University of Miami School of Law Course Description - Online System
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Fall 2015

Course Description
This class will examine intimate partner violence (“IVP”) law, policy, and reform in several key arenas including criminal justice, economic policy, civil law, international law, and immigration. We will examine the phenomenon and experience of IVP through the lens of structural inequalities related to gender, race, class, immigration status, indigenous identity, and LGBT identity. We will pay special attention to the importance of economic inequality in the occurrence of gender violence. We will place our discussion of the legal response to IVP in the broader political/legal landscape of punitive welfare and criminal justice policies. We will critically examine social science, psychology, and legal materials related to the social problem of “gender violence.”

The course will also examine “gender violence” as a broader phenomenon that includes violence that punishes gender non-conformity and maintains gender hierarchy, including much homophobic violence and prison rape.

The class is something of a hybrid class: part legal theory, part policy analysis, part skills building, and all of it interdisciplinary. The course will mostly operate in a graduate seminar format requiring students to engage in thoughtful analysis of the reading. The course has a heavy reading load.

We will have 2-3 special Friday afternoon class sessions, including one session held in the Miami Dade Domestic Violence Court. These classes will be in lieu of regularly scheduled classes and the dates will be announced well in advance.

This course is likely to be of special interest for students interested in “poverty law,” civil rights, human rights, criminal law, domestic violence, family law, and restorative justice, as well as students concerned about the punitive aspects of welfare and criminal justice policies. It may also be of interest to students interested in learning more about feminist and critical race feminist approaches to practice and theory

Course Schedule
Dates Day Time Room
08-19-2015 - 11-25-2015   W  5:30 PM-7:20 PM G363

Course Frequency

Course Information

Credits: 2
Pass/Fail Option: No
Prerequisite: NONE. Students may find it helpful to have taken Substantive Criminal Law.
Method of Evaluation: Students must (1) write a 15 page (excluding footnotes) research paper on a topic related to the course content; (2) write at least one draft of the research paper; (3) write 3 reflection papers (3 pages) on assigned topics (no outside research is required); (4) lead a class discussion on the topic of their research paper or on an assigned topic; (5) write a six page research memorandum on behalf of a hypothetical client (in lieu of class reading); (6) actively engage in class participation. The course operates in a graduate seminar format. A successful learning experience requires the active participation of every student in the class. Regular attendance and thoughtful participation are therefore required and represent a portion of the final grade
Graduation Requirements Fulfilled By Course:
Writing Requirement
Special Attributes: None
Special Restrictions:
Law Track(s):
Criminal Law - Related
Family & Personal - Related
Immigration - Related
Social Justice - Specialized
Bar Subject(s): None
Social Justice & Public Interest (Area of Focus)   More information
Social Justice & Public Interest (Concentration)   More information

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Contact Information:
Phone: (305)284-3041
Office: G383