Course Information

Course Number




Area of Study & Practice

  • Family Property and Relations

Children and the Law

This course begins with a discussion of the concept of the child in U.S. and international law before turning to a survey of U.S. law concerning children. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution feature prominently. Thus, the course treats the constitutional parameters of parental authority (e.g., with respect to education and religion), the special situation of unmarried fathers, policies of restriction and protection (e.g., with respect to contracting, curfews, and voting), children=s rights of free expression, children=s participation rights in other legal contexts including in the schools, intervention in the family to protect children (i.e., abuse and neglect law), termination of parental rights, and adoption. The course does not cover custody, foster care, or juvenile justice. Enrolled students are required to attend class prepared and ready to participate in the discussion, and to take a final examination given at the conclusion of the course. The examination will be an eight-hour business day (9-5) take-home, given on the date assigned by the Registrar for the test in this course.

Please note that course organization and content may vary substantially from semester to semester and descriptions are not necessarily professor specific. Please contact the instructor directly if you have particular course-related questions.


Doriane Lambelet Coleman
Children and the Law 309.01
Spring 2015

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