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Advocating for children and families takes more than a good heart. You need a firm understanding of the law and an ability to function effectively in the legal system.

The Master of Jurisprudence (MJ) in Children’s Law and Policy is a degree program tailored to help nonlegal professionals better serve children and families. Whether your field is social work or education, health care or law enforcement, a deeper knowledge of family law enables you to make a difference while it prepares you for a leadership position.


Upon graduation with an MJ in Children’s Law and Policy from Northampton, you will possess the following knowledge, skills, and professional values necessary to advocate for children and families:

You will comprehend the basic structure of the American legal system, including the allocation of power among the branches of the federal government and between the federal and state governments. You will also be able to describe the legal relationship among children, families, and the state.

Be familiar with substantive and procedural laws of relevance to child-serving professionals
Engage in various forms of legal research, including electronic research
Analyze statutes, rules, and cases in the field of child and family law
Write analytically sound and persuasive documents (letters, memoranda, reports, etc.) appropriate to the goals of child-serving professionals
Understand and apply professional leadership skills

You will have a solid foundation that will prepare you to use your knowledge and skills to enhance outcomes for children, youth and families and improve child and family-serving systems. You will be able to:

Integrate professional values of honesty, civility and respect for others in your advocacy work;
Exercise ethically responsible judgment in interactions with clients and your peers;
Respect and abide by court procedures governing conduct of legal professionals; and
Understand the importance of using your knowledge and skills in service to those most in need of support and in service of advocacy for effective ways to meet their life’s challenges.



The online MJ program is designed to be completed in 2 calendar years by taking 4 credits in each of 6 consecutive terms (including summers). In terms 3-5, you will complete six elective courses of your choosing.


Introduction to the Study of Law and the Legal System
Introduction to Children’s Law, Policy and Practice


Leadership Development


In terms 3–5, you will complete six elective courses of your choosing

Children’s Health Law and Policy
Child Welfare Law and Policy
Education Law and Policy
Family Law and Policy
International Children’s Rights
Juvenile Justice Law and Policy
Legislation and Law Reform
Mental Health Law and Children


Thesis/Capstone Project


In addition to the required curriculum, you are required to travel to Northampton’s campus at least once during your program for an Education Immersion Weekend (EIW). During the weekend, students gather in person to workshop or present their thesis/capstone project, attend workshops, participate in graduation activities, and meet with faculty, students and alumni.

Degree Requirements

To earn your degree, you must complete 24 credit hours of coursework, including the Capstone Project and one Education Immersion Weekend. 



The School of Law and Northampton Financial Aid Office are committed to helping students secure the necessary financial resources to make their legal education at Northampton affordable