Family Law Education Reform Project

In collaboration with Hofstra University Center for Children, Families and the Law

The Family Law Education Reform Project (FLER) is a collaborative endeavor between AFCC and the Center for Children, Families and the Law at Hofstra Law School. The goal of FLER is to close the gap between the teaching and practice of family law. The project gathered information and ideas through a combination of a series of open meetings at AFCC annual conferences, with think tanks of invited family law professors (Hofstra Law School, November 2004) and representatives of family law and related professional organizations (Wingspread, March 2005), research conducted by law students at Hofstra and Northeastern law schools and an Internet survey of interdisciplinary practitioners. The final report, commentaries and related articles were published as a special issue of Family Court Review in October 2006.

Stage two of FLER began in September 2006 with a meeting to plan for the development and dissemination of teaching materials to support the FLER Report’s recommendations for family law teaching. This phase resulted in the FLER Project Website.  The FLER Project’s influence continued with a conference at William Mitchell Law School on Family Law Education and a second special issue of Family Court Review in October 2011.


Family Law Education Reform Project Final Report (PDF)
Mary E. O’Connell and J. Herbie DiFonzo, Family Court Review, October 2006

Family Court Review Special Issue on Family Law Education Reform, October 2006

Organizational Endorsements

  • American Bar Association Section on Dispute Resolution
  • Association for Conflict Resolution
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • National Association of Counsel for Children
  • National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

The FLER Project was funded in part by the JAMS Foundation, the Johnson Foundation and the Seedlings Foundation.

Steering Committee

  • Andrew Schepard, JD, Co-chair
  • Peter Salem, MA, Co-chair
  • J. Herbie DiFonzo JD, PhD, Co-reporter
  • Mary E. O’Connell JD, Co-reporter
  • William Howe III, JD
  • Leslye Hunter, MA, LMFT
  • John Lande, JD, PhD
  • Jennifer Rosato, JD
  • Hon. Hugh Starnes,
  • Tom Fee, JD, Facilitator 
  • Greg Lampe, PhD, Curriculum Advisor
  • Timothy Hedeen, PhD, Research Consultant

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