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March 28, 2013

CONTACT: Kent Love, director of communications, 517-432-6959; kent.love@law.msu.edu

Michigan State Law Review to Host Symposium on Equality in Family Law

The Michigan State Law Review will host a symposium entitled “In Search of Equality in Family Law” April 11—12, 2013. Bringing together some of the foremost family law scholars in the nation, the theme of the symposium is the continuing struggle to reform family law to ensure equality, with a focus on relationships within families, access to the family structure, and family members’ status in society at large.

The topic of equality in family law is particularly timely: the U.S. Supreme Court just heard oral arguments in two marriage equality cases and is scheduled to hear a third case involving parental rights and the Indian Child Welfare Act. Stories concerning child custody, adoption, the effects of assisted reproductive technologies and the law, and the nature of marriage are regularly in the news.

Dean David Meyer of Tulane University Law School will deliver the keynote address on Thursday at the MSU Broad Art Museum. As co-organizer Professor Melanie B. Jacobs notes, “The juxtaposition of the modern Broad Art Museum situated within the historic, stately MSU campus symbolizes the current tension in family law: that is, trying to fuse modern understandings of the meaning of family, spouse, and parent with longstanding doctrines, presumptions, and traditions.”

More than 20 highly regarded family law experts from around the country will offer insights during panel discussions on Friday in the Castle Board Room at the Law College Building. Presenters will discuss a broad range of issues, paying specific attention to the ways in which race, class, and gender affect family formation, relationships, and dynamics. A central theme among all of the presenters is how equality is best attained.

More information at www.law.msu.edu/family.

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