As the field of family law continues to evolve and grow, the faculty at Georgia State University College of Law continues to focus on ensuring that graduates are ready to practice their practice.
The College of Law offers a family law survey course that focuses on material included in the bar exam, but it also offers courses on domestic violence law, domestic law litigation, and youth law. This course offering aims to prepare students for the special challenges associated with exercising family law.
“You are dealing with clients at their most vulnerable time,” said Professor Tanya Washington, who teaches family law. “The things that matter most to them are falling apart, so we want to make sure that they are helping them in the best possible way.”
In addition to teaching courses, students also have the opportunity to gain practical experience through experience-oriented learning opportunities.
The College of Law offers third party family law internships at Atlanta Legal Aid, the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, the DeKalb Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, the Fulton County Supreme Court, Equality Lawyers, and the Truancy and Intervention Project in Georgia. There are also a number of family law firms employing Georgia state alumni who are within walking distance of the college.
“I think people learn best by doing it,” said Professor Kinda Abdus-Saboor, who teaches youth law and the external internship seminar class. “It’s one thing to read about a case or the rule of law, but when you have a factual pattern and apply it and figure out how a law applies, it’s another part of the processing and analysis that many students can relate to more than just learning from a case book. “
For students interested in a career in family law, attending the Weltner Inn of Court is a blessing on their résumé.
The Weltner Inn of Court is an organization made up of family law practitioners and judges. Over the course of a year, Georgia State Law students are divided into teams in which they discuss real-time developments in family law with eight to nine practitioners. Washington says it’s a great networking opportunity for everyone involved.
“You get to know the lawyers and these judges,” said Washington, who also acts as the liaison between the Inn and Georgia state. “We have several of our students hired through relationships they made at the Inn of Court.”
Written by Alex Resnak