Law School January Term brings outstanding scholars to Hawai'i

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Cynthia D. Quinn, (808) 956-7966
Interim, Associate Dean for Student Services, William S Richardson School of Law
Posted: Jan 12, 2012

UH Mānoa's William S. Richardson School of Law brings five outstanding visiting faculty members to Hawaiʻi this year for J-Term (January Term) to teach intensive courses during the break between semesters that began this week. Visiting J-Term faculty include Federal District Judge Edward M. Chen from San Francisco; Harvard Law Professor Christine Desan; Stanford Law Professor Lawrence M. Friedman; Brooklyn Law Professor Elizabeth Schneider, and New York University Law Professor Kenji Yoshino.

The J-Term program, launched in 2005, gives law students the bonus of specialized mini-courses taught by stellar professors and judges. Frank Boas, a generous supporter of the Law School, annually sponsors one visiting Harvard professor each J-Term. Christine Desan is the 2012 Frank Boas Visiting Harvard Professor.

The Wallace S. Fujiyama Distinguished Visiting Professor Fund supports many of the other J-Term professors.

“We are particularly excited to host these great scholars who come to the Law School to inspire and to teach and who broaden our tradition of excellence throughout our curriculum,” said Law School Dean Avi Soifer. “This program, offers a tremendous opportunity for everyone at the Law School, and throughout the community, to learn directly from world-renowned scholars who are wonderfully accessible and who also learn about us and about Hawai‘i.”

Christine Desan, Harvard Law School, Frank Boas Visiting Harvard Professor, will teach “Law 546H Legal Theory - “Money & the U.S. Constitution.” This course explores a set of constitutional controversies over the shape of money and credit, and considers what impact the outcomes of those controversies had. Money and credit are public institutions created by law. As the financial crisis revealed, the way they are configured matters enormously.

Desan has taught at Harvard Law School since 1992 and became a full professor in 1998. Her areas of interest include Civil Procedure, Constitutional History, Legal History, and Legal Theory. Desan graduated in 1981 from Princeton University majoring in Religion. She earned her J.D./M.A.L.D. in 1987 from Yale Law School and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. After graduation, she worked in the U.S. Office of the Solicitor General. Desan is the co-leader with Professor Sven Beckert of Harvard‘s Workshop on the Political Economy of Modern Capitalism. Desan‘s current research focuses on money and the market as a pairing of form and substance that organizes the political economy of modern liberalism. She is currently completing a book called Making Money: Coin, Credit, and the Coming of Capitalism in the Anglo-American World.

Elizabeth Schneider, Brooklyn Law School, Wallace S. Fujiyama Visiting Professor, will teach “Law 546I Legal Practice - “Women and the Law Stories.” This course will explore current issues of gender and law through the lens of stories of major cases in the field. It will examine the intersections of gender, race, ethnicity, class, and sexual orientation through these stories and analyze the role of law, culture, and social movements in seeking legal change.  The text will be Elizabeth M. Schneider and Stephanie M. Wildman, Women and the Law Stories (Foundation Press, 2011), and excerpts of the cases being discussed.

Schneider is the Rose L. Hoffer Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School. She is a national and international expert in the fields of federal civil litigation, procedure, gender law, and domestic violence. She is the author of the prize-winning book, Battered Women and Feminist Lawmaking (Yale University Press, 2000), and co-author of several other books in this area. She also has written numerous articles and book chapters on civil rights, civil procedure, women's rights, and domestic violence. She has lectured around the world and participated in trainings of lawyers and judges about gender in countries such as China, Vietnam, and South Africa. She was a consultant for the Secretary-General's Report on All Forms of Violence Against Women, submitted to the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2006. Professor Schneider is the Director of the Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Law Fellowship Program at Brooklyn Law School, which she founded and has led for more than 25 years. She joined the Brooklyn Law School faculty in 1983, after clerking for the late United States District Judge Constance Baker Motley, serving as Staff Attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Staff Attorney with the Rutgers Law School-Newark Constitutional Litigation Clinic. She received her undergraduate degree from Bryn Mawr College, a M.Sc. in Political Sociology from the London School of Economics, and a J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was an Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Fellow.

Honorable Edward Chen Judge, USDC San Francisco, will teach the course Law 546G Public Law - “The Confirmation of Federal Judges: Law & Policy.” This course examines the nomination and confirmation process and focuses on a range of issues that arise from that process. The course will be taught with participation from Professor Eric Yamamoto and civil rights attorney Dale Minami (lead counsel in the Korematsu coram nobis case, and active in the judicial screening and selection process).

Judge Chen earned a bachelor's degree in 1975 from the University of California, Berkeley and a law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law in 1979. Chen served in judicial clerkships for United States District Judge Charles Renfrew from June 1979 until April 1980 and United States Circuit Judge James R. Browning from June 1981 until June 1982. From 1982 until 1985, he was an associate at the San Francisco law firm of Coblentz, Cahen, McCabe & Breyer. In September 1985, Chen became a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, specializing in language discrimination cases. He held that post until April 2001 when the judges on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California named Chen to an eight-year term as a federal magistrate judge. Chen served as a federal magistrate judge from 2001 until 2011.

Lawrence M. Friedman, Stanford Law School, will teach “Law 546C Rule of Law- “Gone But Not Forgotten: Topics in American Legal History.” This course will look at some selected topics in American legal history with the basic aim of exploring the relationship between American law and society at various points of time.

An internationally renowned, prize-winning legal historian, Friedman has for a generation been the leading expositor of the history of American law to a global audience of lawyers and lay people alike—and a leading figure in the law and society movement. He is particularly well known for treating legal history as a branch of general social history. From his award-winning History of American Law, first published in 1973, to his American Law in the 20th Century, published in 2003, his canonical works have become classic textbooks in legal and undergraduate education. Professor Friedman, the Marion Rice Kirkwood Professor of Law at Stanford, is a prolific author and his numerous books have been translated into multiple languages. He is the recipient of six honorary law degrees and is a fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Before joining the Stanford Law School faculty in 1968, he was a professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School and at Saint Louis University School of Law. Professor Friedman has an appointment (by courtesy) with the Stanford University Department of History and the Department of Political Science and teaches extremely popular undergraduate as well as law courses.

Kenji Yoshino, NYU Law School, will teach “Law 546E Diversity - “Same Sex Marriage on Trial.” This course will examine the legal issues surrounding same-sex marriage in Perry v. Schwarzenegger (now Perry v. Brown), a case challenging California‘s ban on same-sex marriage on federal constitutional grounds. This case, which many think will go to the U.S. Supreme Court, has been widely compared to the 1925 Scopes trial because of the breadth of the issues it addresses. Yoshino is currently writing a book on this subject; the readings for the course will include draft chapters of the manuscript.

Yoshino is the Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at the NYU School of Law. Prior to moving to NYU, he was the inaugural Guido Calabresi Professor of Law and Deputy Dean of Intellectual Life at Yale Law School, where he taught from 1998 to 2008. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College, took a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, and earned his law degree at Yale Law School. A specialist in constitutional law, antidiscrimination law, and law and literature, Yoshino has published in major academic journals, including the Columbia Law Review, Harvard Law Review,  Stanford Law Review, and Yale Law Journal. His award-winning book, Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights (Random House 2006) has been chosen as the "first-year book" by Pomona College, University of North Carolina, University of Richmond, and Virginia Commonwealth University. His second book A Thousand Times More Fair: What Shakespeare’s Plays Teach Us About Justice (Harper Collins 2011) was published last spring. Yoshino was elected an Overseer of Harvard University in 2011.