Section Description Provided by Instructor
This seminar will explore the law's allocation of rights, privileges and responsibilities among children, their families and the state in a wide range of contexts. Source materials will include federal and state constitutional doctrine, numerous federal and state statutes, social science materials, journalistic coverage of some issues, and narratives of individuals' experiences. The course will help students to understand the forces that shape family law, modern child welfare and juvenile justice policy and practice, and related subjects. Drawing on law, economics, sociology, psychology and other disciplines, students will examine such issues as the interests of institutionalized minors and their families; free speech in public schools and school-related activities; privacy, including drug testing, in public schools; minors in the workplace; the legal implications of adolescents' use of technology and social media; governmental responsibility in cases of child abuse and neglect; state-sanctioned restrictions on the rights of minors; the state's responses to youth criminality, including waiver to criminal court, conditions of confinement, capital punishment and juvenile life without parole; minors' medical autonomy and decision-making, including abortion; and other questions. These subjects will be addressed from both doctrinal and public policy perspectives. Also addressed will be the pros and cons of efforts to improve public child-serving systems through class action litigation and the particular challenges faced by judges handling individual child- and family-related cases.
R 6:20p - 8:10p
Method of Evaluation
J.D. Writing Credit
Minor (automatic), Major (only upon consultation)