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Mini-Law School

Mini-Law School offers non-lawyers an understanding of legal topics that impact their everyday lives. Each class is taught by Western New England School of Law faculty.

The fall 2018 Mini-Law School Program will take place on October 2, 9, 16, and 23 from  6:00 – 8:00 PM.
The Honorable Kenneth Neiman (ret.) will moderate all sessions.


Tuesday, October 2 – Professor Julie Steiner
Marijuana Law and Policy
This session will focus on how society has historically, and is currently, regulating marijuana. Prof. Steiner will discuss why cannabis is federally illegal, and what that means for those who sell, transport, or consume it. She will address the current evolving approaches to marijuana regulation in Massachusetts, notwithstanding federal law, and major legalization issues such as cannabis impaired driving, youth activities, health consequences, banking, drug free zones, and attorney ethics.

Tuesday, October 9 – Professor Harris Freeman
Labor Rights of Public Employees: Free Loaders, Unions Dues, and Teacher Strikes
This session will explore how the First Amendment and labor law intersects in governing the free speech and labor rights of public employees. The focus will be on the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on whether public sector employees should be required to pay union dues and the legal issues surrounding the massive strike wave of public school teachers in West Virginia, Tennessee, Arizona, and elsewhere that occurred in the spring of 2017. ​

Tuesday, October 16 – Professor Tina Cafaro
Understanding the Criminal Court Process
Being charged with a crime starts an individual on a long journey through the court system. Along the way, a defendant will meet many people and attend different court hearings set up to safeguard an individual’s constitutional rights. This session will follow a case through criminal court and will explain the nuts and bolts of each court hearing. Topics will include what happens at the police station after an arrest, how a complaint gets issued, the purpose of arraignment and bail, what occurs at the pre-trial conference, and what takes place during a criminal trial.  

Tuesday, October 23 – Professor Eric Gouvin
Corporate Law: The Case of Dodge v. Ford
In 1919, the Michigan Supreme Court handed down a decision that appears in virtually every casebook on corporate law – the celebrated case of Dodge v. Ford.  The decision involves a point of corporate law concerning the purpose of the corporate form and the permissible level of discretion allowed to directors of corporations.  Beyond those aspects of corporate law, however, the case provides a wonderful jumping-off point to discuss a wide range of business law topics and the interaction of law, economics, and business.  Prof. Eric Gouvin will provide the context to understand the case by describing the early automobile industry and then will discuss the arguments in the case, the personalities behind the dispute, and the ramifications of the decision.

The Mini-Law School is directed by Pat Newcombe, associate dean for Library and Information Resources, and Beth D. Cohen, associate dean for Academic Affairs.

Cost for all sessions is $35.00.

Register for Fall 2018 Mini-Law School