CU Law Profiles
Faculty Profile

Clare Huntington

Family Law, Immigration

You may also visit my faculty home page.




Hobbies, Sports, or Extracurricular Passions

Many outdoor sports (hiking, skiing, canoeing, mountain climbing); theatre; reading; spending time with my family

Favorite Book

A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth

Favorite Movie

The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

What were you doing before you came to the University of Colorado Law School?

I clerked for three years after law school (at all three levels of the federal judiciary) and then worked for the Justice Department for four years, in the Office of Legal Counsel, which advises components of the Justice Department and other executive branch actors on statutory and constitutional issues.

What is one interesting, fun, or offbeat thing you have done in your lifetime?

I worked in an orphanage in India for six months and then traveled around Asia, including a visit to Tibet just as it was opening up to Westerners (my visit was cut short, however, after I was bitten by a rabid dog and had to hitchhike 500 miles to Katmandu to get rabies shots).

What do you consider to be one of your biggest accomplishments?

Balancing work and family. I love both my career and my family. I strongly believe that my work in one arena helps me in the other.

About Boulder

What do you like most about Boulder?

This is an extraordinary town. It is intellectually and culturally vibrant and is, literally, right next to the Rockies. I can hike from my house. I can also bike or drive to the University or downtown and attend free lectures, concerts, and art exhibits.

What do you like least about Boulder?

Nothing. I love it here.

Favorite Place To Eat Out in Boulder

With my young children in tow, I head for Chipotle (the kids love the food and I don't have to clean up the 247 grains of rice and 114 beans that fall on the floor).

When my children are happily at home with a sitter, I love going to The Kitchen or Chez Thuy.

About CU Law School

Why did you decide to become a professor?

My favorite non-legal job was being a camp counselor. I also thrived in law school, my clerkships, and my work at DOJ (which was in a quasi-academic setting). Being a law professor is a way to meld these passions. I love interacting with students in and out of class, and I enjoy pursuing my own academic interests.

What do you like most about teaching at CU?

The opportunity to work with students who are passionate about their careers and lives, and are appreciative of their professors.

What area of law are you most interested in and why?

I specialize in the field of family law, and am particularly interested in the child welfare system. I was a caseworker in a foster care agency before attending law school. I am particularly interested in the appropriate balance to strike between protecting children and helping families stay together. Family law is one of the most interesting subjects in the law, cutting across constitutional, criminal, and civil law, and involving some of the most pressing and controversial social issues of our day (e.g., same-sex marriage, problems facing women and children after divorce).

I also teach immigration law and am particularly fascinated by the constitutional rights of aliens. Studying immigration law requires students to think about the nature of the polity, who belongs, who does not, and who makes these decisions and under what constraints.

Are you involved with any student organizations?

I am the faculty advisor for the Rural Immigration Outreach Project. They do terrific work, helping eligible immigrants apply for citizenship.

What piece of advice would you give a student about surviving being a 1L?

Work as hard as you can, but treat it like a marathon and pace yourself. Find something outside of school that helps you maintain your perspective. But after getting that perspective, head back to the library! Law is hierarchical and good grades matter a lot. You owe it to yourself to try as hard as you can.

What piece of advice would you give a student about getting the most out of law school?

Work as hard as you can in your classes and pursue opportunities to gain legal experience, e.g., clinics, externships, summer jobs in your desired field.

What piece of advice would you give a 1L or 2L as they choose their 2L and 3L courses?

Choose subjects that interest you, but also choose the core courses that you may need to practice law, such as Administrative Law.

About Choosing A Law School

What are the top three reasons that you think a prospective student should choose CU Law?

1. The academic program at CU is outstanding.
2. The student body, faculty, and administration are very supportive of students.
3. Boulder is a fabulous place to spend three years, especially when viewed from our terrific new building!

What piece of advice would you give a prospective student about choosing a law school?

Go to the best law school that fits your needs.

About the Law School Curriculum

Could you describe each of the main classes that you teach, and give your explanation of what those classes are about?

Family Law This course is about getting married and getting divorced. It takes all semester to get through the many issues associated with these topics. The class always generates very lively discussions and students do hands-on work, including a two-day divorce negotiation exercise.

Immigration and Citizenship Law This course is largely about the admission and removal of aliens, but we also touch upon citizenship law, asylum and refugee law, and issues concerning immigration and national security. Every day we discuss challenging legal and policy issues. Even students with no interest in immigration law should take the class because it will make the student a better lawyer -- we read statutes very carefully, tackle very complex constitutional issues, and discuss the policy aspects of the law on a regular basis.

Parent, Child and State This course is about state regulation of the family. We address the rights of parents and children to freedom of expression and religious exercise, termination of parental rights and adoption, paternity rights, the state's response to child abuse and neglect, the role of race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, and culture in defining the family, the legal issues raised by the development of new reproductive technologies, and current debates about the appropriate division of responsibility in family law between the federal and state governments. This is a terrific class for anyone interested in the family and/or constitutional law.