Family law governs the rights and duties of people in close and caring relationships with each other. Our diverse society, which includes people with vastly different political and religious beliefs, presents an ever-changing legal landscape in which definitions of marriage, family and parenthood are in flux, yet ordinary people must make their way and establish, maintain or sever important relationships as their circumstances require. Family law practice provides lawyers with opportunities to help clients through some of life’s most important and difficult situations. Today, family law encompasses much more than only divorce, and includes topics such as adoption, paternity, marriage, the parent-child relationship, child maltreatment, and domestic violence.
Lawyers who practice family law must develop excellent people skills, and they must be adept at interviewing, client counseling, negotiation and trial preparation in addition to mastering the various state and federal laws that govern family relationships.
Marquette Law School has an ever growing curriculum that prepares students to practice in all areas of family law. In addition to the basic course in Family Law, the Law School offers courses such as Parent, Child & State, Family Law & ADR, and seminars in topics such as Adoption and Child Maltreatment. Our students can choose workshops (such as the Guardian-Ad-Litem Workshop) or supervised fieldwork programs with various county family courts or legal aid organizations in the region. We also have student volunteer and group activities: for example, many students belong to the Children and Family Law Society or volunteer at the Self Help Desk at the Milwaukee County Family Court.