Family, Child Advocacy, & Elder Law

Navigate the complex and rewarding field of family, child, and elder law.

Family relationships are complicated. When the time comes, a specially-skilled lawyer is needed to serve clients with these issues well.  Oregon Law prepares you with the knowledge, expertise, and practical skills necessary to advocate for a broad range of clients, including children and the elderly. 


Family, Child, and Elder Law Concentrations


Careers

Family, Child, and Elder Law lawyers work in private offices and governmental settings. They may file legal documents, participate in mediation sessions, and offer advice to clients. These issues can include paternity, guardianship, custody, rights in same-sex nonmarital relationships, parent-child relationship protection, facilitating parenthood through adoption and reproductive technology, custody, child support, escaping domestic violence, and divorce.

  • Private Litigator
  • Legal Aid
  • Legislator
  • Policy Advisor
  • Nonprofit Administrator
  • Mediator
  • Criminal Defense Attorney
  • Prosecutor

Academics

Sample of General Family, Child, and Elder Law Coursework

FIRST YEAR (1L) (Assigned courses)

Torts
Contracts
Civil Procedure
Constitutional Law I
Criminal Law
Property

SECOND YEAR (2L)

Required and recommended bar prep courses
Evidence
Constitutional Law II
Children and the Law
Domestic Violence Seminar
Family Law

THIRD YEAR (3L)

Legal Profession
Business Associations
Oregon Practice and Procedures
Trusts and Estates I
Elder Law

ADDITIONAL COURSES

Domestic Violence Clinic
Advanced Domestic Violence Clinic
Interviewing and Counseling
Mediation Clinic
Child Advocacy Field Placement

Sample of Family Law Focused Coursework

SECOND YEAR (2L)

Evidence
Family Law
Trial Practice

THIRD YEAR (3L)

Domestic Violence Clinic (also offered summers)
Domestic Violence Field Placement (also offered summers)

EITHER YEAR

Domestic Violence Seminar
Children and the Law
Trusts and Estates I
Accounting for Lawyers
Oregon Practice and Procedure
Interviewing and Counseling
Negotiation
Litigation Practice and Procedure

 Sample of Child Advocacy Focused Coursework

SECOND YEAR (2L)

Criminal Investigation
Criminal Adjudication
Evidence
Trial Practice

THIRD YEAR (3L)

Criminal Defense or Criminal Prosecution Clinic

EITHER YEAR

Children and the Law
Family Law
Interviewing and Counseling
Negotiation
Domestic Violence Seminar
Child Advocacy Field Placement (summers only) (limited availability)

 Sample of Elder Law Focused Coursework

SECOND YEAR (2L)

Trusts and Estates I
Federal Income Tax I

THIRD YEAR (3L)

Trusts and Estates II
Estate Planning

EITHER YEAR

Elder Law
Family Law
Interviewing and Counseling
Negotiation
Administrative Law

Research Projects

  • Oregon Child Advocacy Project (OCAP)
  • Work with a Professor as a Research Assistant
  • Independent Study

Practical Experience

Types of available practical experiences

  • Domestic Violence Protective Order Clinic
  • Domestic Violence Civil Clinic
  • Advanced Domestic Violence Protective Order Clinic
  • Advanced Domestic Violence Civil Clinic
  • Child Law Field Placement
  • Advanced Domestic Violence Clinic
  • Domestic Violence Field Placement in Klamath Falls
  • Child Advocacy Field Placement
  • Student Survivor Legal Services (volunteer)

Extracurriculars

FIRST YEAR (1L)

Child and Family Law Association
Women’s Law Forum

SECOND YEAR (2L)

Attend meetings of the family law section of the Lane County Bar Association
Attend OCAP programs
Child and Family Law Association
Women’s Law Forum

THIRD YEAR (3L)

Join the family law section of the ABA as a student member
Child and Family Law Association
Women’s Law Forum

Annual Events

  • Oregon State Bar - Family Law Conference (competitive scholarships available)

Faculty Highlight — Merle Weiner

PHILIP H. KNIGHT PROFESSOR

Photo of Professor Merle Weiner outside of the Law library

Professor Weiner has written extensively in the areas of family law, domestic abuse law, and international family law. She is considered an expert on the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. She co-wrote the first US casebook on international and comparative family law, entitled Family Law in the World Community, which is now in its third edition. 

Professor Weiner was the founder and faculty director of the UO's Domestic Violence Clinic. For twenty years, she ensured the clinic's existence by keeping the clinic funded with her grant writing and other fundraising efforts. She is currently working on a tort law project to help survivors of gender-based violence.