HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. —
Hofstra Law School, The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and William Mitchell College of Law have launched The Family Law Education Reform (FLER) Web site, designed to encourage family law professors to incorporate practice perspectives into their courses. The Web site address is www.flerproject.org
The editorial committee of the website includes Andrew Schepard, Hofstra Law Professor and Director of the Center for Children, Families and the Law; Naomi Cahn of George Washington University Law School; Nancy Ver Steegh of William Mitchell College of Law and Peter Salem, Executive Director of The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.
“The report of the Family Law Education Project documented the need for major changes in family law education to better serve children and families in court,” said Schepard. “The FLER Web site is a tool for law schools to help modernize the teaching of family law by incorporating skills and interdisicplinary perspectives into their courses. It makes exercises in interviewing, counseling, mediation representation and courtroom advocacy available to all family law professors free of charge. It also allows them to access the latest interdisciplinary knowledge from experts outside the legal academy on subjects vital to family lawyers like mediation, domestic violence, child custody evaluations and child abuse and neglect.”
The Web site contains:
- Discussion guides written by non law professor experts in social science, mental health and alternative dispute resolution to help professors integrate interdisciplinary perspectives on such issues as domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, developmental psychology, mediation, parenting evaluations and unified family courts.
- Simulation exercises, donated by law professors, which integrate skills training in a variety of areas with substantive family law. Exercise topics include interviewing, counseling, negotiation, representation in mediation and courtroom advocacy.
- Evaluation tools that offer course instructors and evaluators the opportunity to assist students in embracing their strengths and limiting weaknesses as they undertake various simulation exercises.
- Course syllabi for skills-based family law courses donated by law professors.
Andrew Schepard is author of “Children, Courts and Custody: Interdisciplinary Models for Divorcing Families” and founder of the bi-monthly “Children and Law” column of the New York Law Journal, New York’s leading legal publication.
Schepard holds a bachelor’s degree from City College of New York, a master’s degree from Columbia University and a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School.
Home of The Center for Children, Families and the Law, Hofstra Law trains the finest family law attorneys with one of the most comprehensive, multidisciplinary programs nationwide.
Through partnerships with the American Bar Association, Youth at Risk Commission, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, the Center is dedicated to education, community service and research to benefit children and families.
Hofstra Law also sponsors the Fellowship in Child and Family Advocacy, awarded annually to students committed to public service on behalf of children and families involved in the legal system.
In addition, Hofstra Law offers an LLM degree in Family Law which is organized through Hofstra Law’s Center for Children, Families and the Law.
The Family Court Review, the quarterly journal of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, is edited by Hofstra Law students. It promotes interdisciplinary research in family law legislation, case law, mediation, alternatives to litigation, court affiliated education and proposed reforms.