Costello, Jan C.

Jan C. Costello, Distinguished Retired Faculty

Distinguished Retired Faculty

Courses Taught

  • Advanced Issues in Children and the Law
  • Children and the Law
  • Family Law
  • Marital Property
  • Legal Process
  • Mental Disability Law



  • BA, summa cum laude, Yale College, Phi Beta Kappa 
  • MA, Yale University 
  • JD, Yale Law School


Professor Costello teaches, lectures, writes and consults in the areas of children and the law, mental disability law, and family law.  A member of the faculty since 1983, she has served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and helped develop Loyola’s programs in public interest, academic support, and disability law.  Prof. Costello received her B.A. and M.A in American Studies, and her J.D. from Yale University. Before joining the Loyola faculty, she practiced public interest law with the Mental Patients Advocacy Project (now Center for Public Representation) in Northampton, Massachusetts and with the Youth Law Center in San Francisco, California.  She is former Chair of the State Bar of California Committee on Legal Rights of Disabled Persons, and Chair of the Law & Mental Disability Section of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS).  She served as a board member of Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc. (MHAS), and the Disability Rights Legal Center (formerly Western Law Center for Disability Rights) associated with Loyola Law School, and as a faculty member of the UCLA Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship Program.  She is actively involved with state and national organizations dedicated to protection of the rights of children and persons with disabilities.

Public Service

  • Association of American Law Schools: Section on Law and Mental Disability (1983 to present; Section Chair 1989-90); Membership Review Committee (1998-2000)
  • Boards of Directors: Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc. (1987 to 2002, Chair, 2000 to 2002); Western Law Center for Disability Rights (1984-1999)
  • Memberships: International Society of Family Law (ISFL); International Academy of Law and Mental Health (IALMH); National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC)
  • Faculty, UCLA Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship Program (1991 to present)

Selected Scholarship

  • "Can or Should CAP be Applied to Child Research Subjects?: A Comment on Kim and Appelbaum, in Capacity to Consent: A Snapshot of Contemporary Legal and Clinical Issues," 24 Behavioral Sciences and the Law 479 (2006)
  • "'Wayward and Noncompliant' People With Mental Disabilities: What Advocates of Involuntary Outpatient Commitment Can Learn From the Juvenile Court Experience With Status Offense Jurisdiction," 9 Psychology, Public Policy & Law Journal 233 (2003)
  • "'The Trouble Is They're Growing, The Trouble Is They're Grown': Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Adolescents' Participation in Mental Health Care Decisions, Symposium on the Law of Mental Health," 29 Ohio Northern University Law Review (2003)
  • “'Why Have Hearings for Kids If You’re Not Going to Listen?': A Therapeutic Jurisprudence Approach to Mental Disability Proceedings for Minors, Symposium from the Second International Conference on Therapeutic Jurisprudence," 71 University of Cincinnati Law Review 19 (2002)
  • “'And Who is My Neighbor?' Autonomy-Value, the Ethic of Care and Full Inclusion for People with Mental Disabilities," in The Just One Justices: The Role of Justice at the Heart of Catholic Higher Education, M.K. McCullough, Ed. (University of Scranton Press 2000)
  • “A Lawyer Means They Can’t Push Me Around: the Lawyer/Advocate’s Role in Representing Individuals With Mental Disabilities,” 11 The Journal of National Alliance for the Mentally Ill - California 56 (2000), republished in Loyola Lawyer 4 (Spring 2000)
  • "The Law Professor as Student, or National Velvet, I’m Not," The Law Teacher (Spring 2000)
  • "Representing Children in Mental Disability Proceedings," 1 Journal of the Center for Children and the Courts 101 (1999)
  • "Making Kids Take Their Medicine: The Privacy and Due Process Rights of De Facto Competent Minors," 31 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 907 (April 1998)