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Fall 2022 Course

Communication, Law and Social Justice

Prerequisites: None

Exam Type: One-Day Take-home

This course will introduce students to the role that written, oral, and multi-media communications play in the development of American law and policy, with a focus on social issues and movements. Using as case studies movements for racial equity, criminal justice reform, immigrant rights, gender equity, environmental protection, and economic opportunity, we will explore how change agents on multiple sides have used strategic framing and messaging, communications campaigns, and art and culture to influence – and in some instances transform – relevant law and policy. We will also examine how communication principles apply to U.S. Supreme Court advocacy. And we will study the ethical rules and parameters that regulate attorneys’ communications regarding pending litigation and broader legal advocacy.

Class participation and a final exam will count for a significant portion of students’ final grade. Assigned material will include cases, legislation, legal scholarship, social science literature, and mass media works.