Instructor(s) Mansfield, Marsha
The majority of civil cases filed in our circuit courts are family law cases. Many lawyers are interested in family law not only because of the widespread need across our state but also because these types of cases, more than another other civil cases, give newer attorneys the opportunity to get into court on a frequent basis. This course will introduce students to the substantive and business issues connected with a family law practice. The class will survey trial level civil procedure and the role of the attorney at each stage of the family law processes, which include simple divorces, paternity actions, post-judgment matters and complex jurisdictional issues. There will be substantial hands-on experience, including motion drafting and negotiations. We will also create templates for discovery and common motions, as well as checklists for case analysis, investigation, and motions. In addition we will look at the business aspects of a solo or small practice. Guest speakers who have started their own firms will provide insight into the successful establishment of a practice that focuses at least in part on family law. We will also provide an overview of the other related types of cases that attorneys can expect to handle. These include child protection cases, criminal law cases (generally related to child support), guardianships, and contempt. Trial Advocacy is very helpful. Grades are P/F only. This class satisfies the 60 credit rule.