Loyola University Chicago

School of Law

Certificate in Child and Family Law


Loyola offers JD students an opportunity to concentrate their studies in the area of child and family law and to earn a specialty Certificate of Concentration. The Certificate serves as a tangible recognition of the awardee’s interest and competency in the field of child and family law. The Certificate appears as an official comment on the JD graduate’s transcript and Certificate holders are entitled to include their concentration status on their resumes.

Certificate Requirements

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

Coursework Requirement

To be eligible for the Certificate, students must successfully complete at least four courses (two required and two elective) totaling at least 12 credits in the child and family law curriculum and must receive a grade of B or better in each course.

Required Courses (2):

Elective Courses:

The following courses qualify for the Certificate:

* These courses qualify as electives if they are not taken as a required course.

Practical Experience Requirement

In addition to the coursework required for the Certificate, each applicant must successfully complete at least one experiential learning requirement. This experience may be satisfied through participation in the Civitas 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 Requirement

Applicants for the Certificate must participate in six (6) 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.

Requirement Exceptions

Exceptions to the above requirements may be made on a case by case, including for part-time students and students for whom such requirements would impose undue hardship. A student who earns a grade lower than “B” in any qualifying course may be required to take an additional course to earn the Certificate. Requests for exceptions should be made to Professor Diane Geraghty, dgeragh@luc.edu.

Certificate Application Process

Students who have completed or are in the process of completing the application process may submit an application for the Certificate in Child and Family Law. Copies of the application are available online or in the Civitas ChildLaw Center, Corboy Law Center, 11th Fl.

Approval for Completed Requirements

If a student has completed all requirements for the Certificate (course work, practical experience, extracurricular activities), he or she should submit the Certificate Application to the Academic Program Coordinator for verification and approval. The Academic Program Coordinator will then submit the application to the Registrar for verification and approval.

Provisional Approval for Partially-Fulfilled Requirements

A student may submit a Certificate Application using the above procedures if he or she is in the final semester of law school and has successfully completed all the requirements for the Certificate with the exception of courses in which he or she is presently enrolled and/or is in the process of completing the practical experience requirement. Students must have already completed the extracurricular requirement in order to be considered for provisional approval. Final approval for the Certificate is contingent on successful completion of all requirements and will be verified by the Academic Program Coordinator and Registrar.

Rights Reserved

The Civitas ChildLaw Center/Loyola School of Law reserve the right to change the Certificate requirements, add or delete qualifying courses, and/or determine when changes apply at any time without advance notice.