Family Law

Professor Picart | Summer 2017

Attendance & Participation


Class Attendance:

Class attendance is required by ABA accreditation standards. Attendance will be checked, at the start of the class, and after breaks, via a seating plan, to be finalized during the first week of class. Students who miss more than 20% of the scheduled class meetings (3 meetings) will not receive credit for the course. Attendance includes the obligation to appear for class on time and satisfactorily to complete reading assignments prior to class. If the student is late, it is the student’s responsibility to inform the professor. The professor will have discretion to record students who appear to class late as having one half absence for that class. Students need not submit excuses to the professor for missed classes but are required to keep track of their absences –therefore, prior notice of an approaching limit will not be provided.

There is assigned seating in this class – please PRINT in legible form, “Ms.” or “Mr.”; your first name initial; and your last name on the seating chart that will be circulated during the first week of class. The seat you choose will be your “assigned seat” during the semester. This will assist the professor in getting to know each of you.


Class Preparation and Participation:

Because this is a professional, graduate level, legal education class, preparation is mandatory. In preparing for class discussions, please read carefully and evaluate critically the materials assigned. It is the student’s responsibility to research and read whatever relevant secondary sources might be necessary to gain an adequate understanding of the material. Students are responsible for any information provided by the text, notes or questions in the pages assigned, as well as, if any, material in handouts, or material posted on TWEN. To ensure maximal preparation, a case brief should be prepared for each assigned case.

The professor will assign “panels” (groups of three to five students) who will be primarily responsible for the initial discussion of readings for each class. Students on the “panel of the day” must be especially well prepared on their assigned days. Student panels are not the sole basis for class participation evaluation. Participation in class discussion on your assigned panel dates is the bare minimum standard. Students who are consistently well prepared for class, voluntarily answer questions posed, and contribute meaningfully to class discussions throughout the semester will be eligible to have their course grades raised by one step. Students who participate in a disruptive manner or do not engage in meaningful analysis of the course materials on panels and throughout the course may have their course grades reduced by one step.

Nevertheless, not all assigned material will be necessarily discussed in class. Unless specifically stated otherwise to the class as a whole, all reading materials, in class discussion, posted materials and activities on TWEN, and possible handouts are subject to potential testing.

Students are expected to be able to apply and contextualize the material in relation to current events, and on Tuesdays, starting with the second week, the professor will call on one or two students to provide relevant news in relation to family law. These also count towards participation.


Classroom Decorum:

Students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. While the interjection of personal experience may sometimes be helpful and relevant, class discussions and all testing and grading will be focused purely on objective material – i.e., from statutes and cases.