Legal Studies Monthly Newsletter

May, 2022

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Dear Students, Alumni, and Friends of the Legal Studies Program:

For this final newsletter of the 2021-22 academic year, I want to congratulate all of our outstanding seniors on their graduation! It was wonderful to see students back on campus this year, and engage in activities that helped us regain a sense of community that was diminished by pandemic isolation and remote learning. From live guest speakers to field trips, in-person office hours and lunches or walks with students, I was reminded this year just how special our students are; how much energy buzzes throughout our campus when we are together. You inspire me!

Congratulations also to our alums, many of whom are graduating from law school and other graduate programs this year! It has been fun to reconnect with many of you and we are excited to stay in touch as you enter this next phase of your career and life. Many of you will remember classes with our colleague, Professor Richard Gaskins, who retires this year after 28 years with Brandeis. Professor Gaskins helped shape Legal Studies from its infancy at Brandeis to the large and vibrant program it is today.

Lastly, I want to thank two very special people for making this newsletter possible. First, Grace Last, our Program Administrator, who many of you have come to know and appreciate. Grace has helped us through so many transitions, including Workday and an office move. (Visit us in Kutz Hall next year!) Sadly, Grace will be moving to another full-time position at Brandeis, but her friendly face and sunny disposition will still be with us on campus. Next, I would like to thank Lesedi Lerato, our wonderful student who brought creativity, excellent writing skills, and professionalism to the job of developing this newsletter. Thank you, Lesedi!

With gratitude to you all,

Rosalind Kabrhel, JD

Chair, Legal Studies Program

Community Shout-outs!


Alumni Shout Out!

My name is Leonie Koch. Both my husband, Jonathan Jackson, and I are Brandeis class of 2016, both minored in Legal Studies, both took Intro to Law with Prof. Richard Gaskins our first semester of our freshman year (in the fall 2012, which was a huge part of our love story!), both graciously received letters of recommendation from Prof. Gaskins for our law school applications, and will both be receiving our J.D.s from NYU Law on May 19! The Legal Studies department at Brandeis has been a part of our personal and professional story from the very beginning, and we would love to share that with you all.

Update: We graduated! We were blessed to have Jesse Ruth ‘16 and Kavita Davé ‘16 in attendance, pictured here. We met Kavi and Jesse at Brandeis. Jesse actually just got his J.D. from Duke Law last week! 

Students receiving program awards and prizes


Haley Brown

Class of 2022

Recipient of the Lester Martin Thesis Prize for her Senior Thesis in American Studies, titled The Laws of Attraction: Hybristophilia, Voyeurism and the Evolution of Prison as Spectacle.


ShiLu Vanasupa 

Class of 2022

Recipient of the Justice Louis D. Brandeis Internship Research Prize for her paper titled Alternative Responses to Mental Health Crises: Analysis of Alternative Crisis Intervention Models in LGLS 89a.

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William Ott

Class of 2023

Recipient of the Justice Louis D. Brandeis Essay Prize for his paper titled NCPA v. EPA in LGLS 132b.

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Paris McWilliam

Class of 2022

Recipient of the Justice Louis D. Brandeis Internship Research Prize for her paper titled The Effectiveness of Restraining Orders in Reducing Recidivism in Domestic Violence in LGLS 89a.

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!

Highlighting Richard Gaskins

Retiring Legal Studies Professor


My 28 years at Brandeis (26 as Director of Legal Studies) have been enriched by colleagues and collaborations, gratefully recalled now as I reach retirement. We followed the tradition of academic innovation that launched the Legal Studies Program—now approaching its 50th anniversary. Becoming the LGLS Director brought me into American Studies as well—at that time, yet another incubator of interdisciplinary studies. Back then, my associate Lyman Stookey had introduced health law into the curriculum, as a first step in what became the popular program HSSP. With Lyman’s retirement, Melissa Stimell took on this field, while anchoring the Legal Studies internship as a core element of the Program. She has since gone on to build her legislative advocacy course into a national model, while helping me sustain our decade-long study abroad venture in The Hague. During this time Dan Breen moved toward full-time teaching, and quickly became an indispensable teacher and student mentor. Roz Kabrhel joined these efforts, building further support for the Internship program and making new collaborative links to Boston-area reform communities. Doug Smith empowers Brandeis students to use their advocacy skills in the critical field of immigration. And over these years, we’ve drawn on the diverse talents of dozens of adjunct professionals, Guberman Teaching Fellows, and colleagues from other Brandeis programs and departments.

Almost fifty years ago, when I completed graduate degrees in philosophy and law, the legal studies movement was just beginning in American academia. My first ten years were spent creating a law curriculum for social workers at Bryn Mawr College’s Graduate School, followed by stints at the University of Chicago and the New School for Social Research Graduate Faculty. For me personally, Brandeis Legal Studies has been a rich environment for continuing to learn, to collaborate, and to prepare willing students for the enormous social challenges that always lie ahead. Hearing from those students—and watching their careers develop—provides constant rewards. My time after Brandeis will remain active, as I continue working on problems of social welfare policy, paradoxes of practical reasoning, and challenges for international human rights courts. And my long connections with universities in New Zealand and Iceland will continue to provide new opportunities for dialogue.

~Richard Gaskins, Joseph M. Proskauer Professor of Law and Social Welfare


May Trivia Question

"What country has the most number of lawyers per capita in Europe, with twice the number of lawyers per capita than the country coming in at no. 2?"


Submit Guess Here!

Recent & Upcoming Events:

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The Legal Studies Program hosted the End-of-the Year Legal Studies Gathering in 

Ridgewood Commons on May 3rd at 2PM. Legal Studies faculty and students had a good time recapping the past semester and celebrating their year over snacks and bubble tea. The Thai chai was almost as popular as Prof. Dan Breen!


Alumni College Virtual Event

When Freedom Speaks: The Boundaries and the Boundlessness of

our First Amendment Right

Live Event Date: May 18, 7-8:15 p.m. EDT

(via zoom)

The event hosted by The Brandeis University Press, featured 

author of When Freedom Speaks Lynn Greenky. Greenky is an associate teaching professor of Communication and Rhetorical Studies at Syracuse University The event was moderated by Rosalind Kabrhel, Chair, Legal Studies Department and Associate Professor of the Practice

in Legal Studies at Brandeis, as well as Daniel Breen, Associate Professor of the Practice of Legal Studies at Brandeis.

When Freedom Speaks: The Boundaries and the Boundlessness of our First Amendment Right is the second book in the Brandeis Series in Law and Society.


Alumni Brunch in Miami 😎

Rosalind Kabrhel had a wonderful time speaking with alumni in sunny Miami on May 15th. Over a delicious brunch, the group discussed how students work with the Brandeis Educational Justice Initiative (BEJI) to build educational programs for individuals impacted by incarceration. Thanks to Ana Karina Felix, IBS MA’05, and her husband, Jose, for hosting this event in their beautiful home!


Alumni Event in Philadelphia

On April 24th an event was held at the home of Brandeis alumni, Lewis and Denise Brooks. Professor Daniel Breen presented a project entitled "Of Parking Garages and Moose: the State-Action Doctrine in American Constitutional Law." Which recounted efforts to integrate Philadelphia's Girard College, despite the fact that Stephen Girard, the college's founder, had provided in his will that only "white male orphans" could attend the school.

Clubs & Activities Updates:


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

TRII helped 5 more people gain US citizenship this month.

Two removals (deportation) cases against forced migrants in Boston Immigration Court were dismissed or continued following successful advocacy for the exercise of  DHS's  Prosecutorial Discretion. 


The first cohort of TRII's Saturday Immigration and Social Justice Practice course graduated in May, and several students are now  applying to become DOJ-accredited representatives, who will continue leading and working within TRII. Others are happy to be more informed, effective and accountable advocates, allies and community leaders. Among the first graduating cohort are Brandeis students Lauren Davis, Theo Brandt, Kate Greenberg, Anthony Ruiz, Maggie DiPierdomenico, Peyton Gillespie, John Wang, Warren Fread-Otterman, Tyler Caruth, Adrian Karwowski, and the team leader and 2021-23 Soros Justice Fellow Alejandro Bracamontes.   The class of about twenty students, which has been meeting from 11-7 each Saturday since mid-November 2021, without credit or compensation (but also without incurring any tuition bills)  also included students from Harvard and Northeastern, immigrant community leaders, and experienced human rights attorneys and advocates. A new cohort is expected to start this summer.  

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

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:

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. 

“Impacted Communities Leading Authentic Legal Mobilization: A Refugee-Led Access-to-Justice Story.” 34 Journal of Civil Rights & Economic Development ___ (2022).


“Distinguishing Among Modalities of Lawyering for Social Change.” 26 Lewis & Clark Law Review ____ (2022)(with Christine Cimini).


Professor Doug Smith will be presenting two papers, "Distinguishing among modalities of social change lawyering,” and “Is a single Native American Tribal legal studies curriculum for 673+ distinct Tribal communities and 400+ Tribal courts even possible? An Indigenous legal studies curriculum?” at the Law and Society Association International Conference in Lisbon, Portugal July 2022, or, more likely, at the same conference but from the TRII office at 14B Felton Street in Waltham via Zoom.

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]