Family Law Clinic

Class Term: 
Spring Term 2017-2018
Catalog Number: 
Class Number: 
Class Schedule: 
10:00 am
12:00 pm
4 (2 Contact, 2 Field)
Graduation Requirements: 
Professional Skills
Experiential Learning
Enrollment Limit: 

Due to the nature of clinical work, a student may not enroll in more than one clinic in a single semester. Students who do so will be automatically dis-enrolled from one of the clinics. Prior to dis-enrollment, clinical faculty will attempt to contact the student via email to inquire as to which clinic the student prefers. 

Attendance at a Pre-Registration Informational Session (TBA) OR a Certificate and Clinic Informational Session run by the Career Services Office OR a pre-registration meeting with Professor Congelio is required.

3rd Year Priority when offered in the Fall, 2nd Year Priority when offered in the Spring
Additional Information: 

Students may register for the clinic as early as their second semester, second year as long as the prerequisite of Family Law will have been met at the time of enrollment.  It is anticipated that the student will perform clinic related work a minimum of 10 hours per week. Enrollment preference will be given to first semester third year students.


Scheduling Imperatives Family Law Clinic Students:

  • Formal classes are scheduled for first semester students for two consecutive hours each week. Please consult the Law School class schedule to determine the time and place of the two hour clinic class when registering.
  • The Family Law Clinic is fortunate to have an ongoing partnership with the Family Division of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.  As such, ALL students must be available EVERY Tuesday AND Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Family Court building in downtown Pittsburgh where students will interview clients and prepare appropriate pleadings on behalf of clients who are going to court.
  • In addition all students will have to be available EITHER every Tuesday OR Thursday afternoon from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. to present motions in court on behalf of indigent clients OR, if not presenting, to observe Motions Court.  Clinic students must arrange their class schedules so as to be available to meet these time requirements.
  • Second semester students who will not be attending the weekly two hour classroom session will be required instead to engage in other assigned clinic related work (examples: motion presentation, clinic research projects, student mentoring, Court appointed client representation, etc.) for TWO hours per week which will be scheduled by the student in consultation with the Professor. NOTE: Second semester students wishing more courtroom experience may fulfill this requirement by arranging their schedule so as to permit them to be available BOTH Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

Please schedule accordingly when you register so that you comply with the above requirements.

Grading Details: 

Each student will receive a letter grade based on some or all of the following factors in no particular order of importance:

  • Participation in classes and case rounds meetings,
  • Drafting skills,
  • Client interviewing, student’s ability to work effectively with clients,
  • Advocacy Skills, both written and oral,
  • Research Assignments,
  • General competence, diligence and initiative in handling cases,
  • Professionalism

Students who would like to enroll in this Clinic must attend one of the mandatory pre-registration clinic informational meetings held each semester. The dates for these meetings are published in advance in the E-docket.  Students must sign in at the mandatory meeting in order to verify their attendance. If a student who has not attended one of the mandatory meetings (either this semester or the immediately preceding semester) registers for this Clinic, that student will be automatically dropped from the class by the Registrar. A dropped student may attempt to re-register after meeting with the appropriate faculty member; however, there is no guarantee that there will be space in the clinic to allow re-enrollment.

Second semester returning students in two-semester clinics will register after the “registration appointment period” concludes. That is, such students will register only during "open enrollment." The Registrar will provide such students with course permission numbers prior to the start of open enrollment to allow them to re-enroll.