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LAW 1033: Families in Law and Public Policy
Spring 2021 • Section 21 • CRN 41429

Course Description

This writing seminar provides the opportunity to learn about important and timely issues concerning law and public policy that affect children and families. We consider theories concerning the effect of law and policy on families, and various approaches to reform. Considerations include issues related to socio-economic status, race and ethnicity, immigration status, sexual and gender identity, family form and religion in the law's relationship to families. This course invites you to ask big questions of the institutional, legal and policy structures that govern families and individuals making intimate decisions about family in the US at the federal, state and local levels. To try to bring some order to these examinations, we will organize our exploration into four strongly interrelated areas: Criminalization/Decriminalization; Recognition/Nonrecognition; Stratification/Equalization; and Separation/Connection. It also considers practices of lawyers and courts in relationship to families and children. We will focus on identifying areas in which change has happened, either through legislation, court action, or both; conduct research to fully understand issues of greatest interest to the individual students in the context of the four key themes of the course; and analyze the relevant research to propose solutions with particular emphasis on the form of the solution, such as statutory change or reform of court processes. Learning from your peers is an important part of this course, and the course will require both oral and written communication individually and in groups, including at least two class presentations. Evaluation will be based on the research paper or serial papers (depending on which format is used in a particular semester), class participation and presentations. Up to 2 students may obtain the professor's permission to receive an additional credit for participation in a practicum involving work for 4 to 6 hours per week in real world law reform advocacy in a field related to the course.


Day/Time Location
W 1:10-3:00 PM Online Meeting

Course Details

  • Theresa Glennon
Credit Hours

3 Credits



Course Type
  • Writing
Course Modality


Fulfills J.D. Requirement
  • Writing Serial


Registration Info

No Registration Restrictions.

Book List/Materials