Equality and Human Rights Courses

The courses listed below provide a taste of the Administrative Law courses offered at the Law School, although no formal groupings exist in our curriculum. This list includes the courses taught in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years. Not all of these courses are offered every year, but this list will give you a representative sample of the variety of courses we might offer over any two-year period. Other new courses will likely be offered during your time at the Law School.

PLEASE NOTE: This page does not include courses for the current academic year. To browse current course offerings, visit my.UChicago.

Abrams Environmental Law Clinic

Spring 2018, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock

Students in the Abrams Environmental Law Clinic work to address climate change, water pollution and legacy contamination and to protect natural resources and human health. Clinic students engage in a wide variety of activities to learn practical legal skills, such as conducting factual investigations, interviewing witnesses and preparing affidavits, reviewing administrative determinations, drafting motions, working with experts, arguing motions and presenting at trial or an administrative hearing, among other activities. The Clinic generally represents regional and national environmental organizations and works with co-counsel, thus exposing students to the staff of these organizations and other experienced environmental lawyers. In addition to litigation, the Clinic may also engage in legislative reform and rule-making efforts; students interested solely in that kind of work should notify the instructor before joining the Clinic, if possible. While it helps for students to have taken or be taking one or more of Environmental Law, Administrative Law, Evidence, or Intensive Trial Practice, these courses are not pre-requisites or co-requisites. A student should plan to enroll in the Clinic for two credits per quarter, although he or she may enroll for one, two or three credits per quarter after consultation with clinic faculty. Students need to take a substantive environmental law class at some point when they are in the clinic. They are not precluded from taking the class if they have not yet taken Environmental Law when they enroll in the clinic and are not able to do so their first quarter due to when courses are offered. Nonetheless, students do need to take an environmental law class (any of the main stand-up class, climate change, or international environmental law) at some point when they are in the clinic.


  • Autumn 2016, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
  • Winter 2017, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
  • Spring 2017, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
  • Autumn 2017, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
  • Winter 2018, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock

American Indian Law

Autumn 2016, M. Todd Henderson and Justin B. Richland

This course will consider two distinct bodies of law regarding the 565 federally recognized Indian tribes in the United States. First, we will study the law governing the relation between non-tribal law and tribal law. This is the law of treaties, federal jurisdiction, and sovereignty. The Supreme Court has several cases on tribal issues each year, and with the rise of gaming and natural resources as major sources of wealth, the stakes in these cases for tribe members and non-members is increasing. The materials for the course will be mostly Supreme Court cases, as well as some historical materials necessary to understand the context of the judicial consideration of tribal jurisdiction. The flavor for this part of the course will be international law, although with a decidedly American approach. Second, we will study the law within several prominent tribal areas. The Hopi, for instance, have a court system that is roughly parallel to the American one, but with key differences for handling crimes, contracts, torts, and so on. The flavor for this part of the course will be comparative law, since we will compare how different legal rules develop in distinct but related legal systems. This course is mandatory for students interested in participating in the Hopi Law Practicum (serving as clerks to justices of the Hopi Appellate Court on live cases), but it is open to all students with an interest in tribes, federal jurisdiction, sovereignty, or comparative law.

American Law and the Rhetoric of Race

Spring 2017, Dennis Hutchinson

This course presents an episodic study of the ways in which American law has treated legal issues involving race. Two episodes are studied in detail: the criminal law of slavery during the antebellum period and the constitutional attack on state-imposed segregation in the twentieth century. The case method is used, although close attention is paid to litigation strategy as well as to judicial opinions. Undergraduate students registering in the LLSO, PLSC, HIST, AMER cross-listed offerings must go through the undergraduate pre-registration process. Law students do NOT need consent.

American Legal History: The Twentieth Century

Spring 2018, Laura Weinrib

This course examines major legal and constitutional conflicts in twentieth century American history. Topics include law and social movements, the role of the courts, rights consciousness, the legal profession, and legal thought. Students will connect legal texts and legal struggles to broader developments in social, cultural, and political history. Grading is based on class participation and a final take-home examination.


  • Spring 2017, Laura Weinrib

Big Problems

Spring 2018, David Weisbach, Anup Malani, Robert Topel, Kevin Murphy

The Big Problems course will use multidisciplinary approaches to try to understand and tackle the most important problems facing our country or the world. The first 8 weeks will be taught by the instructors and outside experts, focusing on problems such as the Zika virus, Syrian migration to Europe, cybersecurity, nuclear waste storage, opioid addiction, sex trafficking, and policing and race relations. Students will work in teams of 2 business and 2 law students to develop feasible policy or private sector solutions to a problem of their choosing and make a presentation in the last 2 weeks. Presentations will be made to instructors, outside experts and fellow students. This class requires instructor consent. Interested students should email their CV to Professor Weisbach and Professor Malani at d-weisbach@uchicago.edu and amalani@uchicago.edu. Final grade will be based on a major paper (20-25 pages).


  • Spring 2017, David Weisbach, Anup Malani, Robert Topel, Kevin Murphy

Chicago Policing

Spring 2017, Richard McAdams

We will study American policing and police reform by focusing on the example of Chicago. We will start with the history of the Chicago Police Department and calls for reform before turning to recent and current events. We will have outside speakers who will present in the seminar and/or at lunch talks. Beyond history, topics will include: crime in Chicago; basic police practices regarding hiring, training, collective bargaining, arbitration, deployment (including community policing); the significance of neighborhoods and politics; Stop and Frisk practices; police violence, especially shootings and the torture scandal; citizen complaints and internal discipline; and mechanisms of accountability. Students will participate in the discussion and write a series of reaction memos about the readings and speakers, which will include attendance at a chosen subset of relevant lunch talks. The grade will be based on participation and the memos. Students may qualify for an additional credit hour by writing a substantial paper.


  • Autumn 2016, Richard McAdams
  • Winter 2017, Richard McAdams

Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking

Winter 2017, Virginia Kendall

This seminar provides a comprehensive, practical introduction to the history and present-day reality of child sexual exploitation, as well as to the interconnected web of domestic and transnational federal laws and law enforcement efforts launched in response to this global challenge. The seminar will use a text written by the professor and a colleague who have the distinctive perspective of two individuals who have spent their careers in the trenches investigating, prosecuting, and adjudicating these intricate and commonly emotional cases. The seminar will offer open debate about child sexual abuse by stripping it of its unhelpful, constricted definitions, and by candidly discussing the state of the law, the criminal justice process, and the treatment of offenders and victims. The seminar examines today's system of federal anti-exploitation laws; the connection between modern communications technologies, such as the Internet, and the rise in U.S. and foreign child exploitation; the unique challenges posed by transnational investigations; organized crime's increasing domination over the commercial sexual exploitation of children; the current state of the U.S. government's transnational anti-trafficking efforts; the myriad international legal instruments designed to enhance transnational enforcement efforts; how, during investigations and trials, to avoid re-injuring the child-victims; the hallmarks of an effective trial strategy; the most promising investigative and trial avenues for the defense; and, what contemporary research tells us about charging and sentencing-related issues, including victimization and recidivism rates. Taught by federal district court judge, Hon. Virginia M. Kendall.

Child Exploitation, Human Trafficking & the Supply Chain

Winter 2018, Virginia Kendall

This seminar provides a comprehensive, practical introduction to the history and present-day reality of child sexual exploitation and trafficking, as well as to the interconnected web of domestic and transnational federal laws and law enforcement efforts launched in response to this global challenge. The class will use a text written by the professor and a colleague who have the distinctive perspective of two individuals who have spent their careers in the trenches investigating, prosecuting, and adjudicating these intricate and commonly emotional cases. The class will offer open debate about child sexual abuse by stripping it of its unhelpful, constricted definitions, and by candidly discussing the state of the law, the criminal justice process, and the treatment of offenders and victims. The seminar examines today's system of federal anti-exploitation laws including the arrival of commercial supply chain laws; the connection between modern communications technologies, such as the Internet, and the rise in U.S. and foreign child exploitation; the unique challenges posed by transnational investigations; organized crime's increasing domination over the commercial sexual exploitation of children; the current state of the U.S. government's transnational anti-trafficking efforts; the myriad international legal instruments designed to enhance transnational enforcement efforts; how, during investigations and trials, to avoid re-injuring the child-victims; the hallmarks of an effective trial strategy; the most promising investigative and trial avenues for the defense; and, what contemporary research tells us about charging and sentencing-related issues, including victimization and recidivism rates. Taught by federal district court judge, Hon. Virginia M. Kendall. Final grade will be based on a major paper.

Children and the Law: The Restatement Process

Spring 2017, Emily Buss

This seminar combines an introduction to the substantive law of children's rights, and an introduction to the process through which the American Law Institute Restatements are produced. Professor Buss serves as one of the Reporters on the ALI's new Restatement of Children and the Law, and work for this course offers students an opportunity to contribute to that drafting and advising process. After the first few sessions, in which students will gain basic grounding in children's rights and the Restatement process, students will prepare and present draft Restatement portions focused on a topic of their choice, to be discussed and reviewed by their classmates, who will serve in the ALI adviser's role. Possible topics include school speech, search and seizures in schools and elsewhere, rights and limits of religious observance in schools, gender identity rights, rights to access medical and reproductive care, among others. After the seminar concludes, students will submit a final, revised Restatement portion (black letter law, comments, and reporter's notes), which will qualify for SRP credit. Prior enrollment in Con Law VII (Parent, Child & State) or The Constitution Goes to School does not preclude enrollment in this seminar, as student work in the seminar will focus on a specific topic and general discussion will focus on the Restatement process and the particular questions pressed in that context.

City Policing

Winter 2018, Richard McAdams

This seminar will focus on policing and police reform in large American cities, especially Chicago. We will examine the history of the Chicago Police Department and other large city police departments; recent crime levels in Chicago and other cities; municipal practices regarding hiring, training, unionizing, and deployment of police, including community policing; stop and frisk practices; police shootings and other uses of force; citizen complaints and internal discipline; Fourth Amendment doctrine relevant to policing use of force; and institutional mechanisms of accountability. Students will write a series of reaction memos and carry on a discussion regarding the readings and make a brief presentation about a suggestion for reform in one of the last classes. The grade will be based on the memos, the discussion, and the presentation. Students may qualify for an additional credit hour by writing a substantial paper.

Civil Rights Clinic: Police Accountability

Spring 2018, Craig Futterman

The Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project (PAP) is one of the nation's leading law civil rights clinics focusing on issues of criminal justice. Through the lens of live-client work, students examine how and where litigation fits into broader efforts to improve police accountability and ultimately the criminal justice system. Students provide legal services to indigent victims of police abuse in federal and state courts. They litigate civil rights cases at each level of the court system from trial through appeals. Some students also represent children and adults in related juvenile or criminal defense matters. Students take primary responsibility for all aspects of the litigation, including client counseling, fact investigation, case strategy, witness interviews, legal research, pleadings and legal memoranda, discovery, depositions, motion practice, evidentiary hearings, trials, and appeals. A significant amount of legal writing is expected. Students work in teams on cases or projects, and meet with the instructor on at minimum a weekly basis. Students also take primary responsibility for the Clinic's policy and public education work. PAP teaches students to apply and critically examine legal theory in the context of representation of people in need. It teaches students to analyze how and why individual cases of abuse occur and to connect them to systemic problems, often leading to "public impact" litigation and other strategies for policy reform. Through our immersion in live client work, we engage fundamental issues of race, class, and gender, and their intersection with legal institutions. We instruct students in legal ethics and advocacy skills. And we seek to instill in them a public service ethos, as they begin their legal careers. Students are required to complete, prior to their third year, Evidence, Criminal Procedure I, and the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop. Constitutional Law III is also recommended.


  • Autumn 2016, Craig Futterman
  • Winter 2017, Craig Futterman
  • Spring 2017, Craig Futterman
  • Autumn 2017, Craig Futterman
  • Winter 2018, Craig Futterman

Civil Rights Practicum

Spring 2018, Aziz Huq

In this practicum, students will engage in a range of research and analysis under the supervision of Prof. Huq, in relation to a number of active civil rights cases or other matters. Initial projects will include work on hate-crimes regulation. The aim is to cultivate experience in litigation and advocacy-related tasks in a real world setting, albeit without the structured format of a clinic.


  • Autumn 2016, Aziz Huq
  • Winter 2017, Aziz Huq
  • Spring 2017, Aziz Huq
  • Autumn 2017, Aziz Huq
  • Winter 2018, Aziz Huq

The Constitution Goes to School

Spring 2018, Justin Driver

This course will examine how the Supreme Court's constitutional opinions have both shaped and misshaped the nation's public schools. In 1969, the Supreme Court famously declared that students do not "shed their constitutional rights when they enter the schoolhouse gate." Not surprisingly, though, Supreme Court Justices both before and since have bitterly contested the precise scope of students' constitutional rights in the elementary and secondary school contexts. Some Justices, moreover, have concluded that it is typically unwise for the judiciary to enter the educational realm, lest the Supreme Court turn into a schoolboard for the entire nation. Even if such fears are overblown, however, there can be no doubt that the Court's constitutional interpretations have had significant consequences for schools charged with transforming students into citizens. Constitutional topics will include: freedom of speech, establishment of religion, free exercise of religion, searches and seizures, cruel and unusual punishment, due process, and equal protection. Educational topics will include: homeschooling, zero tolerance policies, corporal punishment, school funding, school uniforms, racial desegregation, strip searches, single-sex schools, off campus speech, drug testing, unauthorized immigration, the school-to-prison pipeline, and book banning. There are no prerequisites for enrollment. The student's grade is based on a take-home final examination and class participation. This class is open to non-law students.


  • Spring 2017, Justin Driver

Constitutional Law II: Freedom of Speech

Winter 2018, Geoffrey Stone

A study of the doctrine and theory of the constitutional law of freedom of speech. The subjects for discussion include advocacy of unlawful conduct, defamation, invasion of privacy, commercial speech, obscenity and pornography, offensive speech, symbolic expression, protest in public places, regulation of campaign finance, and selective government subsidies of speech.


  • Winter 2017, Genevieve Lakier
  • Spring 2017, Geoffrey Stone
  • Autumn 2017, Laura Weinrib

Constitutional Law III: Equal Protection and Substantive Due Process

Spring 2018, Justin Driver

This course considers the history, theory, and contemporary law of the post-Civil War Amendments to the Constitution, particularly the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The central subjects are the constitutional law governing discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, and other characteristics, and the recognition of certain fundamental rights. Throughout, students consider certain foundational questions, including the role of courts in a democracy and the question of how the Constitution should be interpreted. The student's grade is based on a final take-home examination and class participation.


  • Autumn 2016, David Strauss
  • Spring 2017, Justin Driver
  • Autumn 2017, Nicholas Stephanopoulos

Constitutional Law V: Freedom of Religion

Spring 2018, Mary Anne Case

This course explores religious freedom in America, especially under the first amendment. It is recommended that students first take Constitutional Law I. Students who have completed Constitutional Law IV are ineligible to enroll in this course. The grade is based on a substantial paper, series of short papers, or final examination, with class participation taken into account. Paper writers require permission of the instructor; ADDITIONAL explicit instructor consent required for paper to be considered for SRP certification. Prerequisite: Constitutional Law I- recommended, not required.


  • Spring 2017, Mary Anne Case

Constitutional Law VI: U.S. Constitutional Rights in Comparative Perspective

Autumn 2017, Rivka Weill

The course explores U.S. constitutional law's position regarding the complex burning dilemmas of the twenty first century. These include the death penalty, hate speech, terrorist kidnapping, immigration, secession and nullification, political boycott, the right to bear arms, torture, targeted killings, election integrity and the rights to vote and be elected, the right to marry, freedom of the press, equal protection and affirmative action, abortion, and religious free exercise (especially as it arises in the context of religious sacraments and religious dress). We will examine these issues theoretically and comparatively using Canada, Germany, India, Israel, South Africa and the United Kingdom as case studies. We will reveal fascinating dialogues within countries and between countries on these issues. Assessment for the course will be based on a combination of class participation (10%) and a take-home final examination (90%).


  • Autumn 2016, Rosalind Dixon

Constitutional Law VII: Parent, Child, and State

Spring 2018, Emily Buss

This course considers the role that constitutional law plays in shaping children's development. Among the topics discussed are children's and parent's rights of expression and religious exercise; parental identity rights including rights associated with paternity claims, termination proceedings, assisted reproduction, and adoption; the scope of the state's authority to intervene to protect children, to regulate their conduct, or to influence their upbringing; and the role of race and culture in defining the family.


  • Spring 2017, Emily Buss

The Constitutional Rights of Minors from the Minors' Point of View

Winter 2018, Emily Buss

In this seminar, a small number of law students will collaborate with Professor Buss in teaching a course to high school students from the Woodlawn Charter School (and also possible from the Laboratory Schools) on students' constitutional rights in school. Each class will focus on a different case and related doctrine, and will engage the high school students in a discussion of a scenario that asks them to apply the doctrine to new facts. Topics will include student speech and religious exercise, drug testing and locker searches, procedural rights in the context of disciplinary actions, and race and gender discrimination, among others. Before each class students will read an edited version of a Supreme Court case and will prepare to discuss a case study. After each class the high school students will write a brief reflection piece. Each law student will be paired with two high school students, and will interact with those students in and out of class. Law students will check in with the high school students to assist with class preparation, and will review and comment on the students' reflection pieces. During class, law students will help facilitate the small group discussions. Law students will also submit brief weekly reports of their students' class participation and their out-of-class interactions. At some point in or after the quarter (the timing will be at the law students' discretion, within the time frame permitted under the school's paper policy), Law Student's will write a paper that discusses one of the topics we have covered, and that particularly draws on the high school students' perspective, shared in and out of class, to develop a theme relevant to the doctrine in question. Students interested in applying for this class should send a note of interest to Professor Buss ebussdos@uchicago.edu by October 6, 2017.

Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project Clinic

Spring 2018, Herschella Conyers and Randolph Stone

The Project provides law and social work students the supervised opportunity to represent children and young adults accused of crime in juvenile and criminal court. Representation includes addressing the social, psychological and educational needs of our clients and their families. In addition to direct representation, students are involved in policy reform and public education including work with coalitions on issues of juvenile life without parole, youth violence, mass incarceration, and the collateral consequences of conviction. Students will participate in case selection and litigation strategies. Students will be expected to do legal research and writing including drafting motions and memoranda on various legal issues, i.e. evidentiary questions, sentencing, etc. and brief writing. Additionally, students will do pre-trial investigation and fact development including interviewing clients and witnesses. 3L students who have taken a trial practice course will have the opportunity to argue motions and second chair hearings and trials. Policy work will include general research on issues, drafting statement and position papers and attendance at meetings. Corequisite: Evidence must be taken at some point that the student is in the clinic.


  • Autumn 2016, Herschella Conyers and Randolph Stone
  • Winter 2017, Herschella Conyers and Randolph Stone
  • Spring 2017, Herschella Conyers and Randolph Stone
  • Autumn 2017, Herschella Conyers and Randolph Stone
  • Winter 2018, Herschella Conyers and Randolph Stone

Criminal Procedure I: The Investigative Process

Spring 2018, Aziz Huq

The course focuses on the constitutional law regulating searches, seizures, and confessions. It considers both physical searches and seizures and also searches and seizures of electronic data. Grades are based on a final examination and class participation.


  • Winter 2017, John Rappaport
  • Spring 2017, Louis Michael Seidman
  • Winter 2018, John Rappaport

Criminal Procedure II: From Bail to Jail

Spring 2018, Alison Siegler

Criminal Procedure II surveys the criminal process after a case comes into court, from the formal filing of charges through the pretrial process, the trial, and beyond. Criminal Procedure I is NOT a prerequisite, and no knowledge of Criminal Procedure I is needed for this course. While Criminal Procedure I examines the procedural rules that govern police investigations, this course examines the procedural rules that govern at the next chronological stage, as the case moves from the arrest through the court process. Topics include: pretrial release and detention, the preliminary hearing, the grand jury, the charging instrument, joinder and severance, discovery, selected trial issues (including confrontation rights), plea bargaining and negotiation, and sentencing. We also examine prosecutorial discretion, as well as ethical issues surrounding the representation of criminal defendants. Various guest speakers typically visit class, including federal district court judges, an Assistant United States Attorney, and a criminal defense lawyer. The final grade is based on an eight-hour take-home examination.

Criminology and Criminal Procedure

Spring 2017, Ben Grunwald

This seminar uses social science research to examine the empirical assumptions of rules and systems of criminal law and procedure. We will cover a series of empirical questions that are likely to include: (1) Does the death penalty deter crime? (2) Are there alternatives to incarceration that can keep us safe? (3) Does stop and frisk policing reduce crime? (4) Is there racial disparity in sentencing, and can we do anything about it? (5) Are juries any better than judges at fact-finding? (6) What is the right age of majority to separate the juvenile and adult justice systems? While some background in social science research and statistics may be helpful, it is not a requirement for the course. Students will be evaluated based on class participation and a series of reaction papers (two credits). They may earn a third credit by writing a short research paper (10-15 pages) in addition to the rest of the coursework.

The European Convention on Human Rights

Autumn 2016, Lech Garlicki

Lech Garlicki is a Polish jurist and former judge on the Polish Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights. This course offers an introduction to the international human rights law as developed in Europe under the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights and under the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights. The European Convention represents the most developed mechanism of protection of human rights on a regional level and information on its practical operation may be relevant also for other regional and national systems. Prerequisites: Graduate or professional students: at least one Human Rights, Law, or European History course.

Exoneration Project Clinic

Spring 2018, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth

The Exoneration Project is a post-conviction clinical project that represents people convicted of crimes of which they are innocent. Students working in our project assist in every aspect of representation including selecting cases, advising clients, investigating and developing evidence, drafting pleadings, making oral arguments, examining witnesses at evidentiary hearings, and working on all aspects of appellate litigation. Through participation in our project, students explore issues of error and inequality in the criminal justice system, including police and prosecutorial misconduct, the use of faulty scientific evidence, coerced confessions, unreliable eyewitness testimony, and ineffective assistance of counsel. The Exoneration Project is an intensive, rigorous experience designed for students who are committed to providing the best possible representation to deserving clients. Second-year students wishing to enroll in the Project are encouraged to take Evidence in their second year. Third-year students are required to complete, prior to their third year, Evidence and the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop. Students are also strongly encouraged but not required to take Criminal Procedure I, and Criminal Procedure II. Students selected for this project will receive credit for the work they do in accordance with the credit rules for all other clinical programs.


  • Autumn 2016, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth
  • Winter 2017, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth
  • Spring 2017, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth
  • Autumn 2017, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth
  • Winter 2018, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth

Fair Housing 

Winter 2018, Lee Fennell

This seminar will focus on the law and policy of fair housing, broadly construed. Significant attention will be devoted to antidiscrimination laws in housing, including the federal Fair Housing Act. We will also explore existing and proposed policies for improving access of lower-income people to housing. The dynamics of segregation and concentrated poverty will be examined, as well as the effects of zoning and other land use controls. Additional topics may include urban squatting, rent control, gentrification, subprime lending, the siting of locally undesirable land uses, and the use of eminent domain in "blighted" areas. The student's grade will be based on class participation and a series of short papers. Students may not take this course pass/fail.

Feminist Economics and Public Policy

Spring 2017, Diana Strassmann

This seminar will explore advances in feminist economics and the implications for public policy in local and global communities. Drawing from feminist economics research, the seminar will address the persistence of gender inequality in societies around the world and proposed policy solutions. Topics will include gender relations and the organization of domestic and market work, violence against women, workplace and pay equality, gendered access to resources, education, and healthcare, and gender and property rights. Evaluation will be based on class participation, and short research/response papers. Students may write a larger paper for the extra credit. Non-law students must have instructor consent to enroll.

Feminist Philosophy

Spring 2017, Martha Nussbaum

The course is an introduction to the major varieties of philosophical feminism. After studying some key historical texts in the Western tradition (Wollstonecraft, Rousseau, J. S. Mill), we examine four types of contemporary philosophical feminism: Liberal Feminism (Susan Moller Okin, Martha Nussbaum), Radical Feminism (Catharine MacKinnon, Andrea Dworkin), Difference Feminism (Carol Gilligan, Annette Baier, Nel Noddings), and Postmodern "Queer" Gender Theory (Judith Butler, Michael Warner). After studying each of these approaches, we will focus on political and ethical problems of contemporary international feminism, asking how well each of the approaches addresses these problems. NOTE: Undergraduates may enroll only with the permission of the instructor.

Gender-Based Violence

Autumn 2016, Neha Lall

Arrest and criminal prosecution is only one of many potential legal responses to gender-based violence. This course will focus on domestic and sexual violence and the ways in which survivors are affected by the complex intersection of poverty, legal systems, and social service responses. The course will explore the civil legal remedies available to survivors under federal and state laws, including the Violence Against Women Act, as well as the multiple ways survivors are impacted by family law systems and other laws that affect their economic and social stability. Specifically, students will study immigration remedies, housing protections, education complaint procedures, and employment rights available to survivors. Students will assess the effectiveness of these tools through case studies. The students will be evaluated based on class participation and will have the choice of a take-home final exam (for 2 credits) or, with instructor approval, a major final research paper (for 3 credits).

Global Inequality

Winter 2017, Martha Nussbaum and David Weisbach

Global income and wealth are highly concentrated. The richest 2% of the population own about half of the global assets. Per capita income in the United States is around $47,000 and in Europe it is around $30,500, while in India it is $3,400 and in Congo, it is $329. There are equally unsettling inequalities in longevity, health, and education. In this interdisciplinary seminar, we ask what duties nations and individuals have to address these inequalities and what are the best strategies for doing so. What role must each country play in helping itself? What is the role of international agreements and agencies, of NGOs, of political institutions, and of corporations in addressing global poverty? How do we weigh policies that emphasize growth against policies that emphasize within-country equality, health, or education? In seeking answers to these questions, the class will combine readings on the law and economics of global development with readings on the philosophy of global justice. A particular focus will be on the role that legal institutions, both domestic and international, play in discharging these duties. For, example, we might focus on how a nation with natural resources can design legal institutions to ensure they are exploited for the benefit of the citizens of the country. Students will be expected to write a paper, which may qualify for substantial writing credit. Non-law students need instructor consent to enroll.

Greenberg Seminar: Black Lives Matter, Why?

Spring 2018, Herschella Conyers, Amy Hermalik, Xiaorong Jajah Wu

#BlackLivesMatter, why? In this class, we will examine Black Lives Matter, its meteoric leap from hashtag to rights movement, and where it goes from here. We will explore the roots of the movement, criticisms and pushback, intersectionality, and the questions it raises for the nation's future. We will read articles and essays, and also draw on a number of podcasts and movies to round out our discussion and come to a clearer understanding of Black Lives Matter. The class will meet twice in the fall, once in the winter, and twice in the spring.


  • Autumn 2017, Herschella Conyers, Amy Hermalik, Xiaorong Jajah Wu
  • Winter 2018, Herschella Conyers, Amy Hermalik, Xiaorong Jajah Wu

Greenberg Seminar: Crime and Politics in Charm City: A Portrait of the Urban Drug War

Spring 2017, Jonathan Masur and Richard McAdams

We will explore a series of works on urban crime, politics, and policing, with an emphasis on the City of Baltimore: David Simon, "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets," Sudhir Venkatesh, "Gang Leader for a Day," Jill Loevy, "Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America," and all of "The Wire." We will focus particularly on the drug war - the economics and violence of the trade; the culture of the police bureaucracy; alternative law enforcement strategies such as informants and wiretapping; the politics of race, crime rates, and legalization; and the effects of addiction. But these works also examine the effects of declining blue collar jobs and weakening labor unions; the effects of race, incumbency, and corruption on local politics; the challenges and failures of urban education and child welfare agencies; and the role of the city newspaper in self-governance. Preference is given to 3L students. Graded Pass/Fail.


  • Autumn 2016, Jonathan Masur and Richard McAdams
  • Winter 2017, Jonathan Masur and Richard McAdams

Greenberg Seminar: Discrimination in American Institutions

Spring 2018, Adam Chilton and Emily Buss

Although it has been over fifty years since the passage of the Civil Rights Act, racial discrimination remains a major problem in America's institutions. In this Greenberg seminar, each session we will watch a documentary film that explores racial discrimination in a different institution that is central to life in America. These will include areas like criminal justice, education, housing policy, political participation, and employment. We will specifically explore the de jure and de facto drivers of discrimination, and ways that legal reforms may help to address these problems. We will also discuss the extent to which the films we watch are successful at identifying and accurately characterizing institutional discrimination, and the power of media to drive awareness and change.


  • Autumn 2017, Adam Chilton and Emily Buss
  • Winter 2018, Adam Chilton and Emily Buss

Greenberg Seminar: Sex and Civil Rights

Spring 2018, Jane Dailey and Geoffrey Stone

Interracial sex and marriage were regulated in America for more than three hundred years. After emancipation in 1865, state anti-miscegenation laws became the cornerstone for the postwar world of racial segregation. These laws remained on the books until 1967, when the Supreme Court declared them unconstitutional in the case of Loving v. Virginia. This seminar puts issues of sex, particularly interracial sex, at the center of the story of the modern civil rights movement by focusing on the white supremacist South's foundational fears of sexual danger and the state anti-miscegenation laws that articulated and legitimated those fears. The seminar examines the centrality of sex to each moment in the creation of black rights as well as to the sustained resistance to those rights, and will also address the issue of gay rights in the modern era.


  • Autumn 2017, Jane Dailey and Geoffrey Stone
  • Winter 2018, Jane Dailey and Geoffrey Stone

Greenberg Seminar: What is Racism?

Spring 2018, Daniel Abebe and Aziz Huq

This seminar explores the historical, sociological, and cultural roots of racism and racial ideologies. It examines the relationship of racism and racial ideologies with different forms of political governance, including segregation and apartheid, and explores the legal mechanisms that have both permitted and prohibited racism in various settings. The seminar will mainly focus on the meaning of racism most prevalent in the United States but will also, where appropriate, consider comparative examples.


  • Autumn 2017, Daniel Abebe and Aziz Huq
  • Winter 2018, Daniel Abebe and Aziz Huq

Greenberg Seminar: Will we ever be post-racial? The Persistent Relevance of Race in America

Spring 2017, Daniel Abebe and Aziz Huq

Many celebrated the 2008 election of President Barack Obama as the moment the U.S. transitioned to a post-racial era. By 2016, however, it has become clear that race is still central to public policy discussions about policing, economic inequality, immigration, and terrorism, among other areas. In this Greenberg, we examine an emerging literature on the persistence of race and racial ideologies and their consequences for America, particularly as the U.S. becomes an increasingly multi-ethnic and multi-racial society. Graded Pass/Fail.


  • Autumn 2016, Daniel Abebe and Aziz Huq
  • Winter 2017, Daniel Abebe and Aziz Huq

Greenberg Seminar: Wrongful Convictions

Spring 2017, Adam Chilton and John Rappaport

In recent years, investigative journalists, legal activists, and documentary filmmakers have highlighted the shortcomings of the American criminal justice system by giving wrongful convictions widespread public awareness. In this Greenberg seminar, we will watch documentary films on wrongful convictions and discuss the elements of the criminal justice system that make these mistakes possible. We will specifically explore many of the drivers of wrongful convictions, including racism, prosecutorial misconduct, and the limits of forensic evidence. We will also discuss how wrongful convictions are portrayed in the media and why they gain such widespread public interest.


  • Autumn 2016, Adam Chilton and John Rappaport
  • Winter 2017, Adam Chilton and John Rappaport

Hate Crime

Winter 2018, Cynthia Shawamreh

This seminar will provide students with an overview of hate crime. The course will explore the emergence of modern hate crime laws in the United States and the legal controversies surrounding them. We will examine the challenges of data collection and the impact of data on policy analysis. Law enforcement and hate crime prosecution will be reviewed. The course will also consider the limits of the legal system to effectively address hate crime through conventional methods and discuss alternative options. Grading will be based on class participation and a final research paper.

The History of Civil Liberties in the United States

Winter 2017, Laura Weinrib

This seminar examines changing understandings of civil liberties in American legal history. It emphasizes legal and ideological contests over the meaning of free speech, religious freedom, and reproductive rights during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Readings explore the intersection between legal struggles and broader developments in social, cultural, and political history, with a particular focus on the labor, civil rights, and feminist movements.

Human Rights: Alien and Citizen

Winter 2018, Susan Gzesh

The basic notion of international human rights is that rights are inherent in the identity of human beings, regardless of their citizenship, nationality, or immigration status. This course will address how international human rights doctrines, conventions, and mechanisms can be used to understand the situation of the "alien" (or foreigner) who has left his or her country of origin to work, seek safe haven, or simply reside in another country. How native or resident populations and governments respond to new arrivals has varied tremendously in the past and present. In some situations, humanitarian impulses or political interests have dictated a warm welcome and full acceptance into the national community. In other cases, alien populations have become targets of suspicion and repression. In some extreme cases, states have "denationalized" resident populations who previously enjoyed national citizenship. We will use an interdisciplinary approach to address such questions as (1) Why do human beings migrate? What might human rights as a measuring instrument tell us about conditions that promote refugee flows and other forms of forced migration? (2) What is the meaning of citizenship? How is it acquired or lost? What rights may societies and nation-states grant only to citizens, but withhold from others? (3) Are human rights truly universal? Are rights necessarily dependent on citizenship? (4) How do differences in rights between citizens and aliens become more important during national security crises? (5) What are the principal categories used by nation states to classify foreign visitors and residents? How do these categorizations affect the rights of foreigners? (6) How do international human rights doctrines limit actions by states with respect to certain categories of foreigners such as refugees, asylum applicants, and migratory workers? (7) Given the non-voting status of foreign populations in almost all countries, how are the rights of aliens represented in societies of settlement? How do home country governments regard their expatriate communities? The student's grade is based on attendance, participation, and a major paper.


  • Autumn 2016, Susan Gzesh

Human Rights: Contemporary Issues

Autumn 2017, Susan Gzesh

This interdisciplinary course presents an overview of several major contemporary human rights problems as a means to explore the use of human rights norms and mechanisms. The course addresses the roles of states, inter-governmental bodies, national courts, civil society actors including NGOs, victims, and their families, and other non-state actors. Topics are likely to include universalism, enforceability of human rights norms, the prohibition against torture, U.S. exceptionalism, and the rights of women, racial minorities, and non-citizens.


  • Winter 2017, Susan Gzesh

Human Rights: Philosophical Foundations

Spring 2018, Ben Laurence, Joshua Fox, Claudia Hogg-Blake, Agatha Slupek

Human rights are claims of justice that hold merely in virtue of our shared humanity. In this course we will explore philosophical theories of this elementary and crucial form of justice. Among topics to be considered are the role that dignity and humanity play in grounding such rights, their relation to political and economic institutions, and the distinction between duties of justice and claims of charity or humanitarian aid. Finally we will consider the application of such theories to concrete, problematic and pressing problems, such as global poverty, torture and genocide.


  • Spring 2017, Ben Laurence, Pascal Brixel, Arnold Robert Brooks

International Human Rights

Winter 2018, Thomas Ginsburg

This course is an introduction to international human rights law, covering the major instruments and institutions that operate on the international plane. It includes discussion of the conceptual underpinnings of human rights, the structure of the United Nations System, the major international treaties, regional human rights machinery, and the interplay of national and international systems in enforcing human rights. There are no prerequisites. Grading will be on the basis of a take-home exam at the end of the quarter. Students who wish to write, in lieu of the exam, a paper sufficient to satisfy the substantial writing requirement, may do so upon approval of the topic in advance.

International Human Rights Clinic

Spring 2018, Claudia Maria Flores and Nino Guruli

The International Human Rights Clinic works for the promotion of social and economic justice globally and in the United States. The Clinic uses international human rights laws and norms, other substantive law, and multidimensional strategies to draw attention to human rights violations, develop practical solutions and promote accountability on the part of state and non-state actors. The Clinic works with clients and organizational partners through advocacy campaigns, research and litigation in domestic, foreign, and international tribunals. Working in project teams, students develop and hone essential lawyering skills, including oral advocacy, fact-finding, research, legal and non-legal writing, interviewing, media advocacy, cultural competency and strategic thinking. Some students may have the option (but are not required) to undertake international or domestic travel in connection with their projects during the Autumn, Winter or Spring quarter breaks. Students may enroll for up to three credits a quarter. New students should plan to take the clinic for three quarters for a minimum of two credits each quarter. Returning students may enroll for one credit each quarter.


  • Autumn 2016, Claudia Maria Flores and Brian Samuel Citro
  • Winter 2017, Claudia Maria Flores and Brian Samuel Citro
  • Spring 2017, Claudia Maria Flores and Brian Samuel Citro
  • Autumn 2017, Claudia Maria Flores
  • Winter 2018, Claudia Maria Flores and Nino Guruli

International Human Rights Law and Advocacy

Autumn 2016, Claudia Flores and Brian Citro

This seminar considers major issues in international human rights law and advocacy. It is designed to introduce students to the promotion and protection of human rights through context-driven advocacy mechanisms and strategies. The seminar will provide an introduction to the history of human rights principles and movements, the development of international human rights norms, and an overview of the international, regional and national institutions that develop, interpret and enforce these norms. The remainder of the seminar will evaluate human rights advocacy tools and strategies applied in various political, social and economic contexts. Through case studies and simulated human rights research and advocacy projects, students will develop the skills to conduct international human rights work, including: performing situational assessments; designing and executing field-work and fact-gathering; report writing; interviewing witnesses and victims of abuses; assessing various litigation and non-litigation strategies; conducting effective legal research using diverse sources; developing cross-cultural and context-driven analysis and advocacy skills; and learning to effectively and realistically evaluate achievements and challenges. Class discussions and readings will expose students to critical perspectives on the international human rights regime, as well as current research methodologies and technologies used to monitor and promote human rights. Grading will be based on class participation, simulations and a series of short assignments. 

Islamic Law: Foundations and Current Issues

Autumn 2016, Kamran Bajwa

Since its inception, Islamic Law has grown from a set of rules governing life in 6th century Arabia to a global body of law developed across time and place with application to religious, civil, criminal, constitutional, commercial, and international law. The primary objective of the seminar will be to give students a basic understanding of Islamic Law and the issues faced in applying Islamic Law in the modern context. The seminar will cover the origins and historical development of Islamic Law, Islamic legal theory, scope and application of Islamic Law, and selected current issues such as Islamic Finance. Modern constitutional law issues regarding sources of law, religious freedom, public interest, and related issues in Muslim majority countries will be reviewed as well as the debates around the application of Islamic Law for Muslim minorities living in secular states. Special attention will be paid to comparative law aspects of Western legal theory and Islamic legal theory in light of the historical introduction of Western legal systems to the Muslim world through Colonial and post-Colonial experiences. Current political debates around Shari law and the concept of a Caliphate will be assessed against Islamic legal theory and constitutional law, specifically in light of the Arab Spring revolutions and the phenomenon of violent extremism. As such, in addition to a theoretical understanding of Islamic Law in the modern context, students will also develop an understanding of the practical impact of legal theory on political, social, and economic realities in the Muslim world and beyond. This is a one-quarter seminar for 2L and 3L students. There are no pre-requisite courses required in Islam. Weekly readings will be assigned in English language source materials. The seminar will draw on the lecturer's extensive personal experience with the subject matter and knowledge of the legal systems of Muslim majority states such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE, Pakistan, Egypt, Malaysia, and elsewhere. Professor Kamran Bajwa studied classical Islamic Law and Islamic Theology at the Al-Azhar seminary in Cairo, Egypt prior to attending the University of Michigan Law School where he also took advanced courses in Islamic Law. After graduating from law school, Professor Bajwa trained as a corporate transactional lawyer at a major U.S. law firm and then moved to the Middle East and practiced law in that region for 8 years. During his time working in the Middle East, Professor Bajwa continued his studies in Islamic Law and served as an advisor to major Islamic scholars and political leaders throughout the Muslim world involved in legal reform and intellectual projects. Professor Bajwa currently heads the Middle East regional practice for a major U.S. law firm and travels regularly to the region. Grading will be based on student participation and a collaborative student presentation on a sub-topic of the student's choice.

Labor History and the Law

Spring 2018, Laura Weinrib

This seminar examines the historical relationship between American workers and the law. It focuses on legal contests over workers' rights in the courts, legislatures, and administrative agencies during the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Readings explore the ways in which law has shaped labor solidarity, class formation, and strategies for organization and resistance. They also consider the influence of organized labor and of labor law on mobilization for social change, including the movements for civil liberties and civil rights. The seminar concludes by exploring current trends in American labor relations, including recent efforts to curtail the collective bargaining rights of public employees. Final grade will be based on a major paper or a series of short reaction papers.

Law and Society

Autumn 2017, Anna-Maria Marshall

This seminar offers an introduction to the central themes and major debates in the field of Law and Society. The field of sociolegal studies is an interdisciplinary one, and reflecting this, the course will emphasize research in sociology, political science, psychology, anthropology, and legal studies. We will explore classic readings from the Law and Society canon as well as more contemporary research and theory. We will analyze the readings for both their theoretical and empirical contributions, as well as for the methodologies the authors deploy. The themes we will consider over the course of the quarter include the tension between state or "official" law and nonlegal norms for ordering everyday life; the factors that influence who mobilizes the law (and who doesn't); and what it means to use law in contexts other than courtrooms, such as in families, neighborhoods, workplaces, social movements, and mass media. We will explore the debate about the value of rights and litigation strategies in efforts to produce social change, and we'll examine the ubiquitous role of law in popular culture. The course will conclude with a look forward at future directions in law and society research. Final grade will be based on a major paper.

  • Autumn 2016, Anna-Maria Marshall

Law and the Mental Health System

Autumn 2017, Mark Heyrman

The course examines the interrelationship between legal doctrine; procedural rules; medical, cultural, and social scientific understandings of mental disability; and institutional arrangements affecting the provision of services to the mentally disabled. Consideration is given to admission to and discharge from mental health facilities, to competency to consent to or to refuse treatment, to surrogate decision-making for those found incompetent, to the rights of those confined in mental health facilities; to discrimination against the mentally disabled, and to the rights of the mentally disabled in the criminal justice system. Grades are based on a final paper or a final take-home exam, and class participation.


  • Autumn 2016, Mark Heyrman


Winter 2017, Camilla Taylor

This seminar examines the treatment of gender, sexual orientation and related questions of sexuality and identity in the U.S. legal system. The course emphasizes constitutional jurisprudence and theory with a particular focus on the First Amendment and the equal protection and due process guarantees, and statutory antidiscrimination provisions. Topics covered include marriage rights, student speech, the definition of sex under the equal protection guarantee and statutory antidiscrimination provisions, the rights of students to access sex segregated facilities, public and private workplace concerns, rights of intimate and expressive association, and asserted conflicts between religious liberty and nondiscrimination principles.

Life (and Death) in the Law

Spring 2018, Herschella Conyers

This seminar will explore the various definitions and valuations of life across diverse areas of the law. Readings will include seminal cases in reproductive rights, assisted suicide, right-to-die, and capital punishment. Background readings in related areas, i.e., scientific journals, papers, etc. will also be required. The seminar will discuss policy decision-making including actuarial analysis and social, medical and religious values inherent, implicit or ignored in the legal analysis. Students will be required to write two response papers, co-draft a statute in one area of law, and participate in jury deliberations. Grade will also be based on class participation.

The New Jim Crow

Autumn 2016, Todd Belcore

While lawyers often use their skills to argue facts given the constraints of current law; they too rarely use their skills to actually create or change the laws that constrain them. This course hones students' ability to do both. Students will hone these skills as they learn about, and fight against, the "New Jim Crow," which refers to discriminatory laws, policies and practices that prevent people with criminal records, disproportionately men and women of color, from accessing basic necessities like employment and housing. With that lens in mind, this course will give students an opportunity to: 1 - Engage the men, women and youth impacted by the New Jim Crow in community and class settings; 2 - Research laws, policies, practices and pending legislation relating to the criminal justice system from across the world; 3 - Learn how to craft, draft, and present model legislation and policies designed to eradicate the New Jim Crow; 4 - Convert legal concepts into training materials that are easily digestible by lay-people and present them in a community setting; and, 5 - Write and present a 20-page research paper detailing the students' policy recommendation with appendices that include concise fact sheets relating to the model legislation presented.

The Original Meaning of the Constitution

Winter 2017, William Baude

This seminar will explore the original meaning of the Constitution, both in theory and in substance. The first half of the seminar will cover debates over the theoretical foundations of "originalism," as well as considering how originalism might confront such problems as unforeseen circumstances and precedent. The second half will be historically oriented -- we will read historical materials and scholarship in several case studies on the original, historical, meaning of different parts of the Constitution. The case studies will likely include federalism, the First Amendment, and the Fourteenth Amendment. Students may complete either a series of short papers during the quarter or a longer research paper on an originalist topic (which has the option of being an SRP). Prior constitutional law classes are not a prerequisite, and may or may not be helpful.

Poverty and Housing Law Clinic

Spring 2017, Lawrence Wood

This clinic, conducted over two sequential quarters, exposes students to the practice of poverty law by giving them the opportunity to work on housing cases at LAF, the Midwest's largest provider of free civil legal services to the poor. Students may be be asked to attend administrative grievance hearings, represent tenants facing unwarranted evictions, and prevent landlords from performing lockouts or refusing to make necessary repairs. All students will be expected to interview clients, prepare written discovery, conduct research, and draft motions. In addition to working 12 hours a week at LAF, students will attend a weekly two-hour class to learn about subsidized housing programs, eviction actions, housing discrimination, the intersection between domestic violence and housing, and the extensive and often misunderstood connection between criminal law and housing.


  • Winter 2017, Lawrence Wood

Poverty Law

Spring 2018, Andrew Hammond

This seminar offers an introduction to the substantive law and procedure of public benefit programs in the United States. The seminar will identify persistent controversies in poverty law, including means-test design, funding structure, federalism issues, and behavioral rules, as well as how poverty law interacts with immigration enforcement and disability law. Throughout, we will examine to what extent the agencies that administer these public benefits are vulnerable to federal litigation and what remedies may result from such litigation. Final grade will be based on: a series of short reaction papers and class participation (2 credits). Student who wish to earn 3 credits will be writing an additional long paper.


  • Spring 2017, Miriam Hallbauer

Public International Law

Autumn 2017, James Gathii

This course takes up international law as a substantive body of rules, an array of processes by which law is created, interpreted, and enforced, as well as a discipline in that comprises a community of lawyers and academic jurists with a common vocabulary, a shared sense of history and a shared range of professional activities, but often with divergent views about its purposes, missions and accomplishments. This course is designed to introduce you to both the substance and process aspects of international law and how it is applied, interpreted and contested by it various participants. After focusing on two problems that demonstrate how international law has evolved and developed, the course then proceeds to focus on the traditional sources of international law and the contemporary pressures that have been placed on them. Its participants will then be considered particularly in light of the decision-making mechanisms by which international law is developed and carried out, the institutions that serve as deciders, and the legal regimes that take shape as a result. Part of the course will also engage the question of international law in the domestic system. The last part of the course will address problems related to global interdependence and integration, including but not limited to international legal challenges relating of managing the global economy (with a particular focus on dispute settlement in the World Trade Organization) as well as on efforts to regulate the use of force. Final grade will be based on: a major paper.

Race and American Law: Identity, Education, and Criminal Justice

Spring 2017, LaToya Baldwin Clark

After Obama's historical election, many declared that the United States had finally become a post-racial nation. The assumption was that if the country could elect a black President, then surely racism and prejudice were evils of the past. But then came the killings of Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner and others, and the community responses in Ferguson, Baltimore, and other cities across the country. These events, in turn, led to several criminal trials and federal investigations, and showed the salience of race in the operation of the criminal justice system. The assertion that "Black Lives Matter" became a rallying cry, and what started as a hashtag turned into a movement. This seminar will examine the role of law in creating and recreating race in our decidedly non-post-racial society. Topics covered will include racial identity, education, and criminal justice. Readings will include cases to understand the "law on the books;" law review articles to understand how legal academics interact the law and its implications; and social science research to understand "law in action." Students will be evaluated as follows. For 2 credits, students will write three response papers, 4-5 pages each, on 3 different set of readings, due the day before that class meets. For students wishing to take the course for 3 credits, the student must write a 20-25 page research paper on a topic of interest to the student and approved by the instructor.

Racism, Law, and Social Sciences

Spring 2018, Christopher Fennell

The domains of racism, law, and the social sciences impact one another in myriad ways. At times, a system of racism is deployed through law, which in turn shapes questions asked in the social sciences. In other instances, the sciences articulate conceptual frameworks that lead to the creation of new forms of racism within society and law. Particular systems of racism have operated across a spectrum from incidents of overt violence to the daily impacts of implicit biases. Our readings and class discussions will consider a sample of case studies from across the globe in addition to past and present dynamics in the United States. Analyses of the social construction of racial and ethnic identities have facilitated studies of the ways in which social differences are created, maintained, and masked. Subjects to be addressed in this course include the interrelation of racial ideologies with other cultural and social dimensions, such as class, ethnicity, gender, political and legal structures, and economic influences. At an international scale, policy makers confront the challenge of balancing calls for multicultural tolerance with demands for fundamental human rights. We will also consider the related histories of biological, genetic, and epigenetic concepts of different races within the human species. Requirements for this course include thoughtful class participation and a final, take-home examination.


  • Winter 2017, Christopher Fennell

Regulation of Sexuality

Spring 2018, Mary Anne Case

This course explores the many ways in which the legal system regulates sexuality, sexual identity, and gender and considers such regulation in a number of substantive areas as well as the limits on placed on such regulation by constitutional guarantees including free speech, equal protection, and due process. Readings include cases and articles from the legal literature together with work by scholars in other fields. The grade is based on a substantial paper, series of short papers, or final examination, with class participation taken into account.

Religion, Law and Politics

Autumn 2016, Sylvia Neil

This seminar examines the conceptualization and realization of religious liberty and the separation of church and state. We explore philosophical precepts and historical contexts, review the state of the law, and address current controversial issues.

Reproductive Health and Justice

Spring 2017, Lorie Chaiten

This seminar will examine the history and evolution of legal protections for abortion, contraception and other reproductive health care. We will look at state and federal constitutional, statutory and common law theories used to secure and protect these rights. We will explore current threats and growing barriers to access, including ever-expanding assertions of religious beliefs to limit access to reproductive health care. We will also look at advocacy strategies for addressing those threats and barriers. Grades are based on a final paper and class participation.

Right to Health International Facets and Local Application: Selected Aspects

Autumn 2016, Anand Grover

The course of 4 modules will examine the Right to Health internationally and its domestic application. The first module will deal with international treaties, the general principles and the jurisprudence, sources of human rights law, evolution of human rights treaties, differences in common and civil law countries, differences within human rights treaties and comparing them with and other treaties, including the TRIPS Agreement and Free Trade Agreements and their consequent impact. It will also deal with obligations of States internationally, nationally domestication, interpretation, sovereignty, enforcement. The second module will dealt with the principles of the Right to Health under the ICESR and its various facets as elaborated in General Comment 14 including principles of non discrimination, informed consent, vulnerable groups and participation of those affected, the application of the Right to Health in domestic jurisdictions as also the evaluation and critique of the Right to health. The third module will deal with practical application of the principles elaborated in the earlier modules as applied in the case of the HIV epidemic, the empowering and the participation of the persons directly and indirectly affected by the HIV epidemic, the concept vulnerable groups, the history of criminalisation of vulnerable groups, including sex workers, drug users and LGBTI communities and the methods adopted to deal with that. The fourth module will deal with the TRIPS Agreement and Access to Medicines, the principle of flexibility, patents on medicines, their ever greening and tools adopted by States to deal with that. It will also deal with the substantive and procedural aspects of the grant of a patent and oppositions to it; making affordable medicines through competition and the role of the generic industry in that as also future challenges to that. The fifth module will deal with the Free Trade Agreements, Trade investment Agreements the push towards TRIPS plus provisions, the reduction of policy space for the States and consequent the impact they have on access to medicines and the Right to Health. In particular the module will touch on the Investor State Dispute settlement fora as also on the human rights accountability of the Trans National Corporations and the challenges ahead to get that done.

The Social and Legal Construction of Race

Spring 2018, LaToya Baldwin Clark

This seminar will examine the role of law in creating and recreating race in our decidedly non-post-racial society. Topics covered will include racial identity, reproduction, and criminal justice. Readings will include cases to understand the "law on the books;" law review articles to understand how legal academics interact the law and its implications; and social science research to understand "law in action." Final grade will be based on: a major paper (3 credits), a series of short reaction papers (2 credits), and class participation.

Women's Human Rights in the World

Spring 2018, Claudia Flores

This seminar examines women's human rights from a global comparative perspective. We will explore the concept of substantive equality under international law through a focused inquiry into three areas of women's human rights - violence, reproduction and political participation. We will discuss the evolution of these rights, variations in state interpretation and implementation, and the social, economic, political and cultural factors that impact their realization. Each student is required to write a series of reaction papers throughout the quarter. Grades will be based on these papers as well as class participation. To earn 3 credits, students will be required to write an additional 10-15 page reaction paper.


  • Winter 2017, Claudia Flores

Workshop: Regulation of Family, Sex, and Gender

Spring 2018, Mary Anne Case

This workshop exposes students to recent academic work in the regulation of family, sex, gender, and sexuality and in feminist theory. Workshop sessions are devoted to the presentation and discussion of papers from outside speakers and University faculty. The substance and methodological orientation of the papers will both be diverse.


  • Autumn 2016, Mary Anne Case
  • Spring 2017, Mary Anne Case
  • Winter 2018, Mary Anne Case

Young Center Immigrant Child Advocacy Clinic

Spring 2018, Kelly Albinak, Marcy Philips, Maria Woltjen, Jajah Xiaorong Wu

The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights gives students the unique opportunity to work one-on-one with unaccompanied immigrant children who come to the United States without a parent or legal guardian to flee violence, abuse, and/or poverty. Students in the clinic draw upon international human rights law, immigration law, and children's rights, and child welfare law to support their advocacy. Unaccompanied immigrant children come to the U.S. from all corners of the world, on their own. They are apprehended, typically at the U.S./Mexico border, then detained and placed in deportation proceedings. Students serve the most vulnerable of these children, advocating for the best interests of each child on issues relating to care, custody, release, legal relief, and safe repatriation. Because there is no federal law that affords special protections to immigrant children, students enlist state child welfare laws and international human rights instruments to support their advocacy. The Clinic also offers opportunities in legislative and policy advocacy aimed at reforming the immigration system to better protect the rights of children. Each student is trained to serve as federally-appointed Child Advocate (similar to a guardian ad litem role) for unaccompanied immigrant children detained in the Chicagoland area. Students meet weekly with the child, and advocate on behalf of the child with federal officials, including ICE officials, immigration judges, and asylum officers. The Clinic admits both 2Ls and 3Ls. We strongly encourage enrollment in the Fall Quarter, and recommend taking this course for at least two quarters. We do not require students to speak a language other than English, but we encourage students who speak Spanish, French, Mandarin, Romanian, or American Sign Language to apply. Students who enroll in the clinic must: 1. Participate in a 2-day training in October 2017; and 2. Participate in weekly class meetings throughout the course. Please contact the clinicians below if you have any questions, or would like to request an accommodation: Jajah Wu at xjwu@theyoungcenter.org, Kelly Kribs at kkribs@theyoungcenter.org, Marcy Phillips at mphillips@theyoungcenter.org, or Maria Woltjen at mwoltjen@theyoungcenter.org. For more information, visit: www.TheYoungCenter.org


  • Autumn 2016, Kelly Albinak, Marcy Philips, Maria Woltjen, Jajah Xiaorong Wu
  • Winter 2017, Kelly Albinak, Marcy Philips, Maria Woltjen, Jajah Xiaorong Wu
  • Spring 2017, Kelly Albinak, Marcy Philips, Maria Woltjen, Jajah Xiaorong Wu
  • Autumn 2017, Kelly Albinak, Marcy Philips, Maria Woltjen, Jajah Xiaorong Wu
  • Winter 2018, Kelly Albinak, Marcy Philips, Maria Woltjen, Jajah Xiaorong Wu