Justice Brandeis Semester

Last updated: August 9, 2018 at 08:01 a.m.

University offers the Justice Brandeis Semester (JBS), an intensive, immersive experiential learning option through which small groups of up to 12-15 students may earn credits while focusing on such varied topics as A Sports Writing Summer in Boston, Health, Law and Justice, and Voice, Web and Mobile Applications. The courses offered as part of these programs include experiential learning components, such as fieldwork, internships, or outside research.

JBS internships, field-based research, creative work or community-engaged learning allow students to:

  1. Gain real-world experience through experiential learning.
  2. Build close relationships with professors and small groups of students.
  3. Acquire skills that will make them stand apart from their peers after Brandeis.

The distinctive elements of a Brandeis education include the intense intellectual engagement students share with our cutting-edge faculty; the rich experiential learning opportunities students encounter in studios, archives, research labs, work settings and the community; and the University's longstanding commitment to global engagement and social justice. All of these elements are embodied in the new Justice Brandeis Semester.

Current JBS Offerings

Health, Law and Justice
Human Rights Advocacy in the Immigration Process
Voice, Web and Mobile Applications

Past JBS Offerings

Bio-Inspired Design
Health, Law and Justice
Voice, Web and Mobile Applications

Health, Law and Justice

LGLS 98bj Independent Research
Explores an array of complex issues in depth during the seminars as well as in the "real world"; as they attend public meetings or hearings and actively dialog with stakeholders. We will examine the day-to-day issues faced by stakeholders in the midst of reform efforts. While connecting theory and practice, students will take initiative and actively engage in structured assignments. Offered as part of the JBS program.
Sarah Curi and Alice Noble

LGLS 114aj American Health Care: Reform
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Eight years after the historic passage of the ACA, the United States and our health care system is at a cross roads. While the ACA seems to have weathered most of the significant implementation challenges, even its most ardent supporters acknowledge that the law provides only a partial fix for our nation's health care system. While access should improve appreciably, particularly for those who are currently uninsured, many will still remain without access to needed care. Moreover, among advanced nations our costs are the highest by far and the quality of our care is no better than that found in these less costly nations. We will explore the ACA, the events leading up to its passage, the policies the law was designed to further, and its impacts so far. Offered as part of the JBS program.
Alice Noble

LGLS 131bj Patient Autonomy: Law, Medicine, and Ethics
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At the heart of our evolving health care system are the doctor and the patient. Related to the doctor-patient relationship are often complex issues related to patient autonomy, life and death treatment decisions, and the cost of and access to care. They implicate questions of justice and the just distribution of care, a key goal of health care reform. We will explore ethical, legal, and social issues (including end-of-life-decision making, physician assisted suicide, procreative liberty, cloning, and genetic therapies) from the micro level of patient care at the patient's bedside to the macro issues of the health care system in which patient care is delivered and financed. Offered as part of the JBS program.
Sarah Curi

Human Rights Advocacy in the Immigration Process

LGLS 89aj Law and Society Internship and Seminar
Offers a closely supervised legal representation experience in a student-run immigration legal clinic as well as opportunities to interact with public agencies, nonprofit organization and/or government officials. The internship experience is integrated throughout this JBS program, and students’ experiences in representing individuals and groups will form a large part of the text for all the courses included in this JBS. Students will apply basic concepts covered in the criminal law course to everyday cases. They will spend approximately 10 hours per week conducting research on Constitutional issues, interviewing clients, discussing cases with attorneys and judges, preparing for trial and attending court. Offered as part of JBS program.
Rosalind Kabrhel and Douglas Smith

LGLS 123bj Immigration and Human Rights
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Examines American immigration policy, institutions and roles in the context of international human rights treaties and global practices as well as the advocacy practices in various political, social, domestic legal and international forums that construct those policies, institutions and roles. Practical exercises explore advocacy skills peculiar to immigration advocacy and highlight some of the social and cultural controversies surrounding regular and irregular migrations, refugee status and asylum seeking. Explores tensions between domestic politics and international law in guiding immigration reform. Offered as part of the JBS program.
Douglas Smith

LGLS 130aj Conflict Analysis and Intervention
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This hands-on course invites students to address social problems in immigration policy and practice through public policy reform, community organizing and legal representation. It provides background in the theories, advocacy skills, networks, movements and measures of institutional change that comprise social change practice. Students explore conflict resolution in the context of social justice advocacy, including litigation, community organizing, political advocacy, international institutions, negotiation, peace-making and mediation. Through simulations, court and community group observations, guided representation of immigrants and work with immigration advocacy groups, students assess their own attitudes and skills in conflict resolution, as well as the processes by which conflict resolution institutions and roles help construct the communities of which they are a part. We will analyze underlying theories of conflict and advocacy in domestic immigration and international arenas, as well as the relative efficacy of various modes for social change, such as big case litigation, coordinated ground-level litigation, cultural change approaches, peacemaking, grassroots organizing, direct action, political advocacy (lobbying) and business and other institution-building strategies. Offered as part of the JBS program.
Douglas Smith

Voice, Web and Mobile Applications

COSI 115bj Spoken Dialog Design
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Interactive applications have become ubiquitous around the world on phones and other devices. Since voice is the most natural medium for human communication, spoken dialog is becoming an essential part of the interface. However, creating an effective spoken dialog application requires more than just programming skills. It requires knowledge from many disciplines including linguistics, artificial intelligence, computer-human interaction, and computational linguistics. This course will bring together the essential elements of these fields and the software skills and tools required to build an effective dialog system and guide students through hands-on projects applying that knowledge to real applications. Offered as part of JBS program.
Marie Meteer

COSI 152aj Web Application Development
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Prerequisites: COSI 11a, 12b, or permission of the instructor.
An introduction to web programming that covers the fundamental languages and tools, including HTML/CSS for page layout, javascript/ajax for client-side integration, and server-side programming in javascript using Node/Express, Mongo, and MySQL. The course also discusses security, scaling/optimization, and multi-tier architectures. Offered as part of JBS program.
Timothy Hickey

COSI 154aj The JBS Incubator
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Prerequisite: COSI 11a.
An introduction to software engineering for web and mobile applications. Covers agile programming techniques, rapid prototyping, source control paradigms, effective software documentation, design of effective APIs, software testing and analysis, software licensing, with an introduction to business plans for software entrepreneurs. Offered as part of JBS program.
Timothy Hickey and Marie Meteer