As we ring in the New Year and new semester, we want to spend some time reflecting on the highlights of 2017.
This past year provided us with unlimited opportunities to confront the various manifestations of reproductive injustice and gender inequity in our country. It seemed like every morning we woke up to new and resounding affronts to both. In order to be effective on campus, on Capitol Hill, and in our communities, the work we do as law students and practitioners must be innovative, creative, inclusive and intersectional.
During the fall semester, the Women and the Law Program brought legal experts to campus to share their experiences, wisdom, and guidance with students who are dedicated to infusing their future practice with gender justice. These experts are shaping policy, advocacy, and activism in various areas of the law including immigration, education, reproductive justice, and family law in both the domestic sphere and internationally.
Some of the highlights of the fall semester are:
Writing a Successful Fellowship Application Mariko Miki, Director of Academic & Professional Programs at If/When/How, and Professor Jill C. Morrison, Executive Director of the Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program at Georgetown University Law Center, offered students tips and strategies in avoiding blunders when writing fellowship applications. Morrison discussed the importance of demonstrating commitment to the causes of the fellowship. Miki pointed out that a writing sample is a perfect place to demonstrate interest in a particular area of the law that students might not have had the opportunity to engage in during law school.
Orange is the New Black: Race, Class, Sexuality, Identity, and the Criminal Justice System in Popular Culture Professor Stef Woods, educator and sex health advocate, joined us in examining the legal issues brought to light by Orange is the New Black. Professor Woods urges students to use a critical lens when watching the show so that they may better recognize how the law used as a structure to further marginalize and oppress groups.
Legalized Families in the Era of Bordered Globalization Daphna Hacker, professor at Tel Aviv University and author of Legalized Families in the Era of Bordered Globalization, returned to WCL to share the main themes of her newest publication, followed by remarks by Professor Shalleck and Professor Polikoff. Hacker’s new book focuses on law at the intersection of familial relationships, globalization and citizenship. She asked the audience to consider the role that real families’ lives have in shaping policy, emphasizing the need to shift away from “family law” to “families’ law”.
Gender and the Practice of Immigration Law Nithya Nathan-Pineau, Cori Alonso-Yoder, and Andrea Mangones joined a small group of students over lunch to discuss in the intersection of gender justice and immigration law. Panelists shared their own career paths and interest in immigration issues, and students had the chance to ask questions about the recent “Jane Doe” immigrant abortion case, necessary language skills, and available pro bono opportunities to get involved before graduation.
Gender and Law Lunch and Learn: Forced Labor and Human Trafficking Panel This event included panelists Kelly Hyland, Associate Legal Advisor in the Human Rights Law Section of the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); Desiree Ganz, Director for Labor Affairs at Executive Office of the President – US Trade Representative; Martina Vandenberg, founder and president of the Human Trafficking Legal Center; and Elizabeth Landau, Staff Attorney at the Amara Legal Center. Together, they explored the nuances between legal definitions of forced labor and human trafficking. They discussed the forms that labor trafficking takes in the United States and the legislative responses—or lack of response—in criminal, civil, and immigration law concerning labor trafficking. They encouraged students to take advantage of educational opportunities to learn more about human trafficking and ways to fight it.
Gender and the Practice of Family Law Jamie Sparano and Anne Marie Jackson joined a small group of students interested in the intersection of gender justice and family law to discuss career paths, day-to-day challenges, and strategies in entering the field. Students had the chance to engage with the speakers, asking questions about work-life balance, client management, and boundaries.
We are looking forward to a spring semester full of activity and renewed energy for gender justice. Please follow our work by visiting our website, following us on social media, subscribing to our Events and News Bulletin, or attending one of our upcoming seminars, conferences, or panels.