Course Description


601.568. Law and Inequality Pilot

(First Year Elective Course)

Law and Inequality

1 non-course credit, various faculty

The justice systems in the United States, criminal and civil, were created based on doctrines and rules that discriminate against Black people, Indigenous communities, other people of color, women, immigrants, people with disabilities, and other marginalized communities. Understanding pervasive structural inequality and persistent racism, and the law’s role in creating, perpetuating, and maintaining these conditions, is essential to lawyer competency. Each small section of this course is taught by a faculty member who has selected a particular topic that will be used as the lens through which to think and learn about the law and inequality. Topics may include property law, the criminal legal system, family law, reproductive justice, education law, citizenship and immigration law, international law, or technology and Artificial Intelligence. Faculty employ a variety of educational modalities, including readings from law and other disciplines, podcasts and other forms of media, short writing projects, in-class and online discussion, visits to historical sites, guest lectures and other activities that help to illuminate the course topic. Among other topics, assigned materials will invite students to reflect on issues of racial justice, structural or systemic inequality in the law, how the law shapes identity, and the ways in which cultural context and cultural competency are critical to understanding the law’s impact on various communities. Class assignments, discussion, and activities will encourage the development of critical perspectives on legal doctrine, procedural rules and the shape of our justice system.