Sage College of Albany by rB1fs7


									Sage College of Albany
Spring Semester 2009

Course: Family Law (LAW 214-10), 3 credits
Instructor: Bobbi Gabrenya
Meeting Days: Tuesday and Thursday from 12:30-1:50 in Froman 302
Text: Statsky, William P. (2004). Family Law: The Essentials, 2nd ed. Clifton Park: Thomson
Office/Hours: Froman 105: Tuesday & Thursday: 2:00-3:30 And by appointment (292-1736; e-

Course Description:
The course covers such topics as divorces, separations, custody, adoption, guardianship, and
support, with a survey of the appropriate courts and how they deal with such matters.

Student Learning Objectives:
Students who successfully complete LAW 214 will be able to:
+ Appreciate the tension between respect for family privacy and deference to state authority;
+ Describe premarital and cohabitation agreements;
+ Explain traditional marriage and alternatives;
+ Understand the issue of domestic violence;
+ Discuss adoption;
+ Distinguish between void and voidable marriage, and annulment;
+ Understand the grounds for divorce and procedure for divorces;
+ Explain spousal support, property division, and the separation agreement;
+ Discuss child custody and support;
+ Conduct legal and internet research;
+ Apply legal concepts to factual situations;
+ Develop “reflection” skills in order to reinforce and extend skills and knowledge;
+ Work collaboratively as a member of a team to solve a community problem; and,
+ Organize and write college-level responses and essays.

Course Requirements & Evaluation:
+ The first half of this class will involve a combination of lectures, group activities, and
management of the community project. As such, attendance is crucial (review Course Requirements
and Evaluation for grade consequences of not being in class). In addition, you must have read the
assigned reading by the date indicated in the Course Outline.

+ Your final grade will be based on the following:
   * Chapter Mini-Quizzes (30 points): During most weeks, there will be a mini-quiz on the reading
assignment. I will count the six highest scores earned on these (so, if we do seven mini-quizzes, I
will drop the lowest score). These mini-quizzes CANNOT BE MADE UP IF YOU ARE ABSENT.
If you do miss one of these, it will count as "0". Each mini-quiz will be worth 5 points.

  * Group Projects (60 points): There will be five group projects throughout the semester; each will
be done in class. These projects will assess various skills (research, legal analysis/”application of
law to fact,” collaboration); in addition, there will be a reflection task for each project. I will count
the four highest scores earned on these (I will drop the lowest score). These projects CANNOT BE
MADE UP IF YOU ARE ABSENT. If you do miss one of these, it will count as "0". Each project
will be worth 15 points.

   * Service-Learning Project (100 points): We will be working on a community project for a client,
the Schenectady County Child Abuse Multidisciplinary Team. While this project will be fluid, it
will most likely consist of:
1) Demographic and Issue/Cultural Group paper (first draft, final draft): worth 25 points
2) Demographic and Issue/Cultural Group presentation to class (10 minutes): worth 10 points
3) Demographic and Issue/Cultural Group presentation to client (10 minutes): worth 15 points
4) Final Written Reflection paper: worth 25 points
5) Client Assessment: worth 15 points
6) Peer Assessment: worth 10 points

 * Exams (80 points): There will be two exams given during the semester. Each will consist of
multiple-choice, short-answer identification and essay questions. There are NO makeup exams; you
must be in class on the day the exams are given. Each exam is worth 50 points.
    ^ Exam #1 will be given the week of March 3; it will cover chapters 1 - 4, 12, and 13.
    ^ Exam #2 will be given on Tuesday, April 28 at 1:00; it will cover chapters 5-9.

   * Instructor’s Judgement Call (30 points): A subjective grade will be assigned based on the
amount and quality of your class presence. The criteria used for this grade include: attendance;
timeliness in arriving to class; active participation in the class learning experience (including asking
 questions and providing feedback to other students); positive contribution to the
classroom environment; and, preparedness for class.

+ The grading scale is as follows:
97-100% (at least 291 points): A+
93 - 96% (at least 279 points): A
90 - 92% (at least 270 points): A-

87 - 89% (at least 261 points): B+
83 - 86% (at least 249 points): B
80 - 82% (at least 240 points): B-

77 - 79% (at least 231 points): C+
73 - 76% (at least 219 points): C
70 - 72% (at least 210 points): C-

67 - 69% (at least 201 points): D+
63 - 66% (at least 189 points): D
60 - 62% (at least 180 points): D-

Failure (less than 180 points): F
Student Responsibilities:
+ You are expected to attend every class, in its entirety. If you know you are going to miss a class,
please let me know in advance (292-1736, Please review Course Requirements
and Evaluation for grade consequences of not being in class. You are also expected to be on time
for class.
+ During class, you are expected to treat your classmates and the instructor with respect. Do not
leave class while the instructor is lecturing or while others are talking. If you have a prior
commitment and have to leave, speak with the instructor prior to class.
+ All cell phones, pagers, and other personal electronic devices must be off (you may put them on
“vibrate” mode) and out of sight in the classroom. NO TEXTING IS PERMITTED IN CLASS!

Course Outline (tentative/subject to modification):
January 20:         Review Syllabus &Introductions
January 22:         Have read: Chapter 1: Introduction
                    Mini-quiz on Chapter 1
                    Lecture: Chapter 1: Introduction
January 27:         Have read: Chapter 2: Premarital and Cohabitation Agreements
                    Group project #1: Premarital Agreements
January 29:         Have read: Chapter 3: Marriage
                    Mini-quiz on Chapter 3
                    Lecture: Chapter 2: Premarital and Cohabitation Agreements
                    MBTI take home

February 3:           Have read: Chapter 12: The Legal Status of Children
                      Library research presentation
                      Group project #2: Child Abuse and Demographic Research
February 5:           Client presents project: Lynn Chabot, Schenectady County Child Abuse
                      Multidisciplinary Team Coordinator
February 10:          Part II of group project II
                      MBTI Discussion
                      Begin service-learning project
February 12:          Have read: Chapter 13: Adoption
                      Mini-quiz on Chapter 13
                      Work on service-learning project
February 17:          Group project #3: “Family Offenses”
                      Work on service-learning project
February 19:          Work on service-learning project
February 24:          Have read: Chapter 4: Annulment
                      Mini-quiz on Chapter 4
                      Lecture: Domestic Violence
February 26:          Finish Domestic Violence lecture

March 3:              Work on service-learning project
March 5:              Midterm
Week of March 10:     Spring Break!!
March 17:             Work on service-learning project
March 19:           Have read Chapter 5: Divorce Grounds and Procedures
                    Mini-quiz on Chapter 5
                    Group project #4: Divorce
                    Work on service-learning project
March 24:           First draft of service-learning paper due
                    Lecture: Divorce
March 26:           Have read Chapter 9: Tax Consequences of Separation and Divorce
                    Mini-quiz on Chapter 9
                    Lecture: Divorce
March 31:           Work on service-learning project

April 2:            Presentation to class on service-learning project
April 7:            Have read Chapter 6: Spousal Support, Property Division, and the
                    Separation Agreement
                    Mini-quiz on Chapter 6
                    Lecture: Spousal Support and Property Division
April 9:            Presentation to Community-Partner

Week of April 14:   Have read: Chapter 7: Child Custody
                    Lecture: Child Custody
                    Group project #5: Child Custody/Support

Week of April 21:   Have read Chapter 8: Child Support
                    Lecture: Child Support

Tuesday, April 28
at 1:00:            Final exam

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