MC Law offers the following courses in the field of family, juvenile, and children’s law.
609 – Adoption Legal Clinic, 3 sem. hrs.
Students enrolled in this course will learn about adoption law and termination of parental rights in Mississippi. This course is limited to students who are eligible to practice under the limited practice act in chancery court. Students will assist in completing adoptions of children placed in prospective adoptive homes by the Mississippi Department of Human Services, including preparation of petitions and final decrees. Students will prepare all reports and exhibits necessary for adoption, serve as attorneys for the adoptive families and may be appointed as guardians ad litem in termination of parental rights and adoption cases. All participants in any adoption proceeding will be supervised by the course instructor.
610 – Child Advocacy in Youth Court Clinic, 3 sem. hrs.
This course will examine the substantive and procedural laws governing cases of alleged child abuse and neglect, termination of parental rights and finalization of adoptions in Mississippi courts. Students will represent children in the court system with the close support and supervision of a faculty member. Building on the field experience of actual case handling as a basis for analysis, it seeks to make students more self-critical and reflective about various lawyering functions they must undertake. In order for students to effectively represent juvenile clients, the course will include instruction concerning child psychology, identifying signs of child abuse and neglect, client interviewing and case file management.
612 – Child Advocacy in Chancery Court (Guardian ad Litem Clinic), 3 sem. hrs.
Students enrolled in this course will learn about child custody and parenting issues in chancery court, including adoptions, terminations of parental rights, guardianships, custody matters, child support matters, grandparents’ rights, and similar related matters. Students who are eligible to practice under the limited practice rules may be admitted to practice in chancery court for the purpose of serving as the Guardian ad Litem for a child in one or more cases to the matters described above. Students will meet with the instructor for one hour per week during the semester and will also observe or participate in chancery court. All participants in chancery court proceedings will be supervised by the course instructor.
618 – Wills and Estates, 3 sem. hrs.
A study of the law of succession of estates including wills, fraud and undue influence, restraints on testamentary powers, capacity, execution and revocation, construction and interpretation, descent and distribution by intestacy; administration of estates, testamentary and inter vivos trusts, and introductory estate tax planning.
651 – Domestic Relations, 3 sem. hrs.
This course is composed of family law related to marriage, separation and divorce; rights and liabilities of husband and wife; property rights; parent and child relational rights and duties, disabilities, adoption, emancipation, paternal authority and support.
652 – Current Issues in Family Law, 2 -3 sem. hrs.
This course examines current issues of family law in depth. Topics change from year to year and may include same sex marriage, civil unions, covenant marriage, legal effects of new reproductive technology, effects of welfare reform on family law issues, “parental alienation syndrome,” child custody, required mediation in divorce, and other topics of current interest.
677 – Trusts, 3 sem. hrs.
The character, creation, validity and use of trusts; types of trusts; rights, duties and liabilities of settlors, trustees, beneficiaries and third parties; fiduciary administration; settlement and distribution; remedies of beneficiaries; tax, real property and future interest considerations. Wills and Estates (618) is a prerequisite.
673 – Elder Law, 3 sem. hrs.
This course is designed to provide students with a basic foundation for providing legal services to older persons. Because the specialty of elder law is defined by the type of client served rather than by a particular area of law, the subjects covered overlap with certain topics covered in other courses, such as Administrative Law, Law and Medicine, Wills and Estates, and Trusts. Topics covered in the Elder Law course will include such things as age discrimination, basic estate planning, entitlement to public benefits, planning for health and long-term care needs, challenges presented by physical or mental incapacity, exploitation of the elderly, end-of-life decisions, and ethical problems related to representing the elderly.
676 – Education Law, 3 sem. hrs.
Examines education law principles as they pertain to both public and private institutions of learning; the power of the state to compel school attendance; the constitutional framework, within which the state and federal governments regulate both public and private institutions; and, the statutory and other protections of a person’s right to equal education opportunities, resources, and treatment, regardless of race, sex, handicap, etc.
709 – Civil Law of Successions and Donations, 3 sem. hrs.
This course treats the civilian approach to the transfer of property by inheritance or by testament and the transfer of property by gifts during life.
716 – Children in the Legal System, 3 sem. hrs.
This course examines the status of children in society and under the law primarily by examining the relationship between children, their parents and the state, issues such as corporal punishment in schools, free speech, compulsory school attendance, minors' abortions, traditional juvenile materials, child custody and dependency, neglect and abuse are addressed.
757 – Juvenile Legal Issues Seminar, 3 sem. hrs.
This seminar examines issues that affect minors – from the very young to older teenagers. In a participatory seminar format, it includes the adoption process to include adoptions from overseas locations; the termination of parental rights and the basis for such court action both in youth court and in chancery court; issues involving children while in a school setting to include truancy; the resolution of criminal issues involving children to include the use of youth court, drug court and teen court; and issues surrounding child custody and child support of children. The required paper in this course satisfies the writing requirement.
537 - HIV and the Law Clinic, 3 sem. hrs
The HIV and the Law Clinic will provide students with skill-focused instruction through legal assistance to clients and policy-related advocacy. This clinic is part of a medical-legal partnership between the Mississippi Center for Justice, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and the Mississippi Department of Health. Students will be exposed to a blend of direct client services and policy work, in areas including employment discrimination, housing violations, and other conduct based on the client’s HIV status. Students may participate in client intake and interviewing, legal research, and document preparation; provide research and writing for policy initiatives aimed at improving the lives of people living with HIV; and participate in educating the community about HIV and related laws. Each student will be required to complete 135 hours of clinical work (which includes both direct services and policy work), in addition to the classroom component (a five-hour introductory class, followed by one-hour classes every other week during the semester). Enrollment is limited, and students must be eligible for admission under the Mississippi Law Student Limited Practice Act. Students make application to participate.
509 -Mission First Legal Aid Clinic, 3 sem. hrs.
The Legal Aid Clinic will provide skill-focused instruction reinforced by providing legal advice and assistance to clients. Students may participate in client interviewing, client conflict records, client communication, legal research, document preparation, court proceedings and trial in the subject matter areas of government benefits, housing, consumer matters, income tax, guardianship, child support, and family law matters. Students will meet with the instructor for one hour per week during the semester. Each student will be required to log a total of at least 150 hours of time in classroom meetings, a trial, hearing or other proceeding. All participants will be supervised by the course instructor. Class enrollment is limited. Graduating third year students will be given preference if there are more applications than available clinic openings. Students must be eligible for admission under Mississippi Law Student Limited Practice Act.
708 – Civil Law of Persons and Family, 3 sem. hrs.
This course covers the Louisiana law of persons and family, including domicile, marriage, separation, divorce, filiation, parental authority and obligations, custody, tutorship, emancipation, interdiction, and other familial rights and obligations.
718 – Civil Law of Matrimonial Regimes, 2 sem. hrs
This course examines the law governing ownership and management of property of married persons in Louisiana. The course includes the examination of the rights and obligations between spouses under legal and contractual matrimonial regimes provided in Louisiana law; the creation, modification, and dissolution of matrimonial regimes; classification of property as community or separate; and the rights of third persons with respect to property of married persons. Comparisons to the laws of other jurisdictions will be considered as well.