Prepare to defend those least able to defend themselves

If justice for children and their families is driving your passion for the law, the Certificate in Child and Family Law can help focus your studies and your career.

Loyola offers an extensive array of courses in child and family law, including child welfare, domestic violence, juvenile justice and education law. And your participation in the community through legal clinics will provide the “hands-on” experience to help you advocate for those most in need.


There are three requirements for the Child and Family Law Certificate: coursework; practical experience; and extracurricular activities.


You must complete at least 12 credit hours, including two required courses and two electives, in the child and family law curriculum and must receive a grade of B or better in each course.

Required Courses

  • Child, Parent and State
  • At least one elective course

Elective Courses

  • Adoption Law Seminar
  • Advanced Issues in Domestic Relations
  • Child and Family Law Mediation
  • ChildLaw Clinic
  • ChildLaw Policy and Legislation Clinic
  • ChildLaw Trial Practice
  • Children's Health Law and Policy
  • Children’s Legal Rights Journal
  • Children’s Summer Institute
  • Disability Law
  • Education Law Practicum
  • Family Law
  • Human Trafficking in the US - Special Issues Concerning Children
  • International Children’s Rights
  • Mental Health Law
  • Special Education
  • Special Education Advocacy
  • The Practice of School Law

Practical Experience

To earn the certificate, you must  complete at least one experiential learning requirement. This experience may be satisfied through participation in the ChildLaw Clinic,* ChildLaw Policy and Legislation Clinic,* a qualifying externship placement, a qualifying internship, or other “hands-on” experience in the field of child and family law. Volunteer/internship/employment experiences must be approved in advance.

*One semester of Clinic experience cannot be used to satisfy both the coursework and practical experience requirements. Students, however, may meet both requirements by taking two semesters of either of the two Clinics, or alternatively, by successfully completing one semester each of the Civitas Child Law Clinic and the ChildLaw Policy and Legislation Clinic.

Extracurricular Activities

Additionally, you must participate in six  or more activities sponsored by the Civitas ChildLaw Center, including attendance at conferences, symposia, the weekly Coffee Talk Series, etc. Participation as a member of the Children’s Legal Rights Journal counts as one extracurricular activity. Students should keep a record of their fulfillment of this requirement, which will be verified by the Academic Program Coordinator. Students should meet with the Coordinator over the course of law school to confirm that their activities meet this requirement.

Applying for your Certificate

After completion of all requirements, you must complete an application for the Certificate in Child and Family Law.