Planning Guide for Students
A PLANNING GUIDE FOR JD AND LLM CHILD AND FAMILY LAW STUDENTS
This Planning Guide is intended for Loyola students who are considering careers in child and family law or who seek a deeper understanding of this specialized area of legal practice. It provides an overview of the many curricular and extracurricular opportunities that Loyola offers and is intended to help students take maximum advantage of these opportunities while in law school.
Loyola offers students the richest curriculum in the field of child and family law at any law school. The curriculum draws on the experience of practitioners in the field and is updated annually to keep pace with this rapidly developing area of practice. The core curriculum is taught by full-time faculty and ranges from foundational courses to specialty seminars and experiential learning opportunities. These classes are supplemented by other courses that lend context and provide related knowledge. To learn more, visit the child and family law curriculum or review a copy of the program’s learning objectives.
CERTIFICATE FOR JD STUDENTS
JD students who take at least four (two required/two elective) courses in the child and family law curriculum, fulfill an experiential learning requirement, and participate in a defined number of extracurricular activities may earn a certificate of concentration in child and family law. The certificate is a special designation on a JD transcript and serves as a tangible manifestation of a student’s interest and knowledge in the field. Additional information about the certificate is available here.
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
Loyola JD and LLM students have a wide range of “real world” and simulated experiential learning opportunities. These include the Civitas ChildLaw Center’s two in-house clinics (one focused on the direct representation of child clients and the other on policy and legislation affecting children and families). In addition, students may enroll in simulated learning courses such as childlaw trial practice and child and family law mediation, and participate in the Law School’s externship and internship programs.
Each year the ChildLaw Center and student organizations offer the students an impressive array of extracurricular programs and activities designed to increase students’ knowledge and allow them to network with attorneys and others working in the field. These include:
- Weekly ChildLaw Center Coffee Talk speaker series (Wednesdays/4:00 – 4:50)
- ChildLaw Society
- Education Law Society
- Symposia and Conferences
- National Juvenile Law and Adoption Moot Court teams
- Children’s Legal Rights Journal
- Law Related Education
PROFESSIONAL OPPORTUNITIES WHILE IN LAW SCHOOL
While in law school, many law students work, complete internships/externships, or volunteer at public agencies, private law firms, not-for-profit organizations, professional societies, and other sites where they gain valuable experience and contacts. Information about these opportunities is available on the ChildLaw Center website, from the Center’s faculty and staff, and through the Office of Career Resources.
CAREERS IN CHILD AND FAMILY LAW
The ChildLaw Center, in cooperation with Loyola’s Office of Career Services, has prepared a series of career resource guides in various practice fields in child and family law, including child welfare law, education law, family law, international children’s rights and juvenile justice. These are available at http://www.luc.edu/law/career/practice_areas/child.html. Students should actively seek out career counseling from the Office of Career Resources and ChildLaw Center faculty over the course of their legal education. Examples of settings in which graduates of Loyola’s child and family law program are employed include:
- Non-profit legal services programs
- Child advocacy organizations
- Private firms
- Professional associations
- Prosecutors’ offices
- Defender organizations
- Child-serving public and private social service agencies
- Academic institutions
- Hospital and health care entities
- School districts
- Mediation services programs
- Judicial clerkships
- Research institutions