Legal Studies Monthly Newsletter

April, 2022

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Ariel Ludwig

New Kay Fellow

April Trivia Question!

Guess right and you can win lunch with Daniel Breen and a surprise guest!

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The Legal Studies Program is excited to welcome Dr. Ariel Ludwig as the Florence Levy Kay Fellow in Machine Learning, Law, and Racial Justice!

Across her early career, public health training, and doctoral Science and Technology in Society (STS) training; she has remained dedicated to addressing the intersection of mass incarceration, biomedicine, and technology. This culminated in her ethnographic dissertation titled "The Carceral Body Multiple: Intake in the New York City jails."

Dr. Ariel Ludwig's ANTH 126a is cross-listed with the Legal Studies Program.


"The original Supreme Court of Georgia consisted of Judges Joseph Lumpkin, Eugenius Nisbet and Hiram Warner. Which of the three described themselves as "outdoorsy" in their e-harmony dating profile?"

The first 3 students who submit the right answer will be invited to the faculty club for a lunch with Prof. Dan Breen and surprise guest!

Submit Guess Here!

*Last Month's Answer: The answer is 972 Tafts (that includes not only Tafts standing up right, but also layers of Tafts laying perpendicular on top of the upright Tafts). Dan arrived at this number in rigorous fashion. Want to know more? Please ask Dan next time you see him on campus!

Community Shout-outs!

We love highlighting the great work of the students in our program, if there is anyone you would like to give a shout-out, please email at [email protected]. The more the merrier!

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Want a closer look?

Recent & Upcoming Events:

Stephen Pina Classroom Visit


Stephen Pina visited Lecturer Aaron Bray's class, LGLS-110A | The War on Drugs or The War on Us? Bray, a new lecturer, and returning alum worked on Pina's case nearly 10 years ago as an undergrad at Brandeis' Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. Stephen Pina after serving 28 years in prison was released back into his community this March. Pina took time just 14 days after his release to talk with students in Bray's class, saying he wanted to give back to Bray and others in the Brandeis community who contributed to his case. During the classroom visit, Pina shared his thoughts about, as well as his experience inside, the carceral system. The nearly hour and a half discussion touched on a wide range of topics, with Pina sharing about: reconnecting with family and acclimating since his release, his respect and affinity for his close friend Sean Ellis, his love for 90s slow jams, and his want to counting works towards the release of other incarcerated people. Pina left the class with a few words of wisdom..."Injustice anywhere is injustice felt everywhere - know your smoke."

Discussion with Dr. Judith Edersheim, JD, MD.

Dr. Judith Edersheim, JD, MD, the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Center for Law, Brain, & Behavior, provided a fascinating lecture during an open classroom discussion in Professor Rosalind Kabrhel's Law & Psychology class on April 5th. Dr. Edersheim, a forensic psychiatrist, discussed how her work as an expert in cases of wrongful conviction and how she is using neuroscience to promote conviction integrity and criminal justice reform.

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Present and Defend – Brandeis ENACT students advocate for Massachusetts legislation

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Join us Tuesday, April 26, 2022 from 2:00-3:15 PM at Alumni Lounge in the Usdan Student Center for “Present and Defend” and exercise your right to influence public policy!

The students of the Brandeis University ENACT course “Advocacy for Policy Change” will try to persuade you to vote for their bills, which are currently being considered by the Massachusetts State Legislature.

Bill topics include sex education, drug policy, healthcare, access to menstrual products, plastic bag use, gender identity, universal school meals, immigrant rights, juvenile justice, homelessness, and mental health crisis care. 


"Advocacy for Policy Change" is a part of ENACT: The Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation, a national non-partisan program based at Brandeis. Across the United States undergraduates in ENACT courses engage directly with their state legislatures. In 2022 ENACT completed its expansion to all 50 U.S. states. For more information, email [email protected].

Restoring Our Community: Activism after Incarceration

Please join BEJI on Tuesday, April 26th at 5pm EDT at Golding Judaica 101 for an inspiring panel that will highlight empowerment and community activism after incarceration.

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Carceral Justice Book Drive

"Have books you want to get rid of before summer? Interested in impacting the lives of others through literature? Join the Brandeis Educational Justice Initiative in donating gently used books to incarcerated people across the country. Literature is critical to the social, spiritual, political, and communal lives of all people, and those in the carceral system often have few or no ways of accessing books. The Prison Book Program serves over 10,000 prisoners each year in the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico, with most books provided through community donations! Scan the code in our flier or click here to learn what kinds of books we can accept and to read about the impact books can have on incarcerated folk. The donation period will be open from Monday, April 25th - Thursday, May 12th. Donation boxes will be located in the SCC lobby, Mandel Atrium, and Heller School entryway. Reach out to Maggie DiPierdomenico with any questions."

Clubs & Activities Updates:



The Right to Immigration Institute (TRII- pronounced "tree")

  • Legal Studies student Alejandro Bracamontes (IGS), the Executive Director of TRII, was named a 2021-2023 Soros Justice Fellow in November 2021 for his community-based DOJ accredited training.
  • Bracamontes (IGS) and legal studies student Lauren Davis (Politics 2023) won TRII's latest asylum case for a client at the Boston asylum office.
  • TRII was awarded a 2-year $50,000 grant from the Boston Foundation.
  • TRII’s legal and educational programs coordinator and Legal Studies lecturer Doug Smith testified at the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission hearing on March 23rd concerning police bias and misconduct standards, hearings, and public records of complaints.

Brandeis Law Journal

The Brandeis University Law Journal is the only undergraduate-edited legal publication in the country that is unaffiliated with a law school. The Journal admires law school expertise, but at the same time embraces its own undergraduate status.

The Brandeis Law Journal collected journal submissions earlier this semester and now the editing team is in the final stages of the editing process! Expect the Spring Journal to be released before the end of the semester. For those interested, there are a couple of copies of the Fall Journal on the first floor of Olin-Sang that students are more than welcome to take. Lastly, it is never too early to be thinking about next semester! We collect submissions for the journal at the beginning of each semester. Each article must pertain to law, be between 5-20 pages, and be written in Chicago style. If you are interested in being a part of the journal or have any questions, please email [email protected].  



The Brandeis Educational Justice Initiative (BEJI) works with a range of partners who aim to reach those currently impacted by the criminal justice system.

The Brandeis Educational Justice Initiative (BEJI) received a state grant with its community partner, Partakers, to fund the Partakers Empowerment Program, a 13-week workshop series for individuals emerging from incarceration. The series is developed and facilitated by undergraduate and graduate students and provides resources to aid in reentry. 

For more information or to get involved, contact Rosalind Kabrhel.

Boston Courts and Civic Resources:

Did you know courts have reopened and students are welcome to attend live sessions? You can also watch online!

Massachusetts Federal Courts


Supreme Judicial Court:

1 Pemberton Sq., Boston, MA (may be limited as to availability)

SJC: Log on remotely or go live. 

SJC Calendar:


US District Court (Federal) for MA:

1 Courthouse Way

Boston, Massachusetts 02210

State and District Court


Suffolk County Superior Court:

3 Pemberton Sq., Boston, MA


Boston Municipal Court - Central Division:

Edward W. Brooke Courthouse, Boston, MA


Suffolk County Probate and Family Court:

24 New Chardon St., Boston, MA 02114 

Just walk in any time.


Waltham District Court:

38 Linden St., Waltham, MA

Zoom meeting ID is 160 7740 6501

(Civil and criminal at same court in same courtroom)

Arts, Journalism & Literature Recommendation:


Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison 

by Michel Foucault

Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison or Surveiller et punir : Naissance de la prison is a 1975 book by French philosopher Michel Foucault. It is an analysis of the social and theoretical mechanisms behind the changes that occurred in Western penal systems during the modern age based on historical documents from France. Foucault argues that prison did not become the principal form of punishment just because of the humanitarian concerns of reformists. He traces the cultural shifts that led to the predominance of prison via the body and power. Prison is used by the "disciplines" – new technological powers that can also be found, according to Foucault, in places such as schools, hospitals, and military barracks.


Chapter 1: Prison Reform or Prison Abolition?

by Angela Davis

American life is replete with abolition movements, and when they were engaged in these struggles, their chances of success seemed almost unthinkable. For generations of Americans, the abolition of slavery was sheerest illusion. Similarly,the entrenched system of racial segregation seemed to last forever, and generations lived in the midst of the practice, with few predicting its passage from custom. The brutal, exploitative (dare one say lucrative?) convict-lease system that succeeded formal slavery reaped millions to southern jurisdictions (and untold miseries for tens of thousands of men, and women). Few predicted its passing from the American penal landscape. Davis expertly argues how social movements transformed these social, political and cultural institutions, and made such practices untenable.


When Freedom Speaks: The Boundaries and the Boundlessness of Our First Amendment Right

by Lynn Greenky

The Brandeis Series in Law and Society is adding a new book to the series--When Freedom Speaks chronicles the stories behind our First Amendment right to speak our minds. Lynn Levine Greenky’s background as a lawyer, rhetorician, and teacher gives her a unique perspective on the protection we have from laws that abridge our right to the freedom of speech. Rhetoricians focus on language and how it influences perception and moves people to action. Using the characters and drama embedded in legal cases that elucidate First Amendment principles, When Freedom Speaks makes the concepts easier to understand and clearly applicable to our lives. Please follow this link for more details. 

Job Postings and Internship Opportunities:

2022 Joshua A. Guberman Teaching Fellowships

Brandeis University

Waltham, MA

Follow Link Below to Apply:

Fall 2022 Joshua A. Guberman Teaching Fellowships 

Student Resources:


Lauren Dropkin

(Pre-Law Advisor)


Amiee Slater



Grace Last

(Program Administrator)

Have a shout-out or student activity you'd like to share?

Email our Newsletter Editor:

[email protected]