Loyola University Chicago

Civitas ChildLaw Center

School of Law

JD Curriculum

JD Curriculum

Loyola’s Civitas ChildLaw Center offers students the most comprehensive curriculum in child and family law available at any law school. For JD students, the curriculum is sequenced in such a way that it builds progressively over three years to equip students with the substantive knowledge, lawyering skills and professional understanding they need to advocate effectively for children and families and to work productively in the field of child and family law. Loyola’s curriculum is sufficiently deep and diverse that it permits students to develop specialized knowledge in practice areas such as education, child welfare, domestic relations, and/or international law. JD students who take at least 12 credits in the child and family law curriculum and fulfill other requirements may earn a Certificate in Child and Family Law.

Learning Outcomes
All courses offered by the Civitas ChildLaw Center have a well-developed set of learning outcomes. These outcomes provide guidelines for measuring student mastery of course subject matter, skills and values. The Center has prepared a summary of general learning outcomes for graduates who pursue a course of study in the area of child and family law.

Sequenced Curriculum
The JD formal curriculum in child and family law is organized in a way that permits students to gain new knowledge and competencies as they progress through law school.

First year full-time students can enroll in a specialized child and family law legal writing section on a space available basis. In their second semester, they have the option of taking Domestic Violence, Education Law and Policy, or Juvenile Justice as their perspectives elective. In their second year, students have a wide range of electives to choose among. They include substantive courses such as Child, Parent and State and experiential learning opportunities such as the ChildLaw Policy and Legislation Clinic. In their third year, in addition to the full range of substantive courses and experiential courses, students who have obtained a Supreme Court Rule 711 Practice License may enroll in the Civitas ChildLaw Clinic.

Part-time students may also enroll in any course offered in the child and family law curriculum and may earn a Certificate in Child and Family Law.

In addition to the formal curriculum, students may deepen their understanding of the law as it affects children and families though participation in Loyola’s many specialized extracurricular activities.

Curriculum Advising
Civitas ChildLaw Center faculty and staff are available to advise any Loyola law student on child and family law course offerings, course sequencing, course registration procedures, or other curriculum-related issues. Please see the Center Director or Program Coordinator for additional information and guidance.

Core Child and Family Law Courses

Adoption Law Seminar (1) (Spring)
Advanced Issues in Domestic Relations (2) (Spring)
Advanced Issues in the Practice of School Law
Child and Adolescent Health (TBA)
Child and Family Law Mediation (2/3) (Spring)
Civitas ChildLaw Clinic (4 Fall/3 Spring)
ChildLaw Directed Study
ChildLaw Policy and Legislation Clinic (4 Fall/3 Spring) 
Children’s Legal Rights Journal Associate Editors
Children’s Legal Rights Journal Editorial Board 
Children’s Legal Rights Journal Senior Editor (1) (Fall/Spring)
Children’s Summer Institute (2) (One Week Intensive/May or June)
ChildLaw Trial Practice (3) (One Week Intensive/Winter intersession) 
Domestic Violence (3) (Spring)
Disability Law (2) (Spring)
Education Law and Policy (3) (Spring)
Education Law for Non-Public Schools
Education Law, Practice, and Planning: Counseling the School District
Education Law Practicum (1-3) (Fall/Spring)
Education Litigation
Externship in ChildLaw 
Family Law (3) (Fall/Spring)
Family Law Practicum
International Children’s Rights (1-2 )(Fall/Summer)
International Family Law (1) (Summer)
Juvenile Justice *(2) (Spring)
Mental Health Law (2) (Spring)
Special Education (2) (Fall)
Special Education Advocacy (2)(Spring)
Street Law
The Practice of School Law (2) (Fall)

Related Courses

Administrative Law (recommended)
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative Strategies for Conflict Resolution: Collaborative Law and Mediation
Advanced Advocacy
Advanced Legal Research
Bioethics and the Law
Canon Law for Civil Lawyers
Client Counseling and Negotiation
Criminal Procedure: Adjudication (recommended)
Criminal Procedure: Investigation (recommended)
Comparative Domestic Violence
Comparative Education Law
Comparative Education Law Research Practicum
Comparative Law Seminar: Chile
Comparative Law Seminar: Global
Conflict of Laws
Constitutional Law Rights and Liberties
Employment Discrimination
Employment Law
Employment Law Counseling
Evidence (recommended)
First Amendment Rights
First Amendment Seminar
Happiness Seminar
Human Trafficking in the U.S. – Special Issues Concerning Children
Immigration Law
International Field Study
International Human Rights
Internet Speech
Labor Law
Law and Poverty (recommended)
Law and Public Health
Leadership Seminar (Online only)
Local Government
Mediation Advocacy
Mediation Practicum
Mediation Seminar
Non-Profit Organization
State Constitutional Law
Trial Practice II
Victims’ Rights

Special Interdisciplinary Curricular Opportunities
Students who seek an interdisciplinary understanding of child and family law may enroll in law school courses that approach a particular topic through an interdisciplinary lens, may pursue a dual degree in law and another discipline, or may register for a limited number credits in another Loyola School or Department.

  • Law School courses that have a particularly interdisciplinary focus include the Children’s Summer Institute, Domestic Violence, and Law and Poverty.
  • Loyola offers dual degree programs in social work, political science, business, and comparative education.
  • With advance approval, JD students may register for up to 9 hours of graduate-level credit in another division of the University.

Children’s Legal Rights Journal
The Children’s Legal Rights Journal is a quarterly publication written for a national audience of child-serving professionals, including attorneys, judges, social workers, educators, health professionals, law enforcement and other child-serving professionals. Students may apply to become Journal members beginning in their second year (or part-time student equivalent). More information on the Journal, including a list of Frequently Asked Questions, is available on the Journal’s website at http://www.LUC.edu/law/journals/clrj

Online Child and Family Law Courses
The American Bar Association recently adopted a policy allowing law schools to offer JD students up to 12 hours of credit in an online format. Loyola, in partnership with Concord Law School, has been a leader in developing online legal education for graduate students. With permission, JD students may enroll in a courses offered as part of its Online Master of Jurisprudence in Children’s Law and Policy program. These include courses not currently offered in the Law School, such as Leadership Development.