Equality and Human Rights Courses

The courses listed below provide a taste of the Equality and Human Rights courses offered at the Law School, although no formal groupings exist in our curriculum. This list includes the courses taught in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 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.

American Legal History, 1607-1870

Spring 2020, Alison LaCroix

This course examines major themes and interpretations in the history of American law and legal institutions from the earliest English settlements through the Civil War. Topics include continuity and change between English and American law in the colonial period; the American Revolution; changing understandings of the U.S. Constitution; the legal status of women and African Americans; federalism; commerce; slavery; and the Civil War and Reconstruction. The student's grade will be based on a take-home final examination.

American Legal History: The Twentieth Century

Spring 2019, 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.

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, Laura Weinrib

Big Problems

Spring 2019, David Weisbach and Anup Malani

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. Final grade will be based on the presentations and a companion paper (20-25 pages). Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, David Weisbach, Anup Malani, Robert Topel, and Kevin Murphy
  • Spring 2019, David Weisbach, Anup Malani, Robert Topel, and Kevin Murphy

Civil Gideon and Access to Justice

Spring 2020, Atinuke Adediran

This seminar explores access to justice and right to counsel debates in the criminal and civil contexts, starting with the landmark Supreme Court case, Gideon v. Wainwright. Topics include, the Sixth Amendment right to counsel, whether Gideon's promise is being fulfilled in criminal cases, the costs and benefits of having a civil Gideon regime, funding for civil legal services organizations, empirical research on the impact of lawyers on case outcomes and client experiences, pro bono legal services, and the role of race and class in access to justice. Readings will include cases, law review and social science articles. Final grades will be based on a series of short response papers and class participation.

Civil Rights Clinic: Police Accountability

Spring 2020, Craig Futterman

The Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project (PAP) is one of the nation's leading law school 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.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Craig Futterman
  • Winter 2018, Craig Futterman
  • Spring 2018, Craig Futterman
  • Autumn 2018, Craig Futterman
  • Winter 2019, Craig Futterman
  • Spring 2019, Craig Futterman
  • Autumn 2019, Craig Futterman
  • Winter 2019, Craig Futterman

Civil Rights Litigation

Autumn 2019, Darrell Miller

This course focuses on section 1983 of the United States Code, a Reconstruction-era statute that enables private parties to sue any other person who "under color" of law deprives them of the "rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws" of the United States.  Class participants will become familiar with the theoretical, procedural, and practical aspects of civil rights litigation, including constitutional and statutory claims, defenses and immunities, and available remedies, including attorney fees.   Related U.S. Code provisions concerning discrimination in housing, contractual relations, employment, and voting are examined where relevant.  Evaluation will be by exam, written exercise, and class participation.There will be a 3 hour in-class exam.

Civil Rights Litigation in the Child Welfare Context

Winter 2020, Diane L. Redleaf

Landmark constitutional cases hold that the familial association rights are fundamental, but enforcing that principle through litigation has been challenging for advocates for children and families. In this seminar taught by a civil rights lawyer for families involved in dozens of civil rights cases on behalf of children and families for over 30 years, we will examine cases that have tested the constitutional rights of parents and children in the context of child protective systems intervention that restricts associational, personal integrity and privacy rights,  including:   family separation/children's removal from homes and hospitals, so-called voluntary removals,  investigation tactics including gynecological searches and photographing of nude children, race/national origin discrimination and Native American rights,  disability rights, sexual orientation and gender identity in the context of foster care;  poverty/homelessness; and  the interface between domestic violence and child protection.  The course will also consider common obstacles to successful system reform challenges in civil rights litigation, including qualified and absolute immunity, standing, abstention/Rooker Feldman, and mootness.  

Students taking the class for 2 credits are expected to write two case comment papers of 4-8 pages, participate in as plaintiff, defendant, or judge in one mock oral argument of a total of 15 minutes length, and participate in a 10-15 minute group presentation about a major systemic reform case involving the child welfare system.  In addition to these requirements, students who take the class for 3 credits are expected to also submit a paper of at least 10 pages that expands upon a case comment or addresses one of the topics discussed in class in more depth.  

Participation may be considered in final grading.

The Civil Rights Movement in the United States, 1865-Present

Winter 2020, Jane Dailey

This class examines the history of the African American Freedom Struggle  in the United States from emancipation to the present.  Although the course will move chronologically, our emphasis will be thematic, covering such topics as voting rights and political participation, sex and marriage rights, criminal justice reform, the role of courts, and the relationship between law and social movements. A series of research papers will be required for this class (20-25 pages). Participation may be considered in final grading.

Civil Rights Practicum

Spring 2019, 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.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Aziz Huq
  • Winter 2018, Aziz Huq
  • Spring 2018, Aziz Huq
  • Autumn 2018, Aziz Huq
  • Winter 2019, Aziz Huq

The Constitution Goes to School

Spring 2019, 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.

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, Justin Driver

Constitutional Law II: Freedom of Speech

Spring 2020, Geoffrey R. 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. This class requires either an in-class exam or major paper (20-25 pages).

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Laura Weinrib
  • Winter 2018, Geoffrey R. Stone
  • Autumn 2018, Genevieve Lakier
  • Winter 2019, Geoffrey R. Stone
  • Autumn 2019, Genevieve Lakier

Constitutional Law III: Equal Protection and Substantive Due Process

Spring 2020, Aziz Huq

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.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Nicholas Stephanopoulos
  • Spring 2018, Justin Driver
  • Winter 2019, David A. Strauss
  • Spring 2019, Justin Driver
  • Winter 2020, Geoffrey R. Stone

Constitutional Law V: Freedom of Religion

Winter 2020, 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 of 20-25 pages, series of short papers, or final examination, with class participation taken into account. Instructor consent required for paper to be considered for SRP certification.

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, Mary Anne Case
  • Spring 2019, Mary Anne Case

Constitutional Law VII: Parent, Child, and State

Spring 2019, 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.

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, Emily Buss

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

Autumn 2019, 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 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 Law 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.

Previously:

  • Winter 2018, Emily Buss
  • Autumn 2018, Emily Buss

Corporate Law and Dual-Purpose Organizations

Spring 2020, Emilie Aguirre

Organizations pursuing multiple objectives-including social, financial, and environmental goals-are on the rise, particularly in the healthy food and health sectors. However, managing the inherent tensions among these objectives poses a serious challenge. In light of this trend, this course takes an interdisciplinary approach to re-examining the theory of the firm from both a legal and a management perspective. It asks whether and how law-especially corporate law and contract law-can accommodate "purpose." Drawing from the legal and management literatures, including sociology, organizational theory, and economics, it explores the distinctions between how law treats these topics and how business treats these topics. The course uses the healthy food and health sectors to examine these questions. For example, how can a purpose-driven healthy food company retain its purpose and profit objectives after it is acquired by a non-purpose-driven company? How do for-profit hospitals differ from non-profit hospitals-and how should they? The course breaks down our assumptions about what firms are in order to better understand how they are currently treated and how they should be going forward. This class requires a series of reaction papers. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project Clinic

Spring 2020, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers

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.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers and Randolph Stone
  • Winter 2018, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers and Randolph Stone
  • Spring 2018, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers and Randolph Stone
  • Autumn 2018, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers
  • Winter 2019, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers
  • Spring 2019, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers
  • Autumn 2019, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers
  • Winter 2020, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers

Criminal Procedure I: The Investigative Process

Winter 2020, Sharon Renee Fairley

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 in-class examination.

Previously:

  • Winter 2018, John Rappaport
  • Spring 2018, Aziz Huq
  • Winter 2019, Richards McAdams
  • Spring 2019, John Rappaport
  • Autumn 2019, John Rappaport

Criminal Procedure II: From Bail to Jail

Spring 2020, 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 rules that govern police investigations, this course examines the constitutional and 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 and ethical issues surrounding the representation of criminal defendants. Guest speakers typically include two U.S. District Court judges, a federal magistrate judge, and a current or former Assistant U.S. Attorney. The final grade is based on an eight-hour take-home examination. Class participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, Alison Siegler
  • Spring 2019, Alison Siegler

The Demagogue and Executive Power

Autumn 2018, Eric Posner

This seminar explores the question of executive power through the figure of the demagogue, and the related phenomenon of populism. Taking a historical approach, we examine the role of the demagogue at several stages of American history: the founding, the Jeffersonian era, the Jacksonian era; the populist era; the New Deal; and the modern era. We ask, What is a demagogue? What is wrong with demagoguery? What is the relationship between the demagogue and the U.S. Constitution? What is the role of the demagogue in a democracy? We also look at some international comparisons. The readings will be mainly historical.Grades will be based on class participation and reaction papers.

Exoneration Project Clinic

Spring 2019, Tara Thompson, David Owens, and Joshua Tepfer

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.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, and Russell Ainsworth
  • Winter 2018, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, and Russell Ainsworth
  • Spring 2018, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, and Russell Ainsworth
  • Autumn 2018, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth, and Karl Leonard
  • Winter 2019, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth, and Karl Leonard

Fairness in Law and Economics

Winter 2019, Lee Fennell

This seminar will explore the connections between fairness and the economic analysis of law.  We will probe the standard view that fairness and the economic concept of efficiency are rival considerations, and consider the extent to which they may complement each other.  Topics will include a mix of positive analysis (how fairness perceptions influence the way parties behave), normative analysis (including questions of how best to carry out redistribution), and selected legal applications in different doctrinal areas (likely including property, contracts, torts, and criminal law, among others).   The student's grade will be based on a series of short papers and class participation.

Previously:

  • Winter 2018, Lee Fennell

Feminist Economics and Public Policy

Spring 2019, 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. Non-law students must have instructor consent to enroll.

Feminist Philosophy

Spring 2019, Martha C. 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 and trans femism (Judith Butler, Michael Warner and others).  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. Undergraduates may enroll only with the permission of the instructor. This class has an 8 hour take-home final exam or major paper of 20-25 pages.

The Future of Voting Rights

Spring 2019, Nicholas Stephanopoulos

This seminar will cover the past, present, and future of one of the most important civil rights statutes ever passed: the Voting Rights Act. Topics to be addressed include: (1) the Act's constitutionality; (2) how the Act applies to redistricting; (3) how the Act applies to restrictions of the right to vote; and (4) the intricate relationships between descriptive representation for racial minority groups, substantive representation, and American political geography. Students may write papers of 20-25 pages either on the Act or on any topic pertaining to race and election law.Class participation may also be considered in final grading.

Global Inequality

Winter 2019, Martha C. 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 (20-25 pages), which may qualify for substantial writing credit. Non-law students need instructor consent to enroll. Class participation may also be considered in final grading.

Government Integrity and Transparency Seminar

Spring 2020, Sharon Renee Fairley

This seminar will provide students with an opportunity to learn about the legal systems that promote government integrity and transparency through participation in: (1) a seminar; and, (2) a field placement in a government oversight agency or entity. The goal of the seminar is to familiarize students with the legal rules and procedures for ensuring the proper, transparent functioning of governmental operations. The field placement will provide students with exposure to substantive and procedural law, criminal and administrative law, ethics, litigation preparation and practice (through participation in classroom exercises built around a single public corruption matter), and hands-on experience through a field placement. Each student in the seminar will be responsible for securing a field placement and participating in a pre-screened program with a governmental entity with oversight and transparency responsibilities for the winter and/or spring quarters. Examples include the City of Chicago Office of Corporation Counsel, City of Chicago Office of the Inspector General, the Chicago Public Schools Office of the Inspector General, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, the Cook County Office of the Inspector General, Office of the Illinois Executive Inspector General, the Office of the Illinois Attorney General (Please note that some offices require law students to apply as early as September for field placements beginning the following January.) Students will comply with the field placement's requirements regarding hours and assignments, which will be considered part of their seminar grade. In the field placements, students may be expected to research substantive criminal and administrative law issues, draft affirmative and responsive pleadings and memos, interview witnesses and clients, assist lawyers with administrative proceedings, and where permitted (and with an appropriate 711 license), may appear in court. Students doing field placements will be registered for 3 credits. Non field placement students will be enrolled for 2 credits, but in addition to the class assignments can write a small paper to earn 3 credits. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Greenberg Seminar: Global Poverty

Spring 2020, Adam S. Chilton and Anup Malani

This seminar will focus on how legal regimes can be improved to reduce global poverty by promoting economic and social development. For each session, we will watch a documentary film that explores a different issue related to poverty and development around the world. These issues will include topics like migration, housing, health, labor markets, and education. We will focus on discussing how existing laws contributed to the emergence of current problems and how laws can be reformed to promote development. We will also discuss the extent to which the films we watch are successful at identifying and conveying development challenges and opportunities.

Greenberg Seminar: Identity Politics and the State

Winter 2019, Julie Roin and Saul Levmore

We live in an era of identity politics, though a preference for one's family and "group" seems to be hard-wired. How do these affiliations affect loyalty to a state or the emerging preference, especially by the well-educated, for thinking of oneself as a global citizen rather as one loyal to a particular tribe, religion, state, or nation? How do these affiliations affect domestic politics, our own lives, and national policies? We will discuss these and related questions by grounding them in five books, beginning with Amy Chua's Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations, before moving on to more local puzzles and conflicts.

Greenberg Seminars: Reconciliation in Ireland and South Africa

Spring 2020, Martha C. Nussbaum and William Anthony Birdthistle

Despite its apparent peace and prosperity today, Ireland is an island with a long history of division and conflict, from the sectarian Troubles in Northern Ireland to religious cruelties in the Republic of Ireland.  This Greenberg looks at a collection of those ordeals, compares them with other paths to reconciliation in South Africa, and then considers where the two Irish nations are today.  We will begin by reading two non-fiction accounts: SAY NOTHING by Patrick Radden Keefe about the Troubles in Northern Ireland and THE MAGDALEN LAUNDRIES by James M. Smith about cruelties inflicted upon unwed mothers in the Republic of Ireland.  Then we will look at writings by Nelson Mandela (LONG WALK TO FREEDOM), Desmond Tutu (NO FUTURE WITHOUT FORGIVENESS), and Martha Nussbaum (ANGER AND FORGIVENESS) to examine ideas of reconciliation, anger, and forgiveness in other contexts.  Next, we'll look at a celebrated fictional account of the Troubles in the north (MILKMAN by Anna Burns) before concluding with an account of ordinary life in the Republic today through NORMAL PEOPLE by Sally Rooney.  Have the Irelands reconciled with their past, or does they still need to?

Greenberg Seminars: Stories of Migration

Winter 2019, Emily Buss

People migrate for many reasons. Some search for better lives and opportunities, others flee poverty, violence and political unrest, and still others migrate to join family and build communities.  Many family histories include a migration story, and these stories are a central aspect of modern life for people around the world. This seminar will explore these stories, from the decision to leave home, to the journey itself, to the process of finding a temporary or permanent home, through novels and films.Reading and viewing will likely include:  Americanah, by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2013 novel which tells the story of a young Nigerian woman who emigrates to the United States to attend university); Exit West, by Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid (2017 novel focused on themes of emigration and refugees); a selection of short stories from The Refugees (2017), by Vietnamese author Viet Thanh Nguyen; Which Way Home (2009 documentary that follows unaccompanied child migrants on their journey through Mexico toward the United States); and The Joy Luck Club (1993 film telling the story of four Chinese women who immigrated to the United States, and their relationship to their adult daughters who grew up in the United States).

Greenberg Seminar: Why I don't like to talk about race (and gender)

Spring 2019, Herschella G. Conyers and Amy Hermalik

In this class we will explore why it is so difficult for people to have conversations about race and gender. Our quest throughout the seminar will be to develop a better understanding of the unique historical and cultural underpinnings that make modern discussions about race and gender fraught with blame, denial, fear and discomfort, and we will do so primarily through materials focused on race. We will explore the history of racism in the U.S. by reading portions of Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi. We will also explore how whiteness interacts with this history by reading White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo.  We will watch the TedX talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie that was the basis for her book We Should All Be Feminists and may watch an additional movie or read a supplemental article. While there are significant differences in what underpins discussions about race and gender, there is also significant overlap and conversations about either are incomplete when they don't acknowledge that both matter. In developing a better understanding of why modern discussions about race and gender are so difficult, we intend for participants to walk away from the seminar with a better understanding of their own relationship with the issue and how to navigate it in social and political contexts.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2018, Herschella G. Conyers and Amy Hermalik
  • Winter 2019, Herschella G. Conyers and Amy Hermalik
  • Spring 2019, Herschella G. Conyers and Amy Hermalik
  • Autumn 2019, Herschella G. Conyers and Amy Hermalik
  • Winter 2020, Herschella G. Conyers and Amy Hermalik

Hate Crime Law

Spring 2019, Juan Carlos Linares

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 of 20-25 pages.

Hellenistic Ethics

Autumn 2018, Martha C. Nussbaum

The three leading schools of the Hellenistic era (starting in Greece in  the late fourth century B. C. E. and extending through the second century C. E. in Rome) - Epicureans, Skeptics, and Stoics - produced philosophical work of lasting value, frequently neglected because of the fragmentary nature of the Greek evidence and people's (unjustified) contempt for Roman philosophy.  We will study in a detailed and philosophically careful way the major ethical arguments of all three schools.  Topics to be addressed include: the nature and role of pleasure; the role of the fear of death in human life; other sources of disturbance (such as having definite ethical beliefs?); the nature of the emotions and their role in a moral life; the nature of appropriate action; the meaning of the injunction to "live in accordance with nature".  If time permits we will say something about Stoic political philosophy and its idea of global duty.  Major sources (read in English) will include the three surviving letters of Epicurus and other fragments; the skeptical writings of Sextus Empiricus; the presentation of Stoic ideas in the Greek biographer Diogenes Laertius and the Roman philosophers Cicero and Seneca. This course complements the Latin course on Stoic Ethics in the winter quarter, and many will enjoy doing both. Admission by permission of the instructor.  Permission must be sought in writing by September 15. Prerequisite: An undergraduate major in philosophy or some equivalent solid philosophy preparation, plus my permission.  This is a 500 level course.  Ph.D. students in Philosophy, Classics, and Political Theory may enroll without permission.

The History of Civil Liberties in the United States

Winter 2019, 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.This class requires a major paper of 20-25 pages. Students will have option of writing a series of short reaction papers for 2 credits. Class participation may also be considered in final grading.

Human Rights: Contemporary Issues

Autumn 2018, Susan R. 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.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Susan R. Gzesh, Matthew Furlong, and Kai Parker

Human Rights: Philosophical Foundations

Spring 2019, Ben Laurence

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.

Previously:

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

Human Trafficking and the link to Public Corruption

Winter 2020, Virginia Mary Kendall

This course provides a comprehensive, practical introduction to the history and present-day reality of human trafficking both domestically and internationally.  In the year of the 20th anniversary of the Palermo Protocol, the course will look back on how far individual states have come in their efforts to fulfill their obligations under the Protocol.  By reviewing the challenges to criminal prosecution first, the course will explore alternative paths to eradicating this transnational human rights crime that impacts over 40 million individuals annually.  Reviewing the array of supply chain laws domestically and internationally first and then exploring industry-wide practices, students will learn to examine solutions from an array of laws that reach beyond merely criminal prosecution.  Recognizing that public corruption plays a significant and powerful role in aiding the crime to continue with little societal repercussions, the course will explore ways in which the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the TVPRA have mechanisms to enforce these violations that provide billions of dollars to the traffickers.   Taught by federal district court judge, Hon. Virginia M. Kendall. This class requires a final  paper of 20-25 pages. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Immigrant's Rights Clinic

Spring 2020, Amber Nicole Hallett

The Immigrants' Rights Clinic provides legal representation to immigrant communities in Chicago, including individual representation of immigrants in removal proceedings, immigration-related complex federal litigation, and policy and community education projects on behalf of community-based organizations. Students will interview clients, develop claims and defenses, draft complaints, engage in motion practice and settlement discussions, appear in federal, state, and administrative courts, and brief and argue appeals. In the policy and community education projects, students may develop and conduct community presentations, draft and advocate for legislation at the state and local levels, and provide support to immigrants' rights organizations. Current projects include a first-in-the-nation challenge to immigration detention authority under the PATRIOT Act, a civil rights lawsuit against state troopers for cooperation with federal immigration authorities, and a class action challenge to new naturalization standards for immigrants with intellectual disabilities. As this is the first year of the clinic's operation, students will also have the opportunity to help develop the clinic's docket. Both 2L and 3L students are encouraged to apply. Students who enroll in Winter Term will be required to enroll in Spring Term as well. Students with questions may contact Professor Hallett at nhallett@uchicago.edu to learn more.

Previously:

  • Winter 2020, Amber Nicole Hallett

International Human Rights

Spring 2020, Claudia M. Flores

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. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Winter 2020, Claudia M. Flores

International Human Rights Clinic

Spring 2019, Claudia M. 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. With permission of faculty, returning students may enroll for one credit each quarter.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Claudia M. Flores
  • Winter 2018, Claudia M. Flores and Nino Guruli
  • Spring 2018, Claudia M. Flores and Nino Guruli
  • Autumn 2018, Claudia M. Flores and Nino Guruli
  • Winter 2019, Claudia M. Flores and Nino Guruli
  • Spring 2019, Claudia M. Flores and Nino Guruli

International Humanitarian Law

Winter 2019, Darryl Li

This course is an introduction to international humanitarian law (IHL), otherwise known as the law of armed conflict. It will cover cover sources of IHL, including: the Hague and Geneva treaty regimes; jurisprudence of international and national courts; national legislation, especially in the United States; and the practice of both state militaries and non-state actors. The course will explore three fundamental tensions that structure recurring debates in IHL: between humanitarianism and war; between state and non-state forms of organized violence; and between the formal equality of sovereign states and the realities of an unequal international system.The class will require a series of research papers totaling 20-25 pages.

Is Our Constitution Undemocratic?

Winter 2020, William Baude and Genevieve Lakier

It is often said that the U.S. Constitution is the oldest democratic constitution in the world. But how democratic is it? This seminar will explore that question both historically and by examining, in some detail, the constitutional design. Topics to be discussed include: the Framing and the legacy of slavery; constitutional war powers and U.S. imperialism; presidential power; Article III and the powers of judicial review; the Senate; the Electoral College and the constitutional organization of voting more broadly; Article V and the difficulties of amending the Constitution.  Grades will be based on some combination of class participation, reaction papers and/or a short final research paper.

Islamic Law: Foundations and Contemporary Issues

Autumn 2019, 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, including current political and social events globally that have roots in Islamic Law issues. 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.  This is a one semester 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. Professor Bajwa currently heads the Middle East regional practice for Kirkland & Ellis and travels regularly to the region.  Non-law students who seek to enroll in this class should email Professor Bajwa at: Kamran.bajwa@kirkland.com. This class requires a 20-25 page paper to earn 3 credits vs. 2. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Kamran Bajwa
  • Autumn 2018, Kamran Bajwa

Law and Public Policy:  Case Studies in Problem Solving

Autumn 2019, Stephen R. Patton

This course examines the intersection of law and public policy and the lawyer's role in helping to formulate and defend public policy choices, using recent, real-world problems based on the instructor's experience as Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago and senior legal advisor to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.  While the course will be conducted in a seminar/discussion format, a significant portion of each class will be devoted to hands-on role-playing in which students will play the role of legal advisors to an elected official, grappling with and proposing solutions to vexing issues of public policy.

While this course may be of particular interest to students who are interested in public service and public policy-making, its emphasis on developing students' analytical and problem-solving skills and on providing hands-on, practical experience in advising clients on complex issues should be of benefit to any student, regardless of interests and career objectives.  Providing legal analysis and advice and counseling clients on available options are a critical part of almost every legal career, whether as a litigator or transactional lawyer in a private firm or as in-house counsel for a corporation or not-for-profit.

Assigned reading will include press articles, proposed legislation, briefs and pleadings, and other materials concerning the case studies/public policy issues that will be examined.  Students will be expected to identify and analyze  legal issues and limits, competing legal and policy interests, and possible policy alternatives and advise their "client" accordingly.  Grades will be based on class participation and performance in role-playing exercises and short  (5 page) reaction papers concerning three of the case studies that will be examined.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2018, Stephen R. Patton

Law and Society

Autumn 2019, 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 20-25 page major paper.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Anna-Maria Marshall
  • Autumn 2018, Anna-Maria Marshall

Law and the Mental Health System

Autumn 2018, Mark J. 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 (20-25 pages) or a final take-home exam, and class participation.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Mark J. Heyrman

The Law of Public Corruption

Winter 2019, Sharon Fairley

Recent high-profile prosecutions reflect the threat that public corruption represents to national security and the integrity of our political processes.  Although the quid pro quo of a bribery scheme is a familiar form of public corruption, other forms are less obvious and more difficult to proscribe.  When does a campaign contribution cross the line from free speech to graft?  Is a legislator who weighs the interests of the wealthy over the disadvantaged corrupt?  How do we be sure that an industry titan who has recently passed through the "revolving door" into a government role will promote the public interest over those of her former employer?  This course will focus on the legal infrastructure in place to deter, detect, and prosecute public corruption.  We will explore key topics such as campaign finance reform, patronage, and fraud schemes.  We will also seek to understand how courts give shape and grounding to the anti-corruption principles embedded within the Constitution and promulgated in federal and state law.  Grading will be based on an 8-hour take-home exam.

The Law, Politics, and Policy of Policing

Autumn 2019, Sharon Renee Fairley

In the wake of several highly publicized incidents of police brutality, the American public is engaged in substantive debate over modern policing strategies and tactics and how best to achieve public safety while respecting the rights and dignity of all citizens.  This course will provide an overview of the public safety challenges facing large, urban police organizations.  With the legal framework as a foundation, students will discuss the policy and political considerations relevant to key policing strategies.  Starting with readings that provide the historical perspective on policing, each week will focus on a distinct policing strategy or policy challenge, including topics such as crisis intervention, national security, and gun violence.  Some classes may include invited guest speakers. Students may qualify to earn three credits by taking the exam and writing a 10-12 page paper, or by writing a major 20-25 page paper only (which may also count for SRP credit if approved). Students who take the exam but do not write papers will earn 2 credits.

LGBT Law

Winter 2020, 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. This class requires a major paper of 20-25 pages. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Winter 2019, Camilla Taylor

Life (and Death) in the Law

Spring 2020, Herschella Juanita Glenn 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.

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers
  • Spring 2019, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers

Poverty and Housing Law Clinic

Spring 2020, 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 people who are living in poverty or otherwise vulnerable. 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, representing tenants with disabilities, the intersection between domestic violence and housing, and the extensive and often misunderstood connection between criminal law and housing.

Previously:

  • Winter 2019, Lawrence Wood
  • Spring 2019, Lawrence Wood
  • Winter 2020, Lawrence Wood

Poverty Law

Spring 2019, 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.

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, Andrew Hammond

Prison Law

Spring 2019, Emma Kaufman

Courses on criminal law and procedure typically end with conviction. This framework obscures the vast body of law on prisons-and the roughly 2 million people inside them. Why and when do courts send people to prison? How does imprisonment affect constitutional rights? What is the proper relationship between prisons and federal courts? These questions will guide this seminar as we examine the history of prison litigation, the current state of the American prison system, and landmark cases in prison law. Topics covered include mass incarceration, solitary confinement, the treatment of race and citizenship inside prisons, legal limitations on lawsuits against prison officials, and the use of structural injunctions and consent decrees. Students will leave the course fluent in prison law doctrine and equipped to debate the state's legal duties to people behind bars. A series of short research papers will be required.

Public Corruption and the Law

Winter 2020, David H. Hoffman

This seminar will focus on how governments use the law to prevent and catch public corruption, how the law is sometimes used to protect public corruption, and how one should determine the optimal response to corruption and its consequences. We will examine the substantive criminal laws and sentencing schemes used in the best public corruption prosecutions, ranging from RICO and "honest services" fraud to bribery and extortion laws. We will also examine the laws that create, authorize, or prevent the most effective investigative tools used by law enforcement against public corruption, including wiretap laws and related privacy issues. We will study several key topics within public corruption law, including patronage, its effect on democratic institutions, and its status under the First Amendment; campaign finance reform and whether money in campaigns is protected speech or a corrupting influence (or both); and the relationship between transparency, online access to information, and corruption. We will also consider an economic analysis of public corruption, including questions about whether the level of democracy, and the pervasiveness of corruption in the culture, affect the cost-benefit analysis.
Constitutional Law I and II are recommended pre-requisites. A major paper (20-25 pages) is required for students who wish to take the course for 3 credits. Students who take the course for 2 credits will write a series of short reaction papers. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Racism, Law, and Social Sciences

Spring 2020, 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.

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, Christopher Fennell
  • Spring 2019, Christopher Fennell

Regulation of Sexuality

Spring 2020, 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 paper and class participation taken into account.

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, Mary Anne Case
  • Spring 2019, Mary Anne Case

Reproductive Health and Justice

Winter 2019, 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 of 20-25 pages and class participation.

Responses of Law and Legal Institutions to the Impacts of Racial Segregation in Chicago

Winter 2020, Robert A. Weinstock, Nino Guruli, and Amy Marie Hermalik

Chicago is among the most racially segregated major cities in America and also has one of the greatest disparities in poverty rate by race.  Racial segregation in Chicago is the product of governmental policies and socio-economic trends.  Such segregation has in turn given rise to many social justice issues that impact the Chicago communities that surround the Law School.  

This three-credit seminar is designed to examine social and legal problems in Chicago that are connected to racial segregation in the city.  In doing so, the seminar will provide an opportunity to evaluate how different areas of law interact with and effect a complex web of social problems.  This seminar will meet once a week, for two hours.  

The introductory session will provide an overview of the historic drivers of racial segregation in Chicago, key contemporary racial, socieo-economic, administrative and political dynamics in the City.  After that introductory meeting, each subsequent session will be led by a different faculty member and focused on exploring the ways key laws, policies, and legal institutions within a particular area of law create or exacerbate social ills related to racial segregation.  Sessions focused on criminal law, policing, environmental justice, human rights, corporate law,  education and housing are anticipated.  Each session will present a tailored mix of substantive legal doctrine, interdisciplinary insights, and practical perspectives on the way law and legal institutions redress or reinforce a particular social challenge in contemporary Chicago.  Many sessions will feature either a skills-based component, to present how the law operates in reality, or a guest speaker, to convey the real-world effect of legal institutions on a community.  

Students will be assessed in the following ways:  1) weekly blog-style reactions to the readings in advance of the week's seminar; 2) a final research paper of 20-25 pages; and 3) class participation.

Voting Rights from Reconstruction to the Roberts Court

Spring 2020, Travis Crum

This course examines the intersection of race and voting rights. From debates about voter ID laws to legal battles over redistricting, race and voting rights are inextricably intertwined in our society. This course analyzes the development of voting rights over U.S. history, starting with the passage of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments during Reconstruction. Other topics include the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the constitutionality of race-conscious redistricting, and the legal significance of racially polarized voting. Students will leave the course with an understanding of the major issues in voting rights today. Students will be graded based on short reaction papers as well as the quality of their preparation and participation in the seminar. There will not be a final examination. Prerequisites: Constitutional Law is recommended but not required.

Women's Human Rights in the World

Autumn 2019, Claudia M. Flores

This seminar examines women's human rights from a global comparative perspective. We will explore legal concepts under international and domestic law that impact gender equality such as formal vs. substantive equality, non-discrimination vs. equality and inclusion vs. transformation. We will engage in a focused inquiry into areas impacting women's human rights including violence, reproduction and political participation. We will discuss the evolution of women's rights, variations in state interpretation and implementation, and the social, economic, political and cultural factors that impact their realization. 

Students will have the choice to take the seminar for two credits and write 3 reaction papers or three credits and write a longer paper at the end.

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, Claudia M. Flores
  • Winter 2019, Claudia M. Flores

Workshop: Regulation of Family, Sex, and Gender

Spring 2020, 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. Participation may be considered in final grading. A series of reaction papers is required. Students have the option of writing a major paper (20-25 pages) for SRP credit.

Previously:

  • Winter 2018, Mary Anne Case
  • Spring 2018, Mary Anne Case
  • Autumn 2018, Mary Anne Case
  • Spring 2019, Mary Anne Case
  • Winter 2020, Mary Anne Case

Wrongful Discrimination: Legal and Philosophical Perspectives

Spring 2019, Nethanel Lipshitz

As human beings, we make distinctions all the time. We cannot get by in the world without discriminating. Yet, some forms of discrimination are wrongful, and when discrimination is wrongful, it is typically considered to be a central case of injustice and unfairness. The question of what makes an incidence of discrimination wrong is thus a topic of heated social debate. This is the main question we will take up in this seminar. We will read philosophical literature on discrimination, and use legal cases as our cases studies. We will look in more detail at one case of discrimination in particular - discrimination against the disabled - and discuss the contentious topic of affirmative action.A major paper of 20-25 pages is required for this class. Class participation may be considered in final grading.