I had the privilege of going back to my alma mater, the University of Baltimore School of Law, to speak with the law students participating in the Center for Families, Children and the Courts, which I had the pleasure of participating in while at UB.
The center is run by Professor Barbara Babb, who also is the director of the nation’s first post-JD certificate in family law. If your focus is not family law, the post-JD certificate in family law is a must, no matter how long you have been practicing law, if you are thinking about taking on family law cases.
Family law is not one of those of areas of law where you can learn on the fly in a middle of a case. This would not be good for your client nor for your reputation. But I have, unfortunately, found attorneys who have little-to-no experience in family law who take on a case which in turn either made the parties spend a lot more money on unnecessary litigation issues or have had their clients enter into agreements that may not necessarily be the best arrangement for their client.
The hands-on, practical and experiential program at UB offers an interdisciplinary education in all aspects of family law in which the professors teaching the class are family law practitioners. Not only does the program teach the ins and outs of family law in Maryland but it also gives them a direct connection to obtain the best mentors in the area of family law. And having a mentor (and hopefully being able to come one’s mentor, if you are lucky), is one of the most crucial tools to have in the practice of law.