanced against other law school needs. Students are advised to plan in advance to maximize their opportunity to satisfy certificate requirements, including by seeking faculty guidance.

To earn the 15 credits, a student must take the Family Law course as a foundation, and then must take upper-level courses in three other categories:

1. At least one of the following courses:

  • Family Law Motion Practice
  • Legislation
  • Litigation
  • New Jersey Practice
  • New York Practice
  • State Constitutional Law

2. At least three of the following courses (with at least one resulting in a significant and supervised research paper for which the student earns WI credit):

  • Bioethics, Babies, and Babymaking
  • Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Children, Parents, and the Law
  • Children and the Law
  • Child Welfare System Seminar
  • Constitutional Law II   
  • Domestic Violence Seminar
  • Elder Law Seminar
  • Families across Borders
  • Family Violence and the Law
  • Gender and the Law Seminar  
  • Gender, Gender Identity, Sexuality, and the Law Seminar  
  • Poverty Law
  • Sex Discrimination
  • Sexuality, Gender Identity, and the Law
  • Sexual Orientation and the Law
  • Trusts and Estates

3. At least one of the following skills courses: 

  • Advanced Child and Family Advocacy Clinic
  • Advanced Domestic Violence Clinic
  • Child Advocacy Clinic
  • Child and Family Advocacy Clinic
  • Domestic Violence Clinic
  • Family Law ADR
  • Family Mediation
  • Family Mediation Clinic
  • Matrimonial Litigation
  • Working Families Law and Policy (or Work-Family Law and Policy)
  • Externship with the Office of the Attorney General (DCP&P unit); the Office of the Public Defender (OLG or OPR units); a family court judge; or other relevant externships related to family law with permission from the externship director.

Policy on Other Courses

Additional courses may be added to this list with appropriate administrative approval, including courses offered at other Rutgers schools.