Social Justice Monday – Family Defense, Incarcerated Parents, and Fifth Amendment Protections: Avoiding Collateral Consequences of Conviction

Social Justice Monday – Family Defense, Incarcerated Parents, and Fifth Amendment Protections: Avoiding Collateral Consequences of Conviction

March 6, 2017

Parents who are navigating both the child welfare and criminal justice systems are at an increased risk of permanently losing their parental rights. A criminal case often negatively affects a parent’s dependency case and vice versa. Dependency cases are nebulous, emotional, complicated, and the law is not often covered in law school. This presentation covered one parent’s struggle to be reunited with her children, the social stigma and legal obstacles she faced, and the numerous people who advocate for parents and their children.

Interested in learning more? Check out these resources:

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Children of Incarcerated Parents: A Handbook for Researchers and Practitioners

Edited By:
Julie Poehlmann
J. Mark Eddy

Lemieux Library 4th Floor-Books (HV8886.U5 C45 2010)

For the nearly 2 million children in the United States whose parents are in prison, caretaking necessary for optimal development is disrupted. These vulnerable youth—a population that has shot up 80 percent in the last 20 years—are more likely to experience learning difficulties, poor health, and substance abuse, and eventually be incarcerated themselves. Addressing the needs of children with imprisoned parents is urgent from corrections, child welfare, health care, and education perspectives. Children of Incarcerated Parents integrates a diverse literature, pulling together rigorous scholarship from criminology, sociology, law, psychiatry, social work, nursing, psychology, human development, and family studies. Researchers, practitioners, and policymakers will find in this volume here new directions for research and policies that will improve these children’s life chances. – From the Publisher

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Disrupted Childhoods: Children of Women in Prison

Jane A. Siegel

Lemieux Library 4th Floor-Books (HV8886.U5 S54 2011)

Millions of children in the United States have a parent who is incarcerated and a growing number of these nurturers are mothers. Disrupted Childhoods explores the issues that arise from a mother’s confinement and provides first-person accounts of the experiences of children with moms behind bars. Jane A. Siegel offers a perspective that recognizes differences over the long course of a family’s interaction with the criminal justice system.

Presenting an unparalleled view into the children’s lives both before and after their mothers are imprisoned, this book reveals the many challenges they face from the moment such a critical caregiver is arrested to the time she returns home from prison. Based on interviews with nearly seventy youngsters and their mothers conducted at different points of their parent’s involvement in the process, the rich qualitative data of Disrupted Childhoods vividly reveals the lived experiences of prisoners’ children, telling their stories in their own words. Siegel places the mother’s incarceration in context with other aspects of the youths’ experiences, including their family life and social worlds, and provides a unique opportunity to hear the voices of a group that has been largely silent until now. – From Amazon

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Parental Incarceration and the Family Psychological and Social Effects of Imprisonment on Children, Parents, and Caregivers

Joyce A. Arditti

Full Text Online

Over 2% of U.S.children under the age of 18—more than 1,700,000 children—have a parent in prison. These children experience very real disadvantages when compared to their peers: they tend to experience lower levels of educational success, social exclusion, and even a higher likelihood of their own future incarceration. Meanwhile, their new caregivers have to adjust to their new responsibilities as their lives change overnight, and the incarcerated parents are cut off from their children’s development.

Parental Incarceration and the Family brings a family perspective to our understanding of what it means to have so many of our nation’s parents in prison. Drawing from the field’s most recent research and the author’s own fieldwork, Joyce Arditti offers an in-depth look at how incarceration affects entire families: offender parents, children, and care-givers. Through the use of exemplars, anecdotes, and reflections, Joyce Arditti puts a human face on the mass of humanity behind bars, as well as those family members who are affected by a parent’s imprisonment. In focusing on offenders as parents, a radically different social policy agenda emerges—one that calls for real reform and that responds to the collective vulnerabilities of the incarcerated and their kin. – From the Publisher

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Relationship Processes and Resilience in Children With Incarcerated Parents

Edited By:
Julie Poehlmann
J. M. Eddy

Request from Summit

Children with incarcerated parents are at risk for a variety of problematic outcomes, yet research has rarely examined protective factors or resilience processes that might mitigate such risk in this population. In this volume, we present findings from five new studies that focus on child- or family-level resilience processes in children with parents currently or recently incarcerated in jail or prison. In the first study, empathic responding is examined as a protective factor against aggressive peer relations for 210 elementary school age children of incarcerated parents. The second study further examines socially aggressive behaviors with peers, with a focus on teasing and bullying, in a sample of 61 children of incarcerated mothers. Emotion regulation is examined as a possible protective factor. The third study contrasts children’s placement with maternal grandmothers versus other caregivers in a sample of 138 mothers incarcerated in a medium security state prison. The relation between a history of positive attachments between mothers and grandmothers and the current cocaregiving alliance are of particular interest. The fourth study examines coparenting communication in depth on the basis of observations of 13 families with young children whose mothers were recently released from jail. Finally, in the fifth study, the proximal impacts of a parent management training intervention on individual functioning and family relationships are investigated in a diverse sample of 359 imprisoned mothers and fathers. Taken together, these studies further our understanding of resilience processes in children of incarcerated parents and their families and set the groundwork for further research on child development and family resilience within the context of parental involvement in the criminal justice system.  – From the Publisher

If you were unable to attend this presentation, it is available via video recording here: Social Justice Mondays Recordings.


Social Justice Monday – Cyber Civil Rights: Legal Responses to Non-Consensual Pornography (Revenge Porn) on the Internet

Social Justice Monday – Cyber Civil Rights: Legal Responses to Non-Consensual Pornography on the Internet

February 13, 2017

With the click of a mouse, a bitter ex or hacker can upload compromising photos or videos to public websites without the consent of the pictured individual. On-line dissemination of nonconsensual pornography (also called “revenge porn”) is a an invasion of privacy that can destroy reputations and terrify victims: amounting to a “cyber civil rights” violation. Panelists discussed cyber civil rights and legal efforts to protect victims of nonconsensual pornography. Panelists included Professor Chon; attorney David Bateman of the Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project at K&L Gates; Gary Ernsdorff of the King County Prosecutor’s Office; as well as victims of revenge porn.

Margaret Chon is the Donald & Lynda Horowitz Professor for the Pursuit of Justice, and formerly Associate Dean for Research at Seattle University School of Law. She teaches civil procedure, intellectual property, as well as race and law. She is the author of numerous articles, books, book chapters, and review essays. Professor Chon has been a member of the faculty at Seattle University since 1996.

David Bateman is an attorney at K&L Gates, with extensive litigation experience in cases involving malicious online behavior and cyber-forensics. He is a co-founder of the firm’s Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project, which provides pro bono legal representation to victims of revenge porn. He has also published works in the area of cyber security and also frequently speaks on the issue. Mr. Bateman received both his B.A. and J.D. from Yale Law School.

Gary Ernsdorff has 20 years of trial experience as both a public defender and as a prosecutor in King County. Having worked for the King County Prosecutor’s Office for the past 15 years, he has extensive trial experience, including domestic violence and cyber civil rights issues. He also serves as the Board President of the Domestic Abuse Women’s Network (DAWN). Mr. Ernsdorff received his J.D. from UW Law School.

Interested in learning more? Check out these resources:

Image of Author
Copyright’s Other

Margaret Chon

Full Text Online

This response to a keynote speech by Judge Margaret McKeown explores some dimensions of copyright in addition to its dominant function as a set of market-facilitating exclusive rights. The recent possible trend towards protecting privacy and other non-commercial concerns via copyright law is not necessarily inconsistent with its historical usages, does not necessarily threaten freedom of expression and may further important privacy policies. The balance of these competing policies is shifting, especially in an environment of proliferating digital content where cyber civil rights may need further development in response to cyberbullying. It examines the specific case of non-consensual pornography as a means of exploring possible doctrinal and policy directions. Ultimately it endorses a less formalistic and more flexible use of copyright to address harms currently under-recognized by our existing legal frameworks. – SSRN Abstract

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Cyber Civil Rights

Danielle Keats Citron

Full Text Online

Social networking sites and blogs have increasingly become breeding grounds for anonymous online groups that attack women, people of color, and members of other traditionally disadvantaged groups. These destructive groups target individuals with defamation, threats of violence, and technology-based attacks that silence victims and concomitantly destroy their privacy. Victims go offline or assume pseudonyms to prevent future attacks, impoverishing online dialogue and depriving victims of the social and economic opportunities associated with a vibrant online presence. Attackers manipulate search engines to reproduce their lies and threats for employers and clients to see, creating digital “scarlet letters” that ruin reputations.

Today’s cyber attack groups update a history of anonymous mobs coming together to victimize and subjugate vulnerable people. The social science literature identifies conditions that magnify dangerous group behavior and those that tend to defuse it. Unfortunately, Web 2.0 technologies accelerate mob behavior. With little reason to expect self-correction of this intimidation of vulnerable individuals, the law must respond.

General criminal statutes and tort law proscribe much of the mobs’ destructive behavior, but the harm they inflict also ought to be understood and addressed as civil rights violations. Civil rights suits reach the societal harm that would otherwise go unaddressed and would play a crucial expressive role. Acting against these attacks does not offend First Amendment principles when they consist of defamation, true threats, intentional infliction of emotional distress, technological sabotage, and bias-motivated abuse aimed to interfere with a victim’s employment opportunities. To the contrary, it helps preserve vibrant online dialogue and promote a culture of political, social, and economic equality. – SSRN Abstract

If you were unable to attend this presentation, it is available via video recording here: Social Justice Mondays Recordings.


Social Justice Monday – Reinvigorating Commonality: Gender and Class Actions

Social Justice Monday – Reinvigorating Commonality: Gender and Class Actions
January 30, 2017

The modern class action, the modern feminist movement, and Title VII were all products of the creativity and turmoil of the 1960s. As late as 1961—a year after Justice Felix Frankfurter rejected new law school graduate Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a law clerk because she was a woman—the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the constitutionality of a Florida statute that required men, but not women, to serve on juries, on the ground that women’s primary role was in the home. As Betty Friedan put it in 1963’s The Feminine Mystique, “In almost every professional field, in business and in the arts and sciences, women are still treated as second-class citizens.” But change was imminent. The Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the founding of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, and a rising social and intellectual feminist movement brought women’s equality into the national conversation.

Simultaneously—at least in part in response to the civil rights movement and the Civil Rights Act—an (all-male) Judicial Conference and Supreme Court ushered in the modern era of collective litigation by promulgating Rule 23, and more specifically, Rule 23(b)(2), which provided a formal structure for civil right plaintiffs to seek aggregate relief for violations of federal and state anti-discrimination laws. Together, these phenomena gave impetus to communities of women to combat legal and cultural injustices through the courts. The result has been widespread improvement in the lives of working women—and men—across many industries.

In this discussion, Professors Brooke Coleman and Liz Porter examined the interplay of Rule 23(b)(2) class actions, feminism, and Title VII sex discrimination doctrine over the past fifty years. They discussed how the four “waves” of feminism found corresponding analogs in the development of Title VII class action law. While not an empirical or comprehensive study, this discussion aimed to generate thought as to ways in which class action doctrine simultaneously reflects and reinforces evolving views of feminism and gender. The discussion also reflected on whether the Rule 23(b)(2) suit continues to serve a vital function in achieving gender equality, as well as how the relative decline in feminist legal theory over the past 20 years, particularly but not only in procedure, has impacted its vitality.

Professors Coleman and Porter presented their analysis last Fall at NYU as part of a larger panel on class actions. Click here for a link to their presentation at NYU.

Interested in learning more? Check out these books:

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Selling Women Short: The Landmark Battle for Workers’ Rights at Wal-Mart

Liza Featherstone

Lemieux Library 4th Floor-Books (HD6060.5.U5 F4 2004)

On television, Wal-Mart employees are smiling women delighted with their jobs. But reality is another story. In 2000, Betty Dukes, a fifty-two-year-old black woman in Pittsburg, California, became the lead plaintiff in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, a class action, representing 1.6 million women. In her explosive investigation of this historic lawsuit, journalist Liza Featherstone reveals how Wal-Mart, a self-styled “family-oriented,” Christian company: Deprives women (but not men) of the training they need to advance. Relegates women to lower-paying jobs like selling baby clothes, reserving the more lucrative positions for men. Inflicts punitive demotions on employees who object to discrimination. Exploits Asian women in its sweatshops in Saipan, a U.S. commonwealth. Featherstone goes on to reveal the creative solutions that Wal-Mart workers around the country have found, like fighting for unions, living-wage ordinances, and childcare options. Selling Women Short combines the personal stories of these employees with superb investigative journalism to show why women who work these low-wage jobs are getting a raw deal, and what they are doing about it. A new preface to the paperback edition will reflect on Wal-Mart’s response to this lawsuit and its critics-including this one. – From Amazon

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A Practitioner’s Guide to Class Actions

Marcy Hogan Greer

Law Library LAW-4th Floor (KF8896.P73 2010)

The book is divided into three parts: Anatomy of a Class Action; Special Issues in Class Actions; and Jurisdictional Survey of Local Requirements Governing Class Actions. Included are discussions on: precertification, ethical and practical issues of communications with members of a class, interlocutory appeals, settlements, claims administration, the Class Action Fairness Act, bankruptcy and class actions, and arbitration.

Complete with a state-by-state analysis of the ways in which the class action rules differ from the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, this comprehensive guide provides practitioners with an understanding of the intricacies of a class action lawsuit. – From the Publisher

If you were unable to attend this presentation, it is available via video recording here: Social Justice Mondays Recordings.


Social Justice Monday – Going Pro Bono: Engage in Legal Work that Ignites Your Passion and Builds Your Career

Social Justice Monday – Going Pro Bono: Engage in Legal Work that Ignites Your Passion and Builds Your Career

January 23, 2017

This Social Justice Monday featured representatives from the Access to Justice Institute (ATJI) and the Center for Professional Development (CPD). The representatives outlined out why law students should integrate pro bono work their legal education, and the many options—open even to 1Ls—for doing so. Volunteer work not only gives context to what students learn in the classroom, but also enhances resumes and helps students find great jobs both during school and afterwards.

This presentation also included an introduction to fellowships. If you are a 2L or a 3L thinking about a summer or post-graduation fellowship, you are encouraged to reach out to CPD for additional information and personalized recommendations.

Attorneys and students from organizations that are currently doing exciting pro bono work were also on hand to discuss their organizations and ways to get involved.

Interested in learning more? Check out these resources from the Law Library:

Cover ImagePublic Interest Lawyering: A Contemporary Perspective

Alan Chen
Scott Cummings

Library LAW-4th Floor (KF299.P8C44 2013)

Public Interest Lawyering is the first comprehensive analysis of public interest lawyering that is suitable as a law school elective text and/or advanced legal profession courses and seminars. Drawing upon a range of theoretical and empirical perspectives, this timely textbook examines the lives of public interest lawyers, the clients and causes they serve, the contexts within which they work, the strategies they deploy, and the challenges they face today.

Hallmark features of Public Interest Lawyering are:

  • The first comprehensive overview of the broad range of contemporary issues faced by public interest lawyers in any American law school text.
    Thorough discussion of important theoretical issues about the scope and definition of public interest lawyering.
  • Addresses American public interest law from a historical perspective with focus on current issues.
    Expansive examination of the settings in which public interest practice occurs, including nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and private law firms.
    Presents the advantages and limits of different legal strategies in public interest practice, including lobbying, public education, community organizing, and community economic development.
  • Addresses contemporary challenges of public interest law in context, including economics and financing, legal ethics, the role of legal education, and the globalization of public interest practice.
  • Discusses critiques of public interest law, including a reflection about the role of lawyers in social movements that addresses contemporary critiques.
  • Ethical obligations of public interest lawyers.
  • Explores special issues related to lawyer-client relations in social change contexts.


Cover ImageStandards for Programs Providing Civil Pro Bono Legal Services to People of Limited Means

American Bar Association

Library LAW-4th Floor (KF336.A7165 2014)

Organized Pro Bono programs have existed in the United States for over a century, and provide options for those who may not have access to legal services. The number of pro bono programs is continually increasing however, not all pro bono programs succeed and are effective. Due the changing nature and the multiple types of Pro Bono programs the Standards for Programs Providing Civil Pro Bono Legal Services to Persons of Limited Means provides guidance on the necessary elements of an effective pro bono program. This includes, becoming effective and efficient in finding volunteers, meeting the clients’ needs, and providing high quality service for volunteer lawyers and clients.

The Standards have been crafted specifically for programs and components of programs which provide free civil legal services to persons of limited means through the use of volunteers. Even though this book is specific based, many other pro bono models can benefit from the standards and guidance this resource provides. This publication offers the “black letter” Standards adopted by the ABA House of Delegates in 2013 as well as updated commentary and practical resources for implementing the Standards. – From the American Bar Association

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To Establish Justice for All: The Past and Future of Civil Legal Aid in the United States

Earl Johnson

Library LAW-4th Floor (KF336.J64 2014)

American statesman Sargent Shriver called the Legal Services Program the “most important” of all the War on Poverty programs he started; American Bar Association president Edward Kuhn said its creation was the most important development in the history of the legal profession. Earl Johnson Jr., a former director of the War on Poverty’s Legal Services Program, provides a vivid account of the entire history of civil legal aid from its inception in 1876 to the current day. The first to capture the full story of the dramatic, ongoing struggle to bring equal justice to those unable to afford a lawyer, this monumental three-volume work covers the personalities and events leading to a national legal aid movement—and decades later, the federal government’s entry into the field, and its creation of a unique institution, an independent Legal Services Corporation, to run the program. The narrative also covers the landmark court victories the attorneys won and the political controversies those cases generated, along with the heated congressional battles over the shape and survival of the Legal Services Corporation. In the final chapters, the author assesses the current state of civil legal aid and its future prospects in the United States. – From the Publisher

If you were unable to attend this presentation, it is available via video recording here: Social Justice Mondays Recordings.



Social Justice Monday – Advocating in the 2017 Legislature to Address the Legal Services Gap Identified by Washington’s Civil Legal Needs Study

Social Justice Monday – Advocating in the 2017 Legislature to Address the Legal Services Gap Identified by Washington’s Civil Legal Needs Study

January 9, 2017

Washington State recently underwent and published a comprehensive study to better understand the civil legal needs of low-income individuals, families and communities: the Civil Legal Needs Study Update.

The results are daunting. The study confirmed that Washington has an acute civil justice crisis. The good news is that we can all do something to help address and solve this crisis. Jay Doran, Communications & Advocacy Director of the Legal Foundation of Washington, discussed the civil legal needs of low-income Washingtonians. Jay discussed the work of the Equal Justice Coalition, a non-partisan statewide coalition advocating for sufficient public funding for legal aid, and talked about how law students can help advocate for justice for all during the 2017 State Legislative Session.

Jay Doran is the Communications & Advocacy Director of the Legal Foundation of Washington  and staffs the Equal Justice Coalition, which works to increase public funding for legal aid. Previously, Jay worked for the Friends of Youth, Washington United for Marriage Campaign, and Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness. Jay holds a BA from Duke University and a Masters in Social Work with a concentration in Policy/Administration from the University of Washington.

Interested in learning more? Check out the following books:

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Beyond Elite Law: Access to Civil Justice in America

Edited By:
Samuel Estreicher
Joy Radice

Library LAW-New Books (KF336.B49 2016)

Are Americans making under $50,000 a year compelled to navigate the legal system on their own, or do they simply give up because they cannot afford lawyers? We know anecdotally that Americans of median or lower income generally do without legal representation or resort to a sector of the legal profession that – because of the sheer volume of claims, inadequate training, and other causes – provides deficient representation and advice. This book poses the question: can we – at the current level of resources, both public and private – better address the legal needs of all Americans? Leading judges, researchers, and activists discuss the role of technology, pro bono services, bar association resources, affordable solo and small firm fees, public service internships, and law student and nonlawyer representation. – From the Publisher

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Poor Justice: How the Poor Fare in the Courts

Vicki Lens

Full Text Online

Poor Justice: How the Poor Fare in the Courts provides a vivid portrait and appraisal of how the lives of poor people are disrupted or helped by the judicial system, from the lowest to the highest courts. Drawing from court room observations, court decisions, and other material, this book spans the street level justice of administrative hearings and lower courts (where people plead for welfare benefits or for a child not to be taken away), the mid-level justice of state courts (where advocates argue for the right to shelter for the homeless and for the rights of the mentally disabled), and the high justice of the Supreme Court (where the battle for school integration has represented a route out of poverty and the stop and frisk cases illustrate a route to greater poverty, through the mass incarceration of people of color). Poor Justice brings readers inside the courts, telling the story through the words and actions of the judges, lawyers, and ordinary people who populate it. It seeks to both edify and criticize. Readers will learn not only how courts work, but also how courts sometimes help – and often fail – the poor. – From Amazon

If you were unable to attend this presentation, it is available via video recording here: Social Justice Mondays Recordings.


Social Justice Monday – Election 2016: Its Aftermath and the Continuing Need for Washington’s Voting Rights Act

Social Justice Monday – Election 2016: Its Aftermath and the Continuing Need for Washington’s Voting Rights Act

November 21, 2016

Last Tuesday’s election was the first since the United States Supreme Court struck down the coverage formula used to determine the preclearance requirement of section 5 of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby v. Holder, 133 S.Ct. 2612 (2013). Prior to the decision, states which had a history of discriminating against minority voters were required to preclear changes to state voting laws. In the wake of the Shelby decision, several states added voter ID requirements and reduced the number of voting venues, which could have impacted voter turnout.

The Shelby decision left intact section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits voting practices or procedures that discriminate on the basis of race, color, or membership in certain minority language groups. Washington has yet to pass its own Voting Rights Act.

David Perez, is the co-author of the state complement to Section 2 in the proposed legislation, and is also a civil rights litigator. David offered an early report on the 2016 election and assessed the continued need for a state Voting Rights Act to protect and ensure representation of minority voters and communities. While the numbers are still being crunched, he also commented on local, state, and national turnout and their implications for our democracy.

David Perez is a former Korematsu Fellow, an attorney at Perkins Coie, and a litigator whose practice focuses on constitutional law, consumer protection, class actions, intellectual property, and unfair competition. As part of his practice, David regularly counsels entrepreneurs, high-growth technology startups and established companies. In addition to presenting over 20 arguments at the trial level, David has substantial appellate experience, briefing cases at all levels of state and federal government, including the U.S. Supreme Court, and he has argued successfully in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Washington Court of Appeals. Each year since 2013, David has been named a “Rising Star” in Washington Law and Politics. Maintaining an active pro bono practice, David focuses on issues related to civil rights, constitutional law and voting rights. David received his J.D. from Yale Law School and his B.A. from Gonzaga University.

Interested in learning more? Check out these books from the law library:

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The Voting Rights Act: Securing the Ballot

Edited by:
Richard M. Valelly

Law Library LAW-3rd Floor (JK1924.V68 2006)

When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law in 1965, he explained that “[t]his act flows from a clear and simple wrong…Millions of Americans are denied the vote because of their color. This law will ensure them the right to vote. The wrong is one which no American, in his heart, can justify.”

Now, in the fortieth anniversary year of its passage, readers can learn about the history, impact, and significance of this landmark event through the dynamic pairing of essays and primary source documents that define CQ Press’s Landmark Events in U.S. History Series. The fifth volume in this award-winning collection, The Voting Rights Act, explores the origin, development, and consequences of this landmark legislation, and shows how its legacy continues to shape many aspects of U.S. government and politics.

Eminent scholars who have particular expertise in the subjects addressed write the insightful essays contained in this volume. Following these essays are related primary sources from the late nineteenth century to the present that add a dynamic “you are there” immediacy to the coverage. Readers will find excerpts from relevant Supreme Court cases, key civil rights speeches and legal documents, and excerpts from speeches, hearings, and other documents related to the Voting Rights Act. Each document includes helpful head notes that give valuable context.

As with all volumes in the Landmark Events in U.S. History Series, The Voting Rights Act presents a thorough and balanced treatment of a major historical event. The uniquely engaging approach will bring to life the history and significance of the Voting Rights Act for a wide range of library patrons, including high school and college-level students, as well as general readers and researchers looking for coverage of major U.S. events that is as interesting as it is informative. – From the Publisher


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Colorblind Injustice: Minority Voting Rights and the Undoing of the Second Reconstruction

J. Morgan Kousser

Law Library LAW-Culp Collection (3rd Floor-Range A) JK1924.K68 1999

Challenging recent trends both in historical scholarship and in Supreme Court decisions on civil rights, J. Morgan Kousser criticizes the Court’s “postmodern equal protection” and demonstrates that legislative and judicial history still matter for public policy.

Offering an original interpretation of the failure of the First Reconstruction (after the Civil War) by comparing it with the relative success of the Second (after World War II), Kousser argues that institutions and institutional rules–not customs, ideas, attitudes, culture, or individual behavior–have been the primary forces shaping American race relations throughout the country’s history. Using detailed case studies of redistricting decisions and the tailoring of electoral laws from Los Angeles to the Deep South, he documents how such rules were designed to discriminate against African Americans and Latinos.

Kousser contends that far from being colorblind, Shaw v. Reno (1993) and subsequent “racial gerrymandering” decisions of the Supreme Court are intensely color-conscious. Far from being conservative, he argues, the five majority justices and their academic supporters are unreconstructed radicals who twist history and ignore current realities. A more balanced view of that history, he insists, dictates a reversal of Shaw and a return to the promise of both Reconstructions. – From the Publisher


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Bending Toward Justice: The Voting Rights Act and the Transformation of American Democracy

Gary May

Law Library LAW-4th Floor (KF4893.M39 2013)

A gripping biography of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, tracing its creation and showing how its historic provisions are threatened today.

When the Fifteenth Amendment of 1870 granted African Americans the right to vote, it seemed as if a new era of political equality was at hand. Before long, however, white segregationists across the South counterattacked, driving their black countrymen from the polls through a combination of sheer terror and insidious devices such as complex literacy tests and expensive poll taxes. Most African Americans would remain voiceless for nearly a century more, citizens in name only until the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act secured their access to the ballot.

In Bending Toward Justice, celebrated historian Gary May describes how black voters overcame centuries of bigotry to secure and preserve one of their most important rights as American citizens. The struggle that culminated in the passage of the Voting Rights Act was long and torturous, and only succeeded because of the courageous work of local freedom fighters and national civil rights leaders—as well as, ironically, the opposition of Southern segregationists and law enforcement officials, who won public sympathy for the voting rights movement by brutally attacking peaceful demonstrators. But while the Voting Rights Act represented an unqualified victory over such forces of hate, May explains that its achievements remain in jeopardy. Many argue that the 2008 election of President Barack Obama rendered the act obsolete, yet recent years have seen renewed efforts to curb voting rights and deny minorities the act’s hard-won protections. Legal challenges to key sections of the act may soon lead the Supreme Court to declare those protections unconstitutional.

A vivid, fast-paced history of this landmark piece of civil rights legislation, Bending Toward Justice offers a dramatic, timely account of the struggle that finally won African Americans the ballot—although, as May shows, the fight for voting rights is by no means over. – From the Publisher


Social Justice Monday: Law Students Improving Access to Justice through the use of Technology, Design, and Collaboration

Social Justice Monday: Law Students Improving Access to Justice through the use of Technology, Design, and Collaboration

November 14, 2016

In the United States, approximately 80 percent of the serious civil legal needs of low-income people are unmet, disproportionately affecting poor communities of color and other marginalized groups. In addition, legal aid is under-resourced and underfunded, resulting in a situation where even people that are able to qualify for representation through a legal aid organization are not getting assistance.

Can the use of technology, human-centered design, and innovative collaborations increase the capability of the civil legal services community to meet the legal needs of poor persons in this country? How can law students learn to use and deploy technology in a meaningful way to close our legal access gap and ensure justice?

This Social Justice Monday featured a group of legal innovators who discussed the challenges in our civil justice system and the need for future lawyers to leverage technology to allow the legal expertise of one lawyer to reach hundreds – or even thousands – of clients at once, wherever possible. The panelists also discussed the ATJ Tech Fellows Program—a national program to educate law students in the use of technology to improve legal service delivery.

Panelists included:

Brian Rowe, Program Manager, Legal Services Technology Assistance Project at Northwest Justice Project. Brian, a lawyer and techie, manages the National Technology Assistance Project and teaches at the University of Washington and Seattle University. Brian lectures on Privacy Law, Cyborg Rights, Ethics, Copyright and Information Policy. Find him online at Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @sarterus.

Destinee Evers, 1L, Seattle U School of Law. Destinee serves on advisory committees for the KCBA and WSBA, including the Access to Justice Board’s Technology Committee, and is the program coordinator for ATJ Tech Fellows. Prior to law school, Destinee spent six years as a civil litigation paralegal with a focus on complex-asset divorce litigation.

Miguel Willis, 3L, Seattle U School of Law. Last year, Miguel organized Seattle U’s first ever Social Justice Hackathon, and the recent TeamChild Hack, collaborative events bringing the legal community together with technologists to build innovative technologies to tackle long-standing problems. Additionally, he serves as the founder and Program Director for ATJ Tech Fellows.

Interested in learning more? Here are related books from the Law Library:

reinventing-the-practice-of-lawReinventing the Practice of Law: Emerging Models to Enhance Affordable Legal Services

Law Library LAW-Reserve (KF336.R45 2014)

Edited By:
Luz Herrera

We all want to make things better. We want to improve our law practices. We want to improve the legal profession. We want to improve our communities. Reinventing the Practice of Law explores ways in which lawyers can change their practices to make things better – for themselves, their clients and their neighborhoods. The book encourages lawyers to step out of the mold and consider how they can create better practices when providing personal legal services. This book offers a useful compendium of essays from nationally known lawyers describing how they have begun to make our legal system more accessible to moderate income clients. These distinguished authors address the practical, ethical, and business dimensions of new ways of providing legal advice and assistance. – From the Publisher

Cover ImageThe Future of Law and eTechnologies

Law Library LAW-New Books (K487.T4F88 2016)

Edited by:
Tanel Kerikmäe
Addi Rull

This book presents groundbreaking discussions on e-residency, cryptocurrencies, scams, smart contracts, 3D printing, software agents, digital evidence and e-governance at the intersection of law, legal policies and modern technologies. The reader benefits from cutting-edge analyses that offer ideas and solutions to some of the most pressing issues caused by e-technologies. This collection is a useful tool for law and IT practitioners and an inspiring source for interdisciplinary research. Besides serving as a practical guideline, this book also reflects theoretical dimensions of future perspectives, as new technologies are not meant to change common values but to accommodate them. – From the Publisher

If you were unable to attend this presentation, it is available via video recording here: Social Justice Mondays Recordings.


Social Justice Monday – Bottom Dollars: How Working People with Disabilities Still Earn Far Less than the Federal Minimum Wage

Social Justice Monday – Bottom Dollars: How Working People with Disabilities Still Earn Far Less than the Federal Minimum Wage

November 7, 2016

When the Fair Labor Standards Act passed in 1938, it included a revolutionary civil rights protection: a minimum wage. American workers could no longer be exploited for their hard work with one huge exception: People with disabilities could be paid less – much less – than minimum wage. The law remains unchanged today. In 2016, nearly 250,000 working people are still legally paid less than the minimum wage – on average, less than $2 an hour.

Social Justice Monday featured a screening of the documentary, “Bottom Dollars”, which exposes the injustice and hardship suffered by working people with disabilities through personal stories and expert interviews. It also shows alternatives with competitive wages and community inclusion to the “sheltered workplaces” where workers with disabilities often labor. The screening was followed by a discussion of its legal and social implications with its co-producer Tina Pinedo.

Interested in learning more? Here are some related books from the Law Library:

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The Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to Confrontation

Doris Zames Fleischer
Frieda Zames

Law Library LAW-Culp Collection (3rd Floor – Range A)(HV1553.F58 2001)

Based on interviews with almost a hundred activists, this book provides a detailed history of the struggle for disability rights in the United States. It is a complex story of shifts in consciousness and shifts in policy, of changing focuses on particular disabilities such as blindness, deafness, polio, quadriplegia, psychiatric and developmental disabilities, chronic conditions (for example, cancer and heart disease), AIDS, and of activism and policymaking across disabilities.

Referring to the Americans with Disabilities Act as “every American’s insurance policy,” the authors recount the genesis of this civil rights approach to disability, from the almost forgotten disability activism of the 1930s, to the independent living movement of the 1970s, to the call for disability pride of the 1990s. Like other civil rights struggles, the disability rights movement took place in the streets and in the courts as activists fought for change in the schools, the workplace, and in the legal system. They continue to fight for effective access to the necessities of everyday life—to telephones, buses, planes, public buildings, restaurants, and toilets.

The history of disability rights mirrors the history of the country. Each World War sparked changes in disability policy and changes in medical technology as veterans without limbs and with other disabilities returned home. The empowerment of people with disabilities has become another chapter in the struggles over identity politics that began in the 1960s. Today, with the expanding ability of people with disabilities to enter the workforce and a growing elderly population, issues like longterm care are becoming increasingly significant at a time when HMOs are trying to contain health care expenditures. – From the Publisher


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Future of Disability in America

Institute of Medicine (U.S.), Committee on Disability in America
Marilyn J. Field
Alan M. Jette

Full Text Online

The future of disability in America will depend on how well the U.S. prepares for and manages the demographic, fiscal, and technological developments that will unfold during the next two to three decades.

Building upon two prior studies from the Institute of Medicine (the 1991 Institute of Medicine’s report Disability in America and the 1997 report Enabling America), The Future of Disability in America examines both progress and concerns about continuing barriers that limit the independence, productivity, and participation in community life of people with disabilities. This book offers a comprehensive look at a wide range of issues, including the prevalence of disability across the lifespan; disability trends the role of assistive technology; barriers posed by health care and other facilities with inaccessible buildings, equipment, and information formats; the needs of young people moving from pediatric to adult health care and of adults experiencing premature aging and secondary health problems; selected issues in health care financing (e.g., risk adjusting payments to health plans, coverage of assistive technology); and the organizing and financing of disability-related research.

The Future of Disability in America is an assessment of both principles and scientific evidence for disability policies and services. This book’s recommendations propose steps to eliminate barriers and strengthen the evidence base for future public and private actions to reduce the impact of disability on individuals, families, and society. – From the Publisher


If you were unable to attend this presentation, it is available via video recording here: Social Justice Mondays Recordings.


Social Justice Monday – Dispelling Fear-based Policies: Protecting the Transgender Community Through Effective Advocacy

Social Justice Monday – Dispelling Fear-based Policies: Protecting the Transgender Community Through Effective Advocacy

October 31, 2016

Seattle University OUTLaws and leaders in the transgender community explored legal, social, and organizing efforts to include and protect a vulnerable community whose rights and interests have made headlines in the national fury over bathroom access. Panelists examined polices and legislation that misrepresent the transgender community and threaten to roll back their civil rights—including Initiative 1515, regarding bathroom choice, which failed to qualify for the Washington ballot this year. Panelists also discussed counter-efforts to protect the rights of transgender individuals. Greater understanding of the threats the transgender community faces to its civil liberties in this charged political climate will help everyone in the Law School community create a more welcoming space for transgender individuals and provide more effective, compassionate legal services to the transgender community.

Panelists included:

Leo Segovia is a graduate of the LGBTQ leadership development program, Out In Front. With a commitment to social justice, Leo serves the transgender community in many ways such as working with the City of Seattle developing Trans* competency curriculum for their front line staff. Leo also helped produce an LGBTQ visibility campaign for Seattle Office for Civil Rights. Through extensive travels, Leo witnessed social movements of displaced populations across countries and economic systems. The physical displacement of communities from their land and culture resonated with the displacement he felt in his physical body and as a first generation “American.” Inspired by the healing and unity sought out by these movements, Leo came out as transgender in 2014. Through community outreach and education, his work focuses on the relationship between race and gender; a complex intersection that many trans* folks are forced to navigate within our greater society.

Kiyomi Fujikawa is a queer, mixed-race, trans-feminine and gender-fabulous, anti-violence organizer. She has been based in Seattle since 2005 and has been involved with the Social Justice Fund NW’s Gender Justice Giving Project and many other projects. She formerly worked with the Queer Network Program at API Chaya where she engaged Queer and Trans* communities of color around responses to intimate partner violence and helped build agency. Kiyomi has also been a key contributor to the King County Trans Resource Guide and numerous arts and entertainment programs focused at QTPOC community in Seattle. She has been involved with movements to end sexual assault and domestic/dating violence since 2001, and in 2013, she participated in the Trans* Justice Funding Project, which distributed over $50,000 to organizations working for liberation for Trans* people and our communities.

Interested in learning more? Here are some related books:

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Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of Law

Dean Spade

SU Law Library LAW-Reserve (Faculty Collection) (KF4754.5S63 2015)

Wait—what’s wrong with rights? It is usually assumed that trans and gender nonconforming people should follow the civil rights and “equality” strategies of lesbian and gay rights organizations by agitating for legal reforms that would ostensibly guarantee nondiscrimination and equal protection under the law. This approach assumes that the best way to address the poverty and criminalization that plague trans populations is to gain legal recognition and inclusion in the state’s institutions. But is this strategy effective?

In Normal Life Dean Spade presents revelatory critiques of the legal equality framework for social change, and points to examples of transformative grassroots trans activism that is raising demands that go beyond traditional civil rights reforms. Spade explodes assumptions about what legal rights can do for marginalized populations, and describes transformative resistance processes and formations that address the root causes of harm and violence.

In the new afterword to this revised and expanded edition, Spade notes the rapid mainstreaming of trans politics and finds that his predictions that gaining legal recognition will fail to benefit trans populations are coming to fruition. Spade examines recent efforts by the Obama administration and trans equality advocates to “pinkwash” state violence by articulating the US military and prison systems as sites for trans inclusion reforms. In the context of recent increased mainstream visibility of trans people and trans politics, Spade continues to advocate for the dismantling of systems of state violence that shorten the lives of trans people. Now more than ever, Normal Life is an urgent call for justice and trans liberation, and the radical transformations it will require. – From the Publisher


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Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States

Joey L. Mogul
Andrea J. Ritchie
Kay Whitlock

SU Law Library LAW-4th Floor (KF4754.5.M64 2011)

In March 2003-three decades after Stonewall-police stormed the Power Plant, a private Detroit club frequented by African American LGBT people. Over 350 people were handcuffed and subjected to homophobic slurs. Some were hit on the head and back; others were slammed into walls. Their supposed crime was later chalked up to a bizarre infraction: “loitering inside a building.” Three years earlier, Freddie Mason, a thirty-one-year-old Black gay man was arrested after a verbal altercation with his landlord, and then anally raped with a billy club covered in cleaning liquid by a Chicago police officer. Bernina Mata, a Latina, was sentenced to death on the theory that being a “hardcore lesbian” caused her to kill. A Tennessee police officer’s brutal beating of Duanna Johnson, a Black transgender woman, was even caught on camera. Within a year, she was dead-the third African American transgender woman in Memphis in three years whose murder remains unresolved. Events such as these illuminate a long shadow of criminalization of LGBT people in America.

Drawing on years of research, activism, and legal advocacy, Queer (In)Justice is a searing examination of queer experiences-as “suspects,” defendants, prisoners, and survivors of crime. The authors unpack queer criminal archetypes-like “gleeful gay killers,” “lethal lesbians,” “disease spreaders,” and “deceptive gender benders“-to illustrate the punishment of queer expression, regardless of whether a crime was ever committed. Tracing stories from the streets to the bench to behind prison bars, the authors prove that the policing of sex and gender both bolsters and reinforces racial and gender inequalities. A groundbreaking work that turns a “queer eye” on the criminal legal system, Queer (In)Justice illuminates and challenges the many ways in which queer lives are criminalized, policed, and punished. – From the Publisher


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LGBT Youth in America’s Schools

Jason Cianciotto
Sean Cahill

SU Lemieux Library 4th Floor-Books (LC2575.C54 2012)

Jason Cianciotto and Sean Cahill, experts on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender public policy advocacy, combine an accessible review of social science research with analyses of school practices and local, state, and federal laws that affect LGBT students. In addition, portraits of LGBT youth and their experiences with discrimination at school bring human faces to the issues the authors discuss.

This is an essential guide for teachers, school administrators, guidance counselors, and social workers interacting with students on a daily basis; school board members and officials determining school policy; nonprofit advocates and providers of social services to youth; and academic scholars, graduate students, and researchers training the next generation of school administrators and informing future policy and practice. – From the Publisher

If you were unable to attend this presentation, it is available via video recording here: Social Justice Mondays Recordings.


Social Justice Monday: Animal Liberation and the No New Animal Lab Campaign

Social Justice Monday
October 24, 2016

The Access to Justice Institute and the Seattle University Student Animal Legal Defense Fund held a talk titled “Animal Liberation and the No New Animal Lab Campaign.”

The Seattle University Student Animal Legal Defense Fund is dedicated to providing a forum for education, advocacy, and scholarship aimed at protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system, and raising the profile of the field of animal law.

Here are some related materials if you are interested in learning more:

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The Rise of Critical Animal Studies: From the Margins to the Centre

Edited by:
Nik Taylor
Richard Twine

SU Lemieux Library 5th Floor-Books (QL85.R57 2014)

As the scholarly and interdisciplinary study of human/animal relations becomes crucial to the urgent questions of our time, notably in relation to environmental crisis, this collection explores the inner tensions within the relatively new and broad field of animal studies. This provides a platform for the latest critical thinking on the condition and experience of animals.


The volume is structured around four sections:

engaging theory
doing critical animal studies
critical animal studies and anti-capitalism
contesting the human, liberating the animal: veganism and activism.

The Rise of Critical Animal Studies demonstrates the centrality of the contribution of critical animal studies to vitally important contemporary debates and considers future directions for the field. This edited collection will be useful for students and scholars of sociology, gender studies, psychology, geography, and social work. – From the Publisher


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Animal Experimentation: A Guide to the Issues

Vaughan Monamy

SU Lemieux Library 4th Floor-Books (HV4915.M65 2009)

Animal Experimentation is an important book for all those involved in the conduct, teaching, learning, regulation, support or critique of animal-based research. Whilst maintaining the clarity of style that made the first edition so popular, this second edition has been updated to include discussion of genetically modified organisms and associated welfare and ethical issues that surround the breeding programmes in such research.



It also discusses

the origins of vivisection
advances in human and non-human welfare made possible by animal experimentation
principal moral objections to the use of research animals
alternatives to the use of animals in research
regulatory umbrella under which experiments are conducted in Europe, USA, and Australasia.

The book also highlights the future responsibilities of students who will be working with animals, and offers practical advice on experimental design, literature search, consultation with colleagues, and the importance of the on-going search for alternatives. – From the Publisher


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Animal Experimentation: Opposing Viewpoints

Helen Cothran

SU Lemieux Library 4th Floor-Books (HV4915.A638 2002)

The use of companion animals such as dogs in medical experiments has intensified the debate about animal testing. Doctors, researchers, and activists argue whether or not animals should be experimented on in the following chapters: Do Animals Have Rights? Is Animal Experimentation Justified? How Should Animal Experimentation Be Conducted? Should Scientists Pursue New Forms of Animal Experimentation?
– From Amazon



If you were unable to attend this presentation, it is available via video recording here: Social Justice Mondays Recordings.