University of Denver

Student Perspective: Inside Family Law with Skills

Allison Small is a third year law student at Hofstra Law who took Family Law with Skills as a second year law student. She is now a teaching assistant for the course.

Educating Tomorrow's Lawyers has chosen Family Law with Skills at Hofstra Law as one of the classes they are showcasing. This spring I will share the techniques our class uses to teach students about the many layers of family law.

I thought I would make this first blog entry an introduction to the course and to myself. Family Law with Skills was a course started by Professors Andrew Schepard and J. Herbie DiFonzo as an alternative to a lecture class. It incorporates five or more skills activities into the semester's course curriculum so students can apply the skills used by family attorneys. The course is taught twice a week for two hours with an occasional two-hour skills session on Fridays. This course is widely popular with the students at Hofstra.

I am a 3L at Hofstra Law School. I took this class in my second year and I am the Teaching Assistant for this class. My professional field of interest is child and family studies. This was my first law school course about family law and created the foundation of my knowledge in this field.

This course can be viewed as an introduction course for those students who have no prior knowledge about this field, but it goes much deeper than the typical introductory course. Professors Schepard and DiFonzo are able to cover a wide range of topics such as: child abuse, foster care, surrogacy, ADR, maintenance, visitation and parenting, in a semester and still manage to provide the students with an in depth explanation and analysis of the laws.