Fall 2022 Course Schedule

Family Law (LAW-636-001)
Ann Shalleck

Meets: 03:30 PM - 04:50 PM (TuTh)

Enrolled: 40 / Limit: 45

Administrator Access


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Family law encompasses the many ways that the government, through its laws and institutions, directly and indirectly structures and regulates those relationships that constitute family life.

  • It affects the lives of individuals.
  • It shapes relationships among family members and between a family and others in society.
  • It affects the interaction of the family with other institutions in society and within a community.
  • It delineates the relationship of the family and its members to the state.
  • It defines the legal significance of membership in a family.
  • It governs and structures disputes among members of a family.
  • It has distinctive forms of legal practice.
  • It sometimes operates through distinctive courts and other legal institutions.

Legal regulation of the family interacts with the most fundamental aspects of culture and society and it implicates the most personal and intimate aspects of life. Family law occupies an important and distinctive place within our democratic theory. The relationships among the state, society, and individuals within our system of government are often mediated by the family and family law. Legal regulation of the family varies depending upon how families and family members are situated within society. Race, gender, economic circumstances, and disability deeply and differentially affect the operation of family law.

This course provides only an introduction to this vast and multi-faceted subject. It addresses several dimensions of what constitutes family law and provides an overview of the enormous scope of this complex area of law. Because Family Law rarely operates in isolation, this course will cut across other legal disciplines, including constitutional, administrative, civil, and criminal law. In addition, the course will examine how inequality, gender, race, sexual orientation and sexual identity, and disability operate within the domain of family law and practice.

Textbooks and Other Materials

The textbook information on this page was provided by the instructor. Students should use this information when considering purchases from the AU Campus Store or other vendors. Students may check to determine if books are currently available for purchase online.

The casebook for this course is Contemporary Family Law -- FIFTH EDITION, by Abrams, Cahn, Ross, Meyer and McClain. The pages listed in the syllabus are from the casebook. Additional readings will be posted on Canvas. ISBN: 9781640205918

First Class Readings

Not available at this time.


Use your MyAU username and password to access the syllabus in the following format(s):