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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.

NORTHAMPTON 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.


Child, Parent and State
At least one elective course


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


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.


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.


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