Archive for August, 2020

August 31, 2020

Ron Brown Prep Program Joins Forces with WNBA and NBA

Under Professor Elaine Chiu’s leadership along with Director Kamille Dean, the Ron Brown Center and its Prep Program this summer heeded the urgent call for action from St. John’s Law students to address the continuing crisis of racial injustice in our country. In its 15th summer, the Prep Program  had its first virtual summer and also its busiest summer ever, serving 95 diverse students across four distinct programs with their journeys to law school.  Three of the four programs were new initiatives; the High School Sports Law Program was especially ground-breaking because of the unique collaboration between two local professional sports teams (the WNBA’s New York Liberty and the NBA G League’s Long Island Nets) and the Law School. 

Here is a write-up in the New York Post, applauding the teams and the Prep Program for stepping up together to meet the challenge with meaningful, impactful investment into the future of young people. 

The efforts of the Ron Brown Prep Program would not have been successful without the hard work of many people including faculty members Professors Robin Boyle, Rosa Castello, Jeremy Sheff and Rachel Smith, program coordinator Christine Kowlessar (St. John’s Law JD, Class of 2019), and five outstanding current law students (Aminah Ali, Benjamin Ranalli, Ridmila Singh, Zachary Sobel and Ashley Williams).  We are also grateful for the commitment of Dean Michael A. Simons and Associate Dean Sarah Kelly.

Elaine M. Chiu
Professor of Law & Faculty Director, Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights
Robin A. Boyle Laisure
Professor of Legal Writing
Rosa Castello
Professor of Legal Writing & Assistant Faculty Director of the Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights
Jeremy N. Sheff
Professor of Law & Director, Intellectual Property Law Center
Rachel H. Smith
Professor of Legal Writing & Associate Dean for Experiential & Skills-Based Education

August 31, 2020

Barrett’s Recent Online Lectures & Conversations

During this unusual summer, Professor John Q. Barrett delivered a number of online lectures and participated in a number of online conversations, all posted on YouTube—

• On May 26, he, Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution, and Professor Kate Klonick discussed former U.S. Attorney General and former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson (1892-1954), on an episode of Ben’s and Kate’s web show “In Lieu of Fun”:

• On June 11, he discussed “Justice Jackson’s June 1945 Report to President Truman” with Robert H. Jackson Center president Kristan McMahon:

• On June 15, he gave a lecture, “Understanding the Nuremberg Trials,” at a Museum of Jewish Heritage teacher training program:

• On July 6, he introduced and interviewed Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post, Chautauqua Institution’s 16th annual Robert H. Jackson Lecturer on the Supreme Court of the United States:

For additional information on this and previous Jackson Lectures at Chautauqua Institution, click this Jackson List post.

• On July 27, he gave a lecture, “Summing Up at Nuremberg 74 Years Ago This Week: Justice Robert H. Jackson’s Closing Statement at the Nazi War Crimes Trial,” hosted by the Holocaust Memorial & Toleration Center of Nassau County, NY:

• On August 8, he lectured (starting at time counter reading 10:10) about Justice Jackson, in an international program, “The Age of Robert H. Jackson: London, Nuremberg, Today,” commemorating the 75th anniversary of the signing of the historic August 8, 1945, London Agreement.  Click here for the full program:

For additional information on this program and a roster of participants, click this Jackson List post.

August 26, 2020

Registration Open for Wade’s Virtual Book Launch

Join us as we celebrate the publication of Predatory Lending and the Destruction of the African-American Dream (Cambridge University Press) by law professors Janis Sarra and Cheryl L. Wade.

The book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how systemic anti-black racism has caused and continues to widen the racial wealth gap between black and white Americans. It provides cogent insight in the aftermath of the ongoing global protests against institutional racism and is a crucial contribution to the discourse about why black (economic) lives matter.

With a distinguished panel, the authors will lead a conversation about twenty-first century economic exploitation through predatory lending practices that intentionally target African Americans.

Date and Time: Thursday, September 17th, at 5:30-6:30 pm (Eastern)


Cheryl L. Wade
Dean Harold F. McNiece Professor of Law

August 24, 2020

Allen’s Article to be Published in the UCLA Law Review

Professor Renee Nicole Allen’s article, From Academic Freedom to Cancel Culture: Silencing Black Women in the Legal Academy, will be published in the UCLA Law Review. From the abstract:

“The story of black women law professors in the legal academy has yet to be told.”  -Emma Coleman Jordan, 1990

In 1988, Black women law professors formed the Northeast Corridor Collective of Black Women Law Professors, a supportive network of Black women in the legal academy. They met and shared personal experiences with systemic gendered racism. A few years later, their stories were transformed into articles that appeared in a symposium edition of the Berkeley Women’s Law Journal. Since, Black women and women of color have published articles and books about their experiences with presumed incompetence, outsider status, and silence. The story of Black women in the legal academy has been told. And, in 2020, contemporary voices resemble voices from long ago.  ​

This article updates and contextualizes the treatment of Black women law professors. While cancel culture is intended to punish or shame bad actors, in legal academia, Black women are canceled for simply existing.  This article explores the ways white academic norms, like academic freedom and hierarchy, explicitly and implicitly silence Black women and “cancel” their academic careers. As a result of the systemic gendered racism inherent in existing norms, Black women are silenced by intersectional microaggressions, white tears, and tokenism. They suffer intersectional battle fatigue, a consequence of having to negotiate identity in ways that result in physical, psychological, and emotional trauma. After defining law schools as white spaces and exploring cancellation tactics, this article encourages law schools to reevaluate academic norms to create positive experiences for Black women. Amid social unrest, the legal academy is prime to be a key player in modern social justice movements. But first, it must address inequities within. 

Renee Nicole Allen
Assistant Professor of Legal Writing

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