Course Information

Course Number




JD Graduation Requirements

This course typically satisfies all or some of the following JD graduation requirements:
  • Writing

The Dynamics of Family Relationships

In considering an attorney's professional obligations to a client, distinctions are sometimes drawn between representing a corporate entity and representing an individual. When the entity in question is a family, however, these distinctions may blur. This seminar will explore the issues that arise in representing one or more family members in matters relating to the family's wellbeing. We will follow the story of a fictional family as its members marry, raise children, found businesses, divorce, and die. In so doing, we will consider, among other things, the attorney's obligations to address conflicts of interest among family members, protect confidentiality, counsel individuals rendered vulnerable by age or infirmity, and appropriately structure the attorney's professional relationship with the family. Students will be expected to participate in role-playing exercises, lead class discussions, and complete a major paper. There will be no exam.

This course satisfies the writing requirement, and satisfies one credit of the "Ethics and Professionalism" requirement. Students must have completed or be taking concurrently one of the following: Ethics and the Law of Lawyering, Ethics in Action, or Ethics and the Rules of Professional Conduct. It is recommended, but not required, that students have taken Family Law.

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.


Nancy Russell Shaw, Kathryn Webb Bradley
The Dynamics of Family Relationships 764.01
Spring 2007
E-mail ListBlackboard Site