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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 Honorable Kenneth Neiman (ret.) will moderate all sessions.

The fall 2019 Mini-Law School program will take place on Tuesdays, October 15, 22, 29, and November 5,  at 6:00 – 8:00 PM.

2019 marks Western New England University’s Centennial and we are celebrating this milestone with special events throughout the year. This year’s Mini-Law School program will be a part of the celebration by covering one-hundred years of developments and milestones in compelling areas of law.

The following presentations will provide a historical retrospective as well as the current relevance of the law.

Tuesday, 10/15 – Professor Erin Buzuvis
100 Years of Gender Equality 
This session will examine the major milestones for gender equality in the last 100 years, including the ratification of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote, the recognition of gender equality as statutorily and constitutionally protected civil right, and the emergence of a constitutional right to reproductive freedom. We will discuss both the advances and the shortfalls in the effort to secure gender equality, including from the perspective of intersections based on race and LGBTQ status, as well as the trajectory of the gender equality movement in the current political moment.

Tuesday, 10/22 – Professor Julie Steiner
100 Years of Cannabis Law
The last century has been marked by dramatic change for cannabis law and regulation.  In this session, Professor Steiner will highlight 100 years of important legal developments, including criminalization, the "War on Drugs," state-level legalization, and the proliferation of a new cannabis industry. 

Tuesday, 10/29 – Professor Justin Dion
100 Years of Consumer Protection Law
Join us for an interesting discussion on how society balances the rights of consumers against the rights of businesses, both historically and currently.  Professor Dion will examine how unregulated business practices often preyed on unsophisticated consumers, causing financial (and sometimes physical) harms.  Consumers who incurred debt faced harsh penalties for non-payment, including debtors’ prison.  Recognizing the unfairness, state laws and federal agencies created protections that both shielded the consumer and punished wrongful business practices.  Professor Dion will discuss how the evolution of modern bankruptcy laws have also provided significant protection to consumers.  Professor Dion will conclude with a glimpse into what the future of consumer protection will likely hold going forward into the next 100 years. 

Tuesday, 11/5 – Professor Matthew Charity
100 Years of International Criminal Law
On June 28, 1919, the Treaty of Versailles included an agreement by Germany to the prosecution of Kaiser Wilhelm II as part of the settlement of the First World War.  One-hundred years later, we have moved closer to a transnational understanding of culpability for atrocity crimes – war crimes, crimes against humanity, aggression, and genocide – through national, international, and hybrid courts.  At the same time, we see impunity for crimes go on far too long.  Join us, as Professor Matthew Charity discusses 100 years in International Criminal Law.

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 ($20 for students with a current ID).

Mini-Law School Registration