Skip to main content, skip to search, or skip to the top of the page.

MSU College of Law



June 16, 2011


MSU Law to Host “Family Law in the 21st Century” Conference

East Lansing, MI — Family law scholars, teachers, and practitioners will gather at Michigan State University College of Law on Friday, June 17, to examine cutting-edge issues in the rapidly changing field.

Focused on “Family Law in the 21st Century,” the 4th Annual Midwest Family Law Consortium will explore shifting social definitions of family, greater use of science and technology to create families, and other current topics. Organized by MSU College of Law Professors Melanie B. Jacobs and Cynthia Lee Starnes, the event will draw family law experts from at least 16 law schools across the country. Panelists and participants will discuss legal and scientific developments throughout the first decade of the 21st century that will inform family law reform in coming years.

The conference will feature a lunchtime keynote address by Michigan Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Kelly. Justice Kelly served on the Michigan Court of Appeals for eight years before joining the state’s highest court in 1997; she was chief justice from 2009 through 2010. Before beginning her judicial career, she practiced law for 17 years with a heavy concentration in family law. She is a member of the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan, a past member of the Family Law Council, a past chair of the Family Law Committee of the Oakland County Bar Association, and past president of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan and of the Women’s Bar Association.

“We are excited to host such a vibrant conference and to have an opportunity to showcase the Law College’s commitment to family law,” said Professor Jacobs. “The issues we will discuss tomorrow touch everyone’s life every day. We look forward to joining our colleagues to explore the ways in which the law will continue to evolve in the coming decades, and the ways in which we can shape the law to be more responsive to changes within the American family.”

The conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the MSU College of Law Castle Board Room. Members of the entire MSU community are welcome. For more information, visit

The Midwest Family Law Consortium is an organization of law schools whose members collaborate to advance family law scholarship and teaching. The consortium was founded by the family law faculty of the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Law, William Mitchell College of Law, and Indiana University School of Law–Indianapolis, with additional sponsoring members Michigan State University College of Law and Washburn University School of Law. Although it primarily serves the Midwest region, the consortium is open to all law schools.

Michigan State University College of Law, a leading institution of legal education with a long history of educating practice-ready attorneys, prepares future lawyers to use ethics, ambition, and intellect to solve the world’s problems. As one of only a few private law schools affiliated with a major research university, MSU Law offers comprehensive interdisciplinary opportunities combined with a personalized legal education. After 100 years as a private and independent institution, the affiliation with MSU has put the Law College on an upward trajectory of national and international reputation and reach. MSU Law professors are gifted teachers and distinguished scholars, its curriculum is rigorous and challenging, and its facility is equipped with the latest resources—all affirming MSU Law’s commitment to educating 21st-century lawyers.


320 Law College Building
East Lansing, MI 48824

Skip to main content, skip to search, or skip to the top of the page.