Author: Sofie Syed

Introducing The Common Law Blog: A New Forum for Student Legal Writing

The Journal of Law and Social Problems (JLSP) is excited to announce its new law blog, The Common Law, a general interest online publication that exclusively publishes works by student authors. The aims of The Common Law are twofold: to promote student participation in ongoing legal debates, and to contribute to building legal literacy in relation to current events. Too often, media coverage of legal issues misrepresents the law or simply misses the legal point of an outcome. Law students occupy a natural intermediary position between the public and legal scholars, whose academic writing can be inaccessible to a...

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Behind the Scenes: CLS’s New Sexual Assault Law and Policy Reading Group

Illustrated by Minji Reem This spring, a group of CLS students are taking part in a unique course offering: the Sexual Assault Law and Policy reading group. The reading group covers the history and theory of sexual assault law, Title IX, and pedagogy in criminal law courses. The group will also explore alternative approaches to the criminal law framework, sexual assault in prisons and the workplace, revenge porn, and the use of rape as a war crime. Structured with an intersectional focus, the syllabus addresses the dynamics of race, gender identity, and sexual orientation as they pertain to sexual...

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Theme of the Month: The Legal Methods Curriculum

Legal Methods is one of the few common rites of passage for CLS students—a 3-credit boon that lightens the 1L course load and provides a transitional adjustment period before the pressure of graded courses sets in. It is the first chapter of our legal training, during which we lay the foundation for the earliest stages of our careers. But as the Legal Methods curriculum stands now, does it effectively serve its purpose? Let us hear from you with your votes and comments, and we’ll publish highlights in a special report in our next issue.

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Violence of Microaggressions

Do microagrressions matter? They’re just words. People who love words sometimes get caught up in their beauty, forgetting that words are often proxies for concrete realities, and that they can even act on their own. The word “privilege” is highly loaded. Its meaning is distorted when one person uses it to completely shut down someone else’s participation in conversations about contentious topics. Because privilege is multi-dimensional, and being a student at CLS is in itself an example of privilege, our usage of this label as an accusation can be both disingenuous and counter-productive. I do recognize, however, that this...

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What CLS Can Learn From Racial Tensions at UCLA Law

Over the last year, UCLA Law has dealt with increasing racial tension, evidenced by a series of escalating conflicts, touched off by a professor’s controversial views on affirmative action and culminating in student-on-student hate speech. Certain stories are hard to verify—such as anecdotal observations that over time the administration essentially segregated the 1L class by refraining from placing students of color in the section taught by that professor, due to years of complaints about his overt antagonism towards students of specific backgrounds. Still, the multiplicity of allegations shows a pervasive institutional failure to achieve a culture of inclusion. UCLA...

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Gravity’s Rainbow: A Remembrance of Jackson Alberts, CLS ‘15

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