UMKC School of Law

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Child and Family Law

One of the most fundamental and complex problems the legal system addresses are issues involving the planning and adjustment of family relationships. More people use an attorney to address family law issues than any other legal need; over half of all state court cases involve domestic relations matters. Family law requires an entirely different type of lawyer – one who can work collaboratively with professionals from a wide variety of disciplines to craft creative and just solutions while empowering clients to work together toward long-term solutions. The UMKC School of Law Emphasis in Child and Family Law prepares students to serve the whole family -- from infants to elder.

Students complete the Child and Family Law program are ready to pursue careers serving children, families, and elders, whether in private or government practice or in other leadership roles.

Admission requirements

Students may apply after completing their second semester (or 29 credit hours). The Child and Family Law Faculty will make admissions decisions.

  • GPA average of 2.6 in all law courses previously taken

The program requires completion of the following:

  • A minimum of 15 hours of approved courses
  • A written project on a topic dealing directly with children, families or elders and the legal system
  • A focus assignment or a paper on a topic relating to ethical issues in family representation
  • A portfolio of emphasis area work
  • Six credit hours in the Child and Family Services Clinic
Approved courses


  • Family Law (required)

Pick at two from from this list.

  • Children in Law
  • Juvenile Offenders and the Law
  • Family Violence
  • Gender and Justice
  • Elder Law



  • Mediation
  • Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • Dispute Resolution and Lawyers
  • Elder Law For Estate Planners
  • Disabilities and the Law
  • Immigration Law and Process
  • Education Law: Government & Legal Aspects of Education
  • Independent Study (if approved by Child and Family Law adviser on the basis that the course of study relates directly to the emphasis area)
  • Law Review (if approved by Child and Family Law adviser on the basis that the student's note or comment relates directly to the emphasis area) Family Law Clerkship
  • Fact Investigation
  • Legal Aid Clinic
  • Internship
  • Guardian Ad Litem Workshop
  • Family Court Clerkship
  • Estate Planning and Drafting
  • Leadership In Disability Studies: A Multidisciplinary Approach
  • Mini-term courses designated as family law courses. In the past, these have included: Poverty Law, Violence Against Women Act, Law & Human Trafficking and Family Law and Film
Clinical component

All students must complete six hours in the Child and Family Services Clinic, Law 8752. With faculty approval, students may substitute two other clinical courses from the following list.

  • Family Law Clerkship
  • Estate Planning and Drafting
  • Legal Aid Clinic - Domestic Relations
  • Internship
  • Jackson Co. Prosecutor’s Clinic: Family Law Prosecution



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UMKC School of Law | 500 East 52nd St. | Kansas City, MO 64110-2458
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