For Further Reading
President Frederick Lawrence and Ethics Center Director Dan Terris recently attended a session admitting Brandeis Alumni to the bar of the Supreme Court. President Lawrence himself presented the motion for their admission for the second year. He notes that Brandeis is the only university without a law school in the country to organize the admission of alumni before the Supreme Court in his remarks on his blog, which can be read here.
Richard Gaskins, director of the Brandeis University Legal Studies Program, academic program director of the Brandeis in the Hague program and member of the Ethics Center's Faculty Advisory Committee, reflects on the University's namesake, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Louis Brandeis, and his relevance to national and international law today. From the 2012 BIIJ report, accessible here.
Law and Justice at Brandeis
The University has established a wide array of law and justice programs, both on campus and off campus, that reflect the spirit of our namesake, Supreme Court Associate Justice Louis D. Brandeis. Many Brandeis alums go on to study and practice law.
Brandeis University's law and justice programs include:
This interdepartmental program presents law in the broad context of history, economics, politics, philosophy, literature and the sciences, and traces law's impact within the fields of health, business, environment and creative arts. The scope of legal concerns ranges from the local to the national and global.
Brandeis University and the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life have become known in the international legal field for innovative work with the international judiciary, particularly the Brandeis Institute for International Judges (BIIJ). Brandeis undergraduates may serve as interns with the BIIJ. The Center also sponsors programs for judges and legal practitioners worldwide, including the Brandeis Judicial Colloquia.
The International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life publishes the monthly e-letter International Justice in the News. Brandeis undergraduates serve as assistant editors.
This intensive study abroad experience is the only one of its kind for undergraduates. While in The Hague, students study a wide range of global concerns, combining classroom study and immersion in the international law networks associated with this famous "International City of Peace and Justice."
Housed at The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, the Justice Brandeis Innocence Project was established to make a contribution to resolving the untenable ethical, civil and human rights issues created by wrongful convictions. It is one of the few innocence projects around the country that uses journalistic methods as a primary tool.
The Advocacy for Policy Change initiative, supported by generous multi-year commitments from International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life board member Norbert Weissberg and his wife, former board member Judith Schneider, is designed to encourage citizens to bring moral and ethical insights to the process of making and revising laws. The centerpiece of this initiative focuses on Brandeis undergraduate students, through "Advocacy for Policy Change" (LGLS 161b), a Legal Studies Program course that combines an investigation of the ethical dilemmas that arise in the process of lawmaking with hands-on advocacy work with entities seeking reform.
The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Project on Gender, Culture Religion and the Law (GCRL) supports research that seeks to reconcile women's’ rights to gender equality and discriminatory practices justified by religious law. The Project uses campus events such as annual conferences, weekly seminars and the annual Markowicz Memorial Lecture on Gender and Human Rights to study and research these themes across many religions. The Project also brings visiting scholars, activists, lawyers and judges to Brandeis to discuss their inspiring work. The GCRL hosts graduate and undergraduate summer interns and sponsors an annual student writing prize on Jewish gender studies.
Since its establishment in 2006, the Legacy Fund has sponsored a series of initiatives designed to help students, enrich the University community, and address social justice concerns on and off campus. The Louis D. Brandeis Legacy Fund for Social Justice WOW (World of Work) Fellowships provide 30 students a year with generous stipends to alleviate costs associated with unpaid, full-time summer internships within agencies whose missions address issues of social justice.
In this hands-on, multi-disciplinary, community-engaged learning Justice Brandeis Semester program, students become deeply immersed in the law, policy, social impacts and science of current environmental health issues challenging individuals, families and communities today. Students work directly with low-income, diverse populations most affected by environmental challenges - toxic exposures in food, soils, air and water; decisions about location of hazardous waste facilities; access to environmentally safe and affordable housing and others. Along with strong grounding in the academic material, participants spend much of the time in the field and in the community, acquiring real skills for real neds to engage in these issues first-hand: legal training, negotiation, advocacy, interviewing and counseling, environmental field monitoring and assessment, study design, sampling methodology and analysis, oral presentation and more.