Gender and the Law Prof Blog

Editor: Tracy A. Thomas
University of Akron School of Law

Friday, September 8, 2017

Gender and Law Talks at Legal History Conference

Here are the presentations on gender and law and the upcoming annual conference of the American Society of Legal History.  The full preliminary program is here.

Lauren Thompson, Kennesaw State University, “Not for Physicians to Decide”: Medicine, Law, and Mary Ware Dennett in the Early Birth Control Movement

Cookie Woolner, University of Memphis, “Framing Women in Harlem”: Regulating Black Women’s Sexuality in the Prohibition Underworld

Katherine Luongo, Northeastern University, Mens Rea as a Cultural Matter: Adjudicating Witch-Killings in Nigeria and Tanzania

Stephanie Jones-Rogers, University of California, Berkeley, Women, American Slavery, and the Law

Luisa Stella de Oliveira Coutinho Silva, Universidade de Lisboa, Women in Colonial Paraíba: A Feminist Postcolonial Study of Brazilian Legal History, 1580s–1822

Hannah Francis, Rice University, The Impact of American Law on Free Women of Color in Nineteenth Century New Orleans

Jeffrey Gonda, Syracuse University, “All the Feeling of Being a Lady Had Been Crushed”: Black Women and Jim Crow Transportation in the 1940s


Roundtable: Making Reproductive Rights Law from Griswold to Whole Woman’s Health 

Chair: Kate Shaw, Cardozo Law School

Reva Siegel & Linda Greenhouse, Yale Law School, The Story of Roe v. Wade

Serena Mayeri, University of Pennsylvania, The Story of Planned Parenthood v. Casey

Cary Franklin, Yale Law School, The Story of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt

Khiara Bridges, Boston University School of Law, The Story of Harris v. McRae


September 8, 2017 in Conferences, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 28, 2017

Prof Julie Suk to Speak on Constitution Day on "The Constitution of Mothers" and a New ERA

The Center for Constitutional Law at the University of Akron School of Law will host Professor Julie Suk as the featured Constitution Day speaker on September 18, 2017.

Professor Suk's talk is entitled "The Constitution of Mothers:  Gender Equality and Social Reproduction in the United States and the World."  

One of the largest mobilizations in recent American history was the Women’s March of 2017, with  millions of participants in U.S. cities and in concurrent events throughout the world.  Despite diverse backgrounds and agendas, the marchers unified around the general theme of equality for women.   It was a constitutional moment:  The unity principles included a call for a new Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and in March 2017, Nevada became the first state to ratify the ERA 35 years after the 1982 deadline had lapsed.  Nevada’s ratification raises questions about the legitimacy of post-deadline ratification of a Congressionally adopted constitutional amendment, as well as deeper normative questions about the desirability and  meaning of constitutionalizing equal rights for women in the 21st century.   If Nevada’s ratification is valid or can be made valid by Congressional action, two additional states’ ratifications will put the ERA in the U.S. Constitution.  Would such an amendment change what the law does, or would it be merely symbolic? 

This lecture will argue that an ERA is needed in the twenty-first century, but for reasons different from those that motivated the 1972 adopters.  Meanwhile, most constitutions around the world explicitly guarantee sex equality, and many of these constitutions also guarantee special protections for mothers.  Drawing on global constitutionalism, this lecture argues that constitutional equality for women must go beyond prohibiting sex distinctions in the law, and reach the disadvantages faced by largely by women due to the burdens of raising the next generation of citizens.  The challenge of making the constitution regulate social reproduction, however, is illustrated by the history of women’s participation in advocating for the Prohibition Amendment and its repeal, both of which engaged the politics of the home and child-rearing.  The legacy of women’s past struggles to change the Constitution, in light of contrasting narratives outside the United States, should inform our present gender equality efforts. 

Full details here:  Download ConLawSpeakerSukF2017

Julie Suk is a Professor of Law at the Cardozo School of Law – Yeshiva University in New York, where she has taught since 2005.  She is a leading scholar of comparative equality law. Her research brings a transnational perspective to equality and antidiscrimination law in the United States, drawing on primary legal materials in multiple languages from multiple jurisdictions.  Professor Suk's articles compare European and American approaches to a broad range of issues in law and public policy, such as the enforcement of antidiscrimination norms in various legal systems around the world, holocaust denial, maternity leave, and women’s equal representation in political and corporate leadership positions.   Professor Suk’s current research projects focus on women, work, and family in comparative constitutional law, as well as education rights in the context of socioeconomic inequality.  Representative publications include: An Equal Rights Amendment for the Twenty-First Century: Bringing Global Constitutionalism Home (Yale Journal of Law and Feminism), Are Gender Stereotypes Bad for Women?  Rethinking Antidiscrimination Law and Work-Family Conflict (Columbia Law Review), Discrimination at Will: Job Security Protections and Equal Employment Opportunity in Conflict (Stanford Law Review), Gender Parity and State Legitimacy: From Public Office to Corporate Boards (International Journal of Constitutional Law). 


August 28, 2017 in Conferences, Constitutional, Family, Gender, International, Law schools | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

CFP Feminist Legal Theory Network, Law & Society Annual Meeting

Call for Papers – Sunday September 17 Deadline

The Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network

Seeks submissions for the

Law and Society Association Annual Meeting

June 7–10, 2018 in Toronto, Canada

Submission link:

Dear friends and colleagues,

We invite you to participate in the panels sponsored by the Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network at the Law and Society Annual Meeting in Toronto in June 2018. The Feminist Legal Theory CRN brings together law and society scholars across a range of fields who share an interest in feminist legal theory. Information about the Law and Society meeting is available at

This year’s meeting invites us to explore LAW AT THE CROSSROADS/LE DROIT A LA CROISÉE DES CHEMINS.  We seek in proposals that explore the application of feminist legal theory to this rich theme, across any substantive area.

If you would like to present a paper as part of a CRN panel, submit your 500 word abstract to by the deadline of September 17, 2017. 

Our goal is to stimulate focused discussion of papers on which scholars are currently working. While you may submit papers that are closer to publication, we are particularly eager to receive proposals for works-in-progress that are at an earlier stage and will benefit from the discussion that the panels will provide.  We are also especially interested in hearing from junior scholars, and welcome submissions from scholars in VAPs, fellowship programs, non-tenure and pre-tenure positions. 

The Planning Committee will group accepted papers into panels of four, based on subject matter.   Each presentation should run roughly 10 minutes to allow ample time for discussion.  A chair or discussant will provide feedback on each paper. 

If you would like to propose a pre-formed panel of four papers with a chair and a discussant, please email us at  Include that information in the appropriate box on the submission form for each of the papers as well.    

 In addition to traditional panels, we are open to some of the other formats that the LSA allows, including Author meets Reader, Salon, or Roundtable. If you have an idea that you think would work well in one of these formats, please email us at 2018lsacrn@gmail.comPlease note that for roundtables, organizers must provide a 500-word summary of the topic and the contributions they expect the proposed participants to make. Please also note that LSA rules limit you to participating only once, either as a paper panelist or as a roundtable participant.

As a condition of participating as a Feminist Legal Theory CRN panelist, you must agree to also serve as a discussant or discussant/chair for another Feminist Legal Theory CRN panel
. The planning committee will assign two discussants for each panel, to provide feedback on the papers and promote discussion. One of the discussants will also serve as the panel chair.   This requirement helps us to create and sustain a supportive community of scholars.  We will take into account expertise and topic preferences to the degree possible.

Chairs organize the panel, as well as moderate.  Chairs will develop a 100-250 word description for the session and submit the session proposal to LSA before the anticipated deadline of mid-October.  This will ensure that each panelist can submit their proposal, using the panel number assigned. Each chair will also serve as discussant for two papers. 

Discussants read the two to three papers assigned to them and prepare a short commentary to offer feedback and serve as a basis for discussion among the panelist and audience members. 


Proposals due Sunday, September 17 to

While we’re always happy to hear from you, please do not send submissions to individual committee members. 

The form requires the following information:

  • The title of your proposal;
  • A 500 word abstract or summary;
  • Your name and title;
  • Number of years you have been a law teacher/scholar;
  • Your areas of interest and expertise within feminist legal theory;
  • Whether this paper is part of a group of papers submitted together as a pre-formed panel.

This information will permit us to organize panels and submit them prior to the LSA’s anticipated deadline in mid-October. In the past, we have accommodated as many panelists as possible, but have been unable to accept all proposals. If we are unable to accept your proposal for the CRN, we will notify you by early October so that you can submit your proposal independently to LSA.

We hope you will join us in Toronto to share your current scholarship and connect with this vibrant community of feminist legal theorists.


2018 LSA Feminist Legal Theory CRN Planning Committee

Daniela Kraiem (co-chair)

Seema Mohapatra (co-chair)

Eylem Umut Atilgan

Kim Pearson

Samantha Godwin

Grace Howard

Sital Kalantry

August 24, 2017 in Call for Papers, Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 4, 2017

Conference: Women in Law and Leadership

Women in Law and Leadership Symposium
Friday, November 3, 2017
Marcum Conference Center at Miami University
Oxford, Ohio

You are invited to the Women in Law and Leadership (W.I.L.L.) Symposium from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, November 3, 2017.

Miami University and its Pre-Law Program are proud to present a daylong conference focused on issues related to women in law and leadership. The conference will bring together lawyers and current Miami students. Miami Pre-Law students will moderate panel discussions featuring successful Miami alumni in the legal profession. Panel topics include gender issues in the workplace, work/life challenges, keys to success, and career trajectories and possibilities. Each session has significant intellectual and practical content designed to improve each participant’s professional competence and understanding of leadership. Application for Ohio CLE credit is pending.

More details to follow online.

For more information, please contact

August 4, 2017 in Conferences, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

CFP FutureLaw Workshop 2.0

Conference Announcement and Call for Papers
2017 Junior Scholars #FutureLaw Workshop 2.0 at Duquesne

The conference is organized by Seth Oranburg, Assistant Professor, Duquesne University School of Law ( Funding is provided in part by the Federalist Society. All papers are selected based on scholarly merit, with an emphasis on scholarly impact, topical relevance, and viewpoint diversity.

September 7-8, 2017

By invitation only

OVERVIEW: The conference aims to foster legal and economic research on “FutureLaw” (as defined below) topics particularly by junior and emerging scholars by bringing together a diverse group of academics early in their career focusing on cutting-edge issues.

TOPICS: The conference organizers encourage the submission of papers about all aspects of FutureLaw, which includes open-data policy, machine learning, computational law, legal informatics, smart contracts, crypto-currency, block-chain technology, big data, algorithmic research, LegalTech, FinTech, MedTech, eCommerce, eGovernment, electronic discovery, computers & the law, teaching innovations, and related subjects. FutureLaw is an inter-disciplinary field with cross-opportunities in crowd science, behavioral economics, computer science, mathematics, statistics, learning theory, and related fields. Papers may be theoretical, archival or experimental in nature. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

- Innovation in legal instruments (e.g., new securities, new corporate forms, new litigation procedures, etc.)

- Innovation in legal technology (e.g., new law firm governance, legal automatic, democratizing access to legal services, legal chatbots, etc.)
- Innovation in legal teaching (e.g., new classroom techniques, distance learning studies, experiential learning, transactional clinics, etc.)

Papers regarding the effect of these innovations (e.g., diversity, inclusion, equity, equality, fairness, return on investment, productivity, security, etc.) are also welcome.

DUAL SUBMISSION PROCESS: For the 2017 conference, the FutureLaw Workshop and the Duquesne Law Review (DLR) announce a new, non-exclusive, combined submission process. At your discretion, a paper submitted to the 2017 FutureLaw Workshop 2.0 may also be considered for publication by DLR free of charge. The rules for this dual submission process are as follows:

(1) You must apply online at Submitted papers will be considered for publication by the DLR free of charge. A reply to your submission in acceptance to the Workshop or invitation to publish in the DLR is your option, not your obligation.

(2) If you do not wish to be considered by the DLR while submitting for the FutureLaw Workshop, please indicate this in the comments field provided.

(3) Papers submitted for dual consideration must not already be accepted by another journal.

(4) While under consideration as a dual submission for the 2017 FutureLaw Workshop and invitation by the DLR, a paper may be submitted to another journal (or JAR).

PAPER SUBMISSION PROCEDURE: Please upload a PDF version of your working paper, by August 4, 2017 via the online submission form at When you select the radio button for “Attendance Category: Participant,” you will see an option to upload a paper.

The FutureLaw Workshop may reimburse presenters and discussants reasonable travel expenses and accommodations. Please let us know if your academic institution does not provide you with travel and accommodation expenses.

CONFERENCE ATTENDANCE: Attendance is free and by invitation only. Academics interested in receiving an invitation to attend but who do not wish to submit a paper may apply online as “observers” at


August 3, 2017 in Call for Papers, Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Feminist Legal Theory CRN Programs at Law & Society Conference

Schedule at a Glance




















June 20, 2017 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Using Feminist Theory to Advance Equal Justice: From the Conference

Linda Berger, Bridget Crawford & Kathy Stanchi have posted Using Feminist Theory to Advance Equal Justice Under Law, 17 Nevada L.J. 539 (2017).  Their essay provides an overview of the Feminist Judgments Conference held in October 2016 at the Center for Constitutional Law at Akron.  Papers from the conference are forthcoming in the Nevada Law Journal and the Akron Law Review.  A talk by Judge Elinore Marsh-Stormer from the conference is available here, Perspectives from the Bench on Feminist Judgments, 8 ConLawNOW 81 (2017).

Progress toward gender justice faces multiple and growing challenges, not only in the United States Supreme Court but at every level of political and cultural debate and decision making. Within this context, feminist theory and methods are more necessary than ever.

It is therefore timely and fitting that more than 200 hundred lawyers, judges, professors, students, and members of the public gathered for The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project: Writing the Law, Rewriting the Future, a two-day conference hosted by the Center for Constitutional Law at The University of Akron School of Law. The conference had several purposes. First and foremost was to celebrate the publication of Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court.1 Both this volume, the first in a series, and its organizing focus, the United States Feminist Judgments Project, grew out of the work of the Women’s Court of Canada and the U.K. Feminist Judgments Project. * * * 


A second purpose of the conference at the Center for Constitutional Law was to provide a forum for asking (and attempting to answer) a series of discrete questions about judges and the judicial function. Prime among these questions is whether judicial diversity matters—that is, whether it is important to have judges who are representative of many different groups of people as well as many different ways of thinking. On a simplistic level, our reaction might be that of course diversity on the bench matters. As Sally Kenney, our conference keynote speaker, eloquently argues, diversity in positions of power in all branches and all levels of government, including representation by women, is a reflection of the health of our nation’s democracy. In Kenney’s view, diversity on the bench is a requirement of a representative democracy—it is a civic right and responsibility.


The conference also sought to raise the “woman question”—the baseline feminist question of the 1980s and 1990s. The “woman question” asks whether women are represented in decision-making positions and how the law affects women. * * *


The third purpose of the conference was to showcase the work of an international group of professors, attorneys, and other researchers who rely on, challenge, complicate, or extend feminist legal theory. The panels at the conference represented a dazzling array of subject matters, methodologies, and inquiries. Evident throughout the conference presentations were what Martha Chamallas has called some of the recurring “moves” of feminist legal theory: treating women’s experiences as an appropriate subject for legal scholarship, exploring complex identities, challenging implicit bias, and unpacking women’s choices.* * *


The fourth and final goal of the conference—and one that extends to the pages of this issue of the Nevada Law Journal—is to create a community. For two days in Akron, Ohio, the assembled group came together to think in a sustained way about the highest and best aspirations for what the law could be, especially as the law relates to the unfinished promise of economic, social, and political equality between and among women, men, and people of all gender identities.


June 15, 2017 in Conferences, Gender | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Program: Mothers and the Constitution

The Institute for Constitutional History is pleased to announce another seminar for advanced graduate students and junior faculty:

 Mothers and the Constitution

Program Content:

The seminar will explore the relationship between the changing practice of motherhood and the law.  Using Supreme Court cases, important state cases, and supplementary historical and statutory materials we will study the many ways that constitutional interpretation and government policy have regulated the lives of different kinds of mothers and occasionally of fathers too. We will organize our discussions around four key issues: Custody and Care, Reproduction, Work, and State Support, focusing on the twentieth century; and taking into account the influence of such factors as race, religion, migration, and sexuality on developing constitutional interpretation. 



The dates the seminar will meet are:  October 6, October 13, November 3, and November 10; Fridays from 2-5 p.m.  The seminar will be held at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York City.


Alice Kessler-Harris is R. Gordon Hoxie Professor of American History, Emerita, at Columbia University where she was also Professor in the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, and held a faculty affiliate appointment in the Columbia University School of Law.  Kessler-Harris specializes in the history of American labor and twentieth century social policy.  Her books include In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in Twentieth Century America (2001), which won the Bancroft, Taft, Joan Kelly and Herbert Hoover prizes; Gendering Labor History (2007), which contains her essays on women, work and social policy, and A Woman’s Wage: Historical Meanings and Social Consequences (1990). She is perhaps best known for the now classic, Out to Work: A History of Wage-Earning Women in the United States (1982, 2001). She is co-editor, among other books of Protecting Women: Labor Legislation in Europe, Australia, and the United States, 1880-1920 (1995); Democracy and Social Rights in the ‘Two Wests’; and Democracy and the Welfare State, which explores the impact of expanding citizenship rights in Western Europe and the U.S.


Carol Sanger is the Barbara Aronstein Black Professor of Law at Columbia Law School where she teaches Contracts, Family Law, and research seminars  on “Meanings of Motherhood: Legal and Historical Perspectives” (with Alice Kessler-Harris) and “Abortion: Law in Context.”  Prof. Sanger’s scholarship focuses on how law influences family formation in such areas as immigration, custody, and adoption, and particularly regarding relationships between mothers and children.  Her  book  About Abortion: Terminating Pregnancy in Twenty-First-Century America (Harvard University Press, 2017) concerns the role of abortion in American culture, politics, and in women’s lives.  Sanger’s 2012 article, The Birth of Death: Stillborn Birth Certificates and the Problem for Law won a prize for “exemplary legal writing” from the journal Green Bag. Sanger is also the senior editor of a leading law school casebook, Contracts: Cases and Materials (8th ed., 2013).

Application Process:

The seminar is designed for graduate students and junior faculty in history, political science, law, and related disciplines.  All participants will be expected to complete the assigned readings and participate in seminar discussions.  Although the Institute cannot offer academic credit directly for the seminar, students may be able to earn graduate credit through their home departments by completing an independent research project in conjunction with the seminar.  Please consult with your advisor and/or director of graduate studies about these possibilities.  Space is limited, so applicants should send a copy of their c.v. and a short statement on how this seminar will be useful to them in their research, teaching, or professional development.  Materials will be accepted only by email at until May 22, 2017 Successful applicants will be notified soon thereafter.  For further information, please contact Maeva Marcus at (202) 994-6562 or send an email to


Additional Information:

There is no tuition or other charge for this seminar, though participants will be expected to acquire the assigned books on their own.


About ICH:

The Institute for Constitutional History (ICH) is the nation’s premier institute dedicated to ensuring that future generations of Americans understand the substance and historical development of the U.S. Constitution. Located at the New York Historical Society and the George Washington University Law School, the Institute is co-sponsored by the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and the American Political Science Association.  The Association of American Law Schools is a cooperating entity.  ICH prepares junior scholars and college instructors to convey to their readers and students the important role the Constitution has played in shaping American society.  ICH also provides a national forum for the preparation and dissemination of humanistic, interdisciplinary scholarship on American constitutional history.

May 16, 2017 in Conferences, Constitutional, Family | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 13, 2017

Presentation: Lessons From Women Shortlisted for the US Supreme Court

Renee Knake presents, What Does it Mean to Be the First? Lessons from Women Shortlisted for the U.S. Supreme Court, with commentary by:

    Judge Vanessa Gilmore, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
    Diane Ralston, Chief Legal Officer, TechnipFMC plc
    Doris Rodriguez, Partner, Andrews Kurth Kenyon

March 13, 2017 in Conferences, SCOTUS | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Judge Nancy Gertner on What it Means to be a Woman Judge

Judge Nancy Gertner, Keynote Speaker, Univ. of Baltimore 9th Feminist Legal Theory Conference (Mar. 2016)

I was on the bench for seventeen years, and I intend to write about that experience. The problem is that while my memoir was funny, this book—on judging—is not. In my memoir, I describe the fact that the only way I could face the discrimination I was facing was to crack jokes about it, to find the humor in horrific situations. I started writing about judging literally the minute I joined the federal bench. I recorded everything I did and why—the palpable change from who I had been on April 26, 1994, when I was an employment discrimination, civil rights, and criminal defense lawyer, and who I was supposed to be on April 27, 1994, when I was sworn in as a judge.

February 21, 2017 in Conferences, Judges | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Women and the Law Conference at Northeastern

Women and the Law Conference at Northeastern University School of Law, May 19, 2017.  On careers, practicing law and the "New Girl" network.

January 24, 2017 in Conferences, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

NEH Summer Seminar on Gender, the State and the 1977 International Women's Year Conference -- Call for Applications


A National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for College & University Faculty

June 12-18, 2017

University of Houston
Houston, TX

Application Deadline: March 1, 2017
Notification Deadline: March 31, 2017

How to Apply

This one-week National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar explores late twentieth century U.S. history through the lens of the National Women’s Conference held in Houston, Texas in 1977. The only federally funded conference of its kind in U.S. history, the National Women’s Conference occurred in conjunction with the United Nations’ International Women’s Year. Approximately 130,000 elected delegates participated in the lead-up state conventions. The final conference convened in Houston to create a National Plan of Action for presentation to President Jimmy Carter. During our first five days together, we will consider the overarching themes related to the work of the conference: political/party realignment, Sunbelt and global politics, democratic representation and state-building, social movement and identity politics, states’ rights and federalism, liberalism and conservatism, deindustrialization and globalization, and Vietnam War and Cold War policy. We will also devote two days to pedagogy, public history, and digital humanities, considering how to introduce the National Women’s Conference in multimedia form to a variety of audiences.

The objectives of this one-week seminar include: 

  • To rediscover the importance of the 1977 IWY National Women’s Conference as a bellwether of shifting gender, sex, race, and class terrain during a pivotal Decade of Women.
  • To achieve an understanding of the 1970s as a “bridge” between midcentury liberalism and modern conservatism.
  • To juxtapose the mass feminist movement of the 1970s and its influence in party politics with the coinciding coalescence of grassroots conservatism and politicization of the imagined American family.
  • To consider the local, federal, and global implications of the National Women’s Conference, thinking about its setting in a particular time and place.
  • To provide educators with pedagogical methods for teaching this subject through foundational texts, digital history tools, and oral histories.


January 17, 2017 in Call for Papers, Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Panels of Interest on Law and Gender at AALS 2017

Wednesday, January 4

8:30 am – 5:15 pm   Why Law Matters: Health and Social Justice (Joint Program of Disability Law, Insurance Law, Medicine and Health Care and Minority Groups, Co-sponsored by Poverty Law and Women in Legal Education) 

10:30 am – 12:15 pm  AALS President’s Program on Diversity

Much recent scholarship has addressed important diversity issues surrounding gender, religion, race, viewpoint, disability, and sexual orientation. Some inquiries been prompted by reflection on issues such as our criminal justice system; protests, including Black Lives Matter, have also spurred greater focus. This President’s Program will seek to answer questions related to on-campus challenges and opportunities around equity and inclusion


Thursday, January 5

8:30 am – 10:15 am: Cultivating Empathy (sponsored by Women in Legal Education and Balance in Legal Education)

Moderator:       Rebecca E. Zietlow, University of Toledo College of Law

Speakers:         Susan L. Brooks, Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law

                        Jamila Jefferson-Jones, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law

                        Rhonda Magee, University of San Francisco School of Law

                        Lisa R. Pruitt, University of California, Davis, School of Law

                        Tirien Steinbach, University of California, Berkeley School of Law

                        Howard M. Wasserman, Florida International University College of Law

This panel will discuss how best to teach students about sensitive issues related to topics of gender, race, poverty, sexual orientation, and other defining characteristics . The panel starts from the premise that professors’ identities affect how we teach and how our teaching is perceived by students. Students’ identities also affect how they learn and how they react when confronted with issues that trigger special sensitivities, or, conversely, issues and topics about which they have no personal experience. How can professors cultivate empathy among the students and raise the students’ emotional intelligence? How can professors best teach students to understand and tolerate differing viewpoints? This is important not only to teaching and learning, but also to the effective representation of clients and practice of law.

@10:15am Women in Legal Education, Business Meeting (following the program at 10:15)


8:30 am – 10:15 am Addressing Implicit Bias in Teaching (sponsored by Section on Clinical Legal Education)

Moderator:       Carol L. Izumi, University of California, Hastings College of the Law

Speakers:         Rachel Godsil, Seton Hall University School of Law

                        Verna Myers, Founder and President, Verna Myers Consulting Group

                        Victoria Plaut, University of California, Berkeley School of Law

According to the Perception Institute, “most Americans believe in racial and gender equality and reject discrimination in any form. Yet, stereotypes embedded in our brains, shaped over time by history and culture, can lead us to view the world through a biased lens and behave contrary to our deeply held egalitarian values.” We are increasingly faced with the realities of the impact that biases have in society, but have we been reflective enough about the role that implicit bias plays in our lives as legal educators? How do implicit biases affect our teaching, and affect us as advocates for justice? How are we addressing the challenges inherent in the effect of biases on our individual and institutional interactions? How do these implicit biases affect students’ perceptions of justice and the law? Where is the line between personal bias and ideology? This session will explore the influence of implicit bias on legal educators: what are our respective biases, and how do they impact our teaching and advocacy; how do they affect students and their ability to challenge them; can we promote our sense of justice without asserting our own biases; and how can we control for implicit bias


8:30am to 10:15am Sex, Death, and Taxes: The Unruly Nature of the Laws of Trusts and Estates (section on Trusts & Estates)

Moderator: Lee-ford Tritt, University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law

Trusts and Estates is a broad-based discipline that impacts private citizens’ decisions about sex, death, and taxes. In individuals’ lives, this field is like an operating system that quietly runs in the background, but in reality organizes and informs the end user’s experience, often without the end user’s full awareness. In practice, the field sits at the crossroads of other legal disciplines such as family law, property law, elder law, and tax law. In the academy, it is caught between the practical and theoretical—a microcosm of the questions at the heart of debates about the value and normative objectives of a legal education. Yet, T&E seems to be under–theorized and marginalized in the academy. Therefore, this panel will interrogate T&E’s unruly nature, entertaining inquiries about the intersectionality of gender, race, sexual orientation, and class; the pervasiveness of succession law in aligned fields; its history of adaptation to changing social norms; and the development and evolution of law reform in this area. The panel will explore new visions for the field and frameworks that disrupt and reimagine the field.


12:00 pm – 1:30 pm – WILE Luncheon and presentation of Ruth Bade Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement Award to Professor Martha Albertson Fineman


1:30 p.m.-3:15 p.m. AALS Academy Program—Still Victims: Continuing the Trauma of Victims of Military Sexual Assault

Moderator:       Marie A. Failinger, Mitchell | Hamline School of Law

Speakers:         Bradford Adams, Manager of Direct Legal Services, Swords to Plowshares

                        Eric R. Carpenter, Florida International University College of Law

                        Janet Mansfield, Policy Attorney and Legal Advisor to the Army Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program, Office of the Judge Advocate General of the United States Army

                        Alison Parker, Director of the U.S. Program, Human Rights Watch

                        Evan R. Seamone, Mississippi College School of Law

In response to the tragedy of sexual assault in the military, Congress and the Department of Defense have recently made several statutory and regulatory reforms to the military justice system to protect victims of sexual assault. However, sexual assault victims continue to run into roadblocks that complicate healing and future opportunities, especially those who experience retaliation for reporting. This program will summarize the 2015 and 2016 Human Rights Watch investigations into sexual assault in the military, and discuss recent changes in legislation and policy in response to these problems. Sexually assaulted servicemen and women continue to face professional retaliation and criminalization for uniquely military offenses like fraternization, resulting in discipline and less than honorable discharges. Many also face lifetime difficulties in obtaining employment, adequate physical and mental health care including disability benefits, and other veterans’ services. The panel will probe military culture factors that contribute to these problems, and difficulties that survivors’ lawyers encounter in representing their clients’ interests. Finally, the program will discuss possible new legal and organizational changes that can contribute to a safer and healthier culture for military assault victims and their advocates, and how law schools can participate in seeking justice for these victims.


1:45 pm – 2:45 pm Concurrent Session, Socio-Economics, Gender, and Family Formation

Moderator:       June Rose Carbone, University of Minnesota Law School

Speakers:         Margaret Friedlander Brinig, Notre Dame Law School

                        Michele Goodwin, University of California, Irvine School of Law

                        Joan S. Meier, The George Washington University Law School

Every recent study of the family observes that marriage has become a marker of class, with whites and Asians, the collegeeducated and the financially secure more likely to raise their children within stable two-parent relationships than others. The question is why? This panel will look at the intersection of gender, law and the changing economy in considering why family arrangements differ by race and class, and the implications for growing inequality in society more generally.


5:30 – 6:30 pm - University of Georgia School of Law Roundtable Discussion on Women's Leadership in Legal Academia – cosponsored by Section on Women in Legal Education.

Women who are or wish to become leaders in academia-as deans or as directors of centers, clinics, or libraries-are invited to join Georgia Law for discussion.


Friday, January 6

10:30 am – 12:15 pm New Horizons: Navigating the Complex Landscape of Title IX Compliance (sponsored by Section on Education Law)

Moderator:       Laura McNeal, University of Louisville, Louis D. Brandeis School of Law

Speakers:         Deborah L. Brake, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

                        John Clune, Attorney, Hutchinson Black and Cook LLC

                        Tanya M. Washington, Georgia State University College of Law

                        Robin Fretwell Wilson, University of Illinois College of Law

This panel will explore emerging institutional challenges in complying with Title IX, in both K-12 and higher education. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from discrimination “on the basis of sex … under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Although originally seen primarily as an initiative to promote gender equity in athletics, the broad language of the law leaves it substantially open to interpretation. Today, a great deal of controversy surrounds the application and breadth of Title IX among educators, administrators, policy makers, and stakeholders in education. This panel will discuss the current challenges in institutional compliance with Title IX such as:

  • The recent Dear Colleague letter on transgender students issued by the U.S. Department of Education, in both its procedural and substantive dimensions;
  • The Dear Colleague letter on sexual harassment issued by the U.S. Department of Education, in both its procedural and substantive dimensions, including its implications for due process rights of accused persons;
  • The effects of Title IX on student and faculty expression, and its interaction with academic freedom and principles of free speech.


1:30 pm – 3:15 pm Setting the Post-Obergefell Agenda (sponsored by Section on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues)

Moderator:       Steven J. Macias, Southern Illinois University School of Law

Speakers:         Courtney G. Joslin, University of California, Davis, School of Law

                        Kate Kendell, Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights

                        Craig Konnoth, University of Pennsylvania Law School

                        Peter Nicolas, University of Washington School of Law

Since the 2015 Obergefell decision, LGBT legal issues have run the gamut from the actual enforcement of marriage equality to religious freedom challenges to trans rights in the public schools to bans on conversion therapy—at least according to major media accounts. This panel seeks to gauge the current interests of scholars as to the most pressing post-marriage-equality issues and how those issues stand in the wake of Obergefell. Is Obergefell’s reach felt throughout the range of current litigation, or is it proving to be more limited, or perhaps even a hindrance?


Saturday, January 7

8:30 am – 10:15 am – SpeedMentoring – Sponsored by Section on Women in Legal Education.

January 3, 2017 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

17th Annual Women and the Law Conference at Thomas Jefferson

Women and the Law Conference 2017


9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

1155 Island Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

Registration | Schedule | MCLE 

Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s 17th Annual Women and the Law Conference, Pursuing Inclusion: Diversity in the Workplace, will be held on Friday, February 3, 2017 at Thomas Jefferson School of Law.


This conference brings together leading experts and practitioners to examine the challenges to and strategies for achieving workplace diversity and inclusion. At a time of polarized public discourse on matters involving race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation and identity, disability, age, and socio-economic status, this event will highlight a number of critically important topics, including: developing cultural competency; the strengths and weaknesses in employment and civil rights law; identifying and overcoming unconscious bias; how strategic efforts can inform public policy; and how other countries confront diversity at a time when work is changing rapidly.


Professor Leticia Saucedo, Professor of Law at UC Davis School of Law, will deliver the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lecture. A cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School and member of the American Law Institute, Saucedo was previously Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, a Visiting Professor at Duke University School of Law, and a staff attorney at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.  She is an expert in employment, labor, and immigration law. Saucedo continues in a long line of illustrious speakers who have been honored as the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lecturer, a lecture series Justice Ginsburg generously established for Thomas Jefferson in 2003.


Other speakers include:  Mario Barnes, Associate Dean and Professor of Law, UC Irvine; Zahra Billoo, Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations, San Francisco Chapter; Susan Bisom-Rapp, Associate Dean and Professor of Law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law; Julie Greenberg, Professor Emerita, Thomas Jefferson School of Law; Anne Koenig, Associate Professor of Psychology, University of San Diego; Rebecca Lee, Associate Professor of Law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law; Doreen Mattingly, Associate Professor of Women’s Studies, San Diego State University; Miranda McGowan, Professor of Law, University of San Diego School of Law; Patti Perez, Shareholder, Ogletree Deakins; Camille Gear Rich, Associate Provost and Professor of Law and Sociology, University of Southern California; Malcolm Sargeant, Professor of Labour Law, Middlesex University Business School, London; Susan Tiefenbrun, Professor of Law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

December 22, 2016 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

CFP The Intimate State: Gender, Sexuality and Governance in Modern US History

CFP: The Intimate State:Gender, Sexuality and Governance in Modern U.S. History

The Intimate State: Gender, Sexuality, and Governance in Modern U.S. History
Call for Proposals: Due April 10, 2017
Editors: Margot Canaday, Nancy Cott, & Robert Self
We are soliciting original history essays—archive-based research on specific topics, as well as conceptual essays addressing more abstract questions—regarding gender, sexuality and the state for a new edited volume. We seek to bring twenty-five years of scholarship on gender, sexuality, and the family to bear on the history of modern state authority in the United States (1865 to the present). While the volume will reach back to the Reconstruction era and value this history as such, we also hope to point toward a usable past in an uncertain present.
The historical study of state power (its accumulation at various scales, its structures,and its modes of operation) is a longstanding field while that of gender, sex, and sexuality is relatively young though very vibrant. For the most part, these two fields have produced their profoundest insights and advancements without substantial dialogue with one another. Yet contemporary developments and recent scholarship have made it plain that government action at the local, state and federal levels is entwined with incentives, obligations and punishments related to gender and sexuality, and that decisions imagined as personal and intimate choices are almost always already structured by state rules.
These collected essays will aim to demonstrate that the involvements of government authority in intimate life warrant greater historical analysis and theorization than they have generated to date. We envision a volume that encourages scholars whose primary intellectual commitment is to the history of gender and sexuality to leverage that scholarship in the service of new understandings of modern state power (whether at local, state, regional, national, or transnational scales) and that scholars of state authority will also be persuaded to attend more to the insights of gender and sexuality studies in their scholarship. How might the history of American state development—its periodization, its overall theorization—look different at every governmental level from the local to the federal when questions of gender and sexuality move to the center of the analytical frame? The volume invites intersectional approaches to that question, foregrounding the relationship of gender, sexuality, and state power to race, class, and other categories of analysis and experience, and also welcomes contributions that are transnational or comparative in their approach.
Possible topics might include gender/sexuality and:
--borders of the nation/immigration
--racism, racial violence
--political economy
--penal power and incarceration
--electoral/party politics
--militarization and war
--national security
As well as state power/regulation and:
--forms of marriage, nonmarriage, marital dissolution
--commercialized sex/sex work
--sexual violence
--sexual science, eugenics
--reproduction, contraception, abortion
--LGBT rights
--transgender lives and experiences
Please send an abstract of no more than 750 words, including references to major sources for the research if archive-based, to Margot Canaday (, Nancy Cott (, and Robert Self ( by April 10, 2017, along with a one-page CV. Authors will be notified by June 1, 2017, of their selection to participate in a conference to be held at Brown University in January of 2018. Essays (of no more than 10,000 words) to be circulated for the conference will be due December 15, 2017.

December 14, 2016 in Call for Papers, Conferences, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Gender, Judging, and Judicial Crisis

This article in the Akron Legal News Is the Judicial Selection Process in Crisis? details political science professor Sally Kenney's keynote speech from the recent Feminist Judgments conference.    

These are dangerous times for judicial appointments, according to Sally J. Kenney, an expert on judicial selection and social movements.

Kenney, the author of the book “Gender and Justice: Why Women in the Judiciary Really Matter," was the keynote speaker for “The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project."

. . . . 

Kenney said it is important that more women and minority men serve on the bench, and that it is no longer enough that judges are well qualified.


 “We need to know what their positions are on domestic violence and sexual assault,” she said. “Do they believe boys need their fathers even if those fathers were batterers? And joint custody puts mothers at risk? Do they believe women routinely lie about domestic violence in divorce cases or sexual assault in general? Do they easily dismiss women’s fear of stalkers and harassers? Do police officers and those serving in the military who are more likely than the general population to be batterers deserve to retain their firearms even after threatening intimates?”


 Judges should consistently uphold rules even when those rules go against the political party of the president who appointed them, Kenney said, adding that senators should be held accountable for failing to do their job.


 “No one disputes whether Merrick Garland is qualified. No one thinks he has extreme political views,” she said. “Now it appears senators can just say ‘no.’”


 Kenney also said it is important that judges be willing to change positions when confronted with social facts. 


“I think we should be able to demand that judges be the most distinguished members of the legal profession, without having to turn them into deductive machines or robots or think of them as neutrals,” she said. 


“I also believe the issue is not the difference women make on the bench, but the message their absence sends,” she added. “It is important to have women and minority men on the bench. 

November 3, 2016 in Books, Conferences, Courts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What are Feminist Judgments?

The US Feminist Judgments Conference is this week here at Akron Law.

The background materials for the conference include articles and essays exploring the foundational ideas of the conference, including what feminism means, what feminist judgments are and why we might need them, and the difference feminist decision making might make.  To review the materials, go here:  US Feminist Judgments CLE Materials

Table of Contents:

Kathyrn Stanchi, Linda Berger, & Bridget Crawford, Introduction to the Book: Feminist Judgments (Cambridge 2016)


Sally Kenney, Thinking About Gender and Judging (2008)


Sally Kenney, Wise Latinas, Strategic Minnesotans, and the Feminist Standpoint: The Backlash Against Women Judges, Thomas Jefferson L.Review (2013)


Heather Roberts & Laura Sweeney, Why (Re)Write Judgments? (2014)


Erika Rackley, What a Difference Difference Makes (2008)


Rosemary Hunter, Can Feminist Judges Make a Difference? (2008)


Rosemary Hunter, Feminist Judgments as Teaching Resources, Oñati Socio-legal Series (2012)


Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Lecture: A Latina Judge’s Voice (2009)


Justice Sotomayor, dissenting, Utah v. Strieff, 579 U.S. ___, 136 S. Ct. 2056 (2015)


Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124 (2007)


Justice Ginsburg, dissenting in Gonzales


Beverley Baines, Why Not Nine? (2016)


Tracy Thomas & TJ Boisseau, Law, History & Feminism, Introduction to Feminist Legal History (NYU Press 2012) 


October 18, 2016 in Conferences, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 17, 2016

US Feminist Judgments Conference This Week

It's finally time for the US Feminist Judgments Conference this week, Thursday Oct. 20th and Friday Oct. 21st at Akron Law.  I will be blogging and tweeting live from the conference here, and @ProfTracyThomas and @conlawcenter.  Follow hashtag #FemJConf

The full conference program is here: Rewriting the Law, Writing the Future Program

Featured speakers include: Linda Berger, Bridget Crawford, Kathryn Stanchi, Berta Hernández-Truyol, Jamie Abrams, Shoshanna Ehrlich, Yvonne Lindgren, Margaret Johnson, Meghan Boone, Teri McMurtry-Chubb, Valorie Vojdik, Martha Chamallas, Danshera Cords, Jonathan Crock, Phyllis Goldfarb, Wilson Huhn, Shaakirrah Sanders, Hannah Brenner, Renee Knake, Meg Penrose, Anibal Rosario Lebron, Lisa Avalos, Nancy Cantalupo, Joanne Sweeny, Corey Yung, Karen Gross, Wendy Hess, Kimberly Holst, Susan Salmon, Elizabeth Kukura, Kalyani Robbins, Jessica Feinberg, Nicole Porter, Natalie Nanasi, Kim Holst, Emily Meyer, Navid Khazanei, Deborah Saybolt, Tara Willke, Laura Rosenbury, and Tracy Thomas.

A special panel of judges' will include Eve Belfance, City Attorney Akron, former Judge; Ohio Court of Appeals Karen Nelson Moore, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; Mary Margaret Rowlands, Judge, Summit County Court of Common Pleas; Elinore Marsh Stormer, Judge, Ohio Probate Court

The keynote speaker will be political scientist Sally Kenney speaking on "The Difference Gender Makes to Judging."


October 17, 2016 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Preview of AALS Programs on Gender & Law

Here's the full schedule: 2017 AALS Annual Meeting Schedule at a Glance

Not a big year for feminist inquiry per se.  Panels of interest to law & gender include:

[4050] Joint Program of Disability Law, Insurance Law, Law, Medicine and Health Care and Minority Groups, Co-Sponsored by Poverty Law and Women in Legal Education – Why Law Matters: Health and Social Justice


[5070] Clinical Legal Education – Addressing Implicit Bias in Teaching


[5160] Women In Legal Education, CoSponsored by Minority Groups, Balance in Legal Education – Cultivating Empathy


[1411] Women in Legal Education Luncheon. Ticket price is $85 per person.


[5250] Employment Discrimination Law, Co-Sponsored by Women in Legal Education – Responding to Fisher v. Texas


[7110] Women in Legal Education – Speed Mentoring


[6270] Education Law – Title IX and Transgender Student Rights: Looking Ahead


October 13, 2016 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rethinking Gender Forums

The Rethinking Gender Forums sponsored by the University of Akron Women's Studies program brings together colleagues from multiple disciplines to deepen the dialogue and understanding of gender issues.  


Wednesday October 19, 2016

“Never Could Make Enough To Get Ahead: Southern Freedwomen's Work in Socio-historical Perspective”

Dr. Kathryn Feltey, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology


Wednesday November 16, 2016

“Going Back in Time: Whiteness, Maleness, and the Lure of Cinematic Nostalgia”

Dr. Kara Kvaran, Department of Women’s Studies


Wednesday February 15, 2017

“The Perils of Perfection: Why Girls Should Be Bold and Imperfect”

Dr. Robin Prichard, Associate Professor, School of Dance, Theatre, and Arts Administration


Wednesday March 22, 2017

“Poetry Lives! Two Akron Women Poets on Gender, the Body, and Surprise”

Dr. Mary Biddinger, Associate Professor, English Department, and Holly Brown, Author


Wednesday April 19, 2017

“College Students’ Caregiving Responsibilities and Its Impact on College Performance”

Dr. Pam Schulze, Professor and Director of the Center for Family Studies

October 13, 2016 in Conferences, Gender | Permalink | Comments (0)