Family Law & Estate Planning
Family law examines the regulation of family relationships, including marriage, non-traditional partnerships and divorce or dissolution, including property division, as well as prenuptial, postnuptial and separation agreements.
Courses in the family law area also explore issues involving parents, children and the state, including paternity proceedings, assisted conception and the new reproductive technologies, child support, child custody and visitation, child abuse and neglect, and adoption.
A concentration in family law is useful for students intending to have a law practice focusing on family law, but it is also helpful to those who expect to go into more general small or medium practices, which often include numerous family law matters.
Estate planning is much more than drawing up a will, and involves both tax and business planning. In fact, tax planning is often the exclusive object of drafting an estate plan. In addition, an estate planner must consider pensions, government benefits, medical care, and family support. A focus on estate planning requires familiarity with a wide range of areas revolving around matters of finances, family, and wealth distribution. Preparation should include taking not only courses in Wills & Trusts and taxation, but also courses in negotiation, mediation, drafting and other lawyering skills.