Legal Studies Monthly News & Updates

November, 2023

November Edition: American Indian Heritage Month

Did you know that current trends in American law have roots in Indigenous justice? Native American justice focuses on communication, healing, and reintegration into community - also known as “peacemaking.”  One traditional method of “peacemaking” includes the use of Talking Circles, which were recently utilized on campus. Peacemaking principles parallel those of restorative justice, which is increasingly being used as a form of dispute resolution in a wide variety of settings, including schools, workplaces, and prisons. For more information about tribal law, justice, and peacemaking, check out these resources from the National Indian Law Library.

November Trivia Question!

The first 3 students who answer correctly will win a faculty club lunch with Daniel Breen and a surprise guest!

The title character of this Oscar-winning "Best Picture" could easily have been convicted of consorting with prostitutes and petty thieves.

Submit Guess Here!

September Trivia Results!

September Trivia Winners: Naomi Stephenson, Noah Levy, Hana Miller and Miranda Sheinbaum

September Trivia Answer: 

Hotel California by the Eagles

Alumni Spotlight

Alexander Brenner' 15

Alexander Brenner' 15, a Brandeis Legal Studies Program Alumnus, has recently made his mark as a graduate from the University of Texas at Austin Law School. Now, Alexander is a new associate specializing in environmental and land use law in Seattle, WA.

Reflecting on his career path, Alexander shares, "I took a break from school and spent a few years working post-Brandeis before eventually deciding to take the plunge and apply to law school in 2020." This decision was not made lightly; it was a culmination of...

Read More!

Recent Event Highlights

Halloween Legal Trivia

On October 30th, the Legal Studies UDRs and Professor Breen hosted an engaging Halloween themed legal trivia night. The event attracted a large turnout, with many attendees participating eagerly. Thanks to all who attended!

Justice Louis D Brandeis Birthday Celebration

On November 15th, the Legal Studies Department hosted a lively celebration in honor of Louis D. Brandeis's birthday. The event was a delightful mix of fun and education, featuring delicious cupcakes that added a sweet touch to the gathering. Attendees engaged in an entertaining trivia session!

Faculty Highlights

Professor Dan Breen's Talk at Brandeis 75th Anniversary: Celebrating Justice Brandeis's Lasting Legacy

As part of the official Brandeis 75th Anniversary Weekend events, Professor Dan Breen presented his talk, "The Pursuit of Justice, Freedom and Privacy: The Legacy of Justice Louis D. Brandeis," which concentrated on the way Justice Brandeis's judicial decisions provide a way for contemporary Americans to contest police misconduct, book-bannings and intrusive surveillance by law enforcement. Professor Breen received a standing ovation for the presentation, which demonstrated that real people in trouble--including librarians in Llano County Texas and community activists in Baltimore--are Brandeis's real legacy, for they're the ones who most benefit from the spirit of his decisions.  

The Right to Immigration Institute (TRII) Honored for Pro Bono Excellence

The Right to Immigration Institute (TRII) has been distinguished by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Committee for their unwavering commitment to pro bono legal services. This accolade stands testament to TRII's significant impact in providing volunteer legal aid to those in need. While many organizations strive for such recognition, TRII's dedication in a relatively short span is particularly commendable. We congratulate TRII for this well-deserved honor and for continuously championing the cause of immigration rights.

Professor Kabrhel presents at the National Conference on Higher Education in Prison

Professor Kabrhel attended the National Conference on Higher Ed in Prison in Atlanta November 9-12 with BEJI colleagues Professor David Sherman (ENG) and graduate student Liz Peterson (Heller). Kabrhel and Peterson presented BEJI's model for reentry programming, and Sherman, Kabrhel, and Peterson lead a workshop on creating a carceral studies curriculum. Aside from being an amazing experience, there was one unexpected treat: Kabrhel met Robert Taliaferro, Jr. (pictured on the bottom right) a formerly incarcerated Wisconsin man whose art was exhibited at the Rose Art Museum in 1985 - during his incarceration.

Call for Submissions

Jane Kahn '77 Undergraduate Research Fellowship


Proposals Due by December 1, 2023

Fellowship funds up to two students $2,500 each for research on current and emerging issues in criminal justice reform including the rights of individuals with mental illness, disability, and socio-psychological factors frequently associated with incarceration.


Interested students should submit proposals to the Legal Studies Program by emailing Melissa McKenna, Program Administrator at [email protected] by December 1st, 2023.  Faculty in the Legal Studies Program will evaluate submissions and select up to 2 successful candidates. The awardees will be announced in late December, 2023. Additional information is available on the Legal Studies Program website.

Spring 2024 Course Highlights

Where is Professor Breen during Spring 2024?

Spring 2024 marks an exciting period for Professor Breen, as he embarks on a sabbatical to complete a captivating project. He's dedicating this time to authoring a book that delves into the intriguing stories behind Boston's public monuments. Professor Breen is keenly exploring the selective memory of our public spaces – questioning the rationale behind commemorating certain figures in bronze and stone while overlooking others. A case in point is the enduring presence of a Daniel Webster statue in Boston Common, contrasted with the absence of any monument to the notable Lewis Hayden, a challenger of the same Fugitive Slave Act that Webster supported. The book will also examine the artistic decisions sculptors face, navigating the often unique demands of various committees comprising merchants, philanthropists, and bureaucrats. Professor Breen eagerly anticipates completing this insightful work and celebrating its launch with most of you in the Fall. Until then, he wishes everyone a productive and enriching semester.

Brandeis University Press

New Publications in the Law & Society Series

"Unlocking Learning: International Perspectives on Education in Prison" Edited by Justin McDevitt and Mneesha Gellman

From the book "Unlocking Learning: International Perspectives on Education in Prison," editors Justin McDevitt and Mneesha Gellman take readers on a global journey exploring prison education. The U.S., known for high incarceration rates, has untapped potential in educational reform for inmates. This book dives deep, showcasing twelve countries' innovative approaches—from Mexico's degree programs to Norway and Belgium's rehabilitative practices. Offering a wealth of international models, this volume serves as an insightful guide for the U.S. to rethink and revamp its prison education strategies. A must-read for anyone keen on understanding the transformative power of education behind bars.

Student Resources:

Lauren Dropkin

(Pre-Law Advisor)

Amiee Slater


Melissa McKenna

(Program Administrator)

Maggie DiPierdomenico


Class of 2024

Jacqueline (Yiyu) Lan


Class of 2024

Sophia Koolpe


Class of 2024

Contact Us!

This newsletter is created by SooMin (Christine) Kwon. For questions or to highlight your own work, organization, or event, contact [email protected]

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