the law down.

23 Oct

This week was harder than some school-wise in terms of staying motivated. Midterm and the big fall memo are in, and there’s nothing really substantial between now and finals, so going back to the grind and poring over the statute of frauds, felony murder, title assurance, and service of process in my various classes wasn’t insanely stimulating.

In order to get out of my mid-semester rut, I supplemented my school work with some interesting on-campus events.

One day this week I went to a talk put on by the Center for Restorative Justice, and two employees at Homeboy Industries shared with us their life stories and how they are on a better path now that they work at Homeboy. I teared up. They were insanely earnest and funny.

I also went to a talk featuring Ronald Coen, a former DA turned judge, who is known as a specialist in the death penalty arena. It was interesting to hear his perspective, but the levity with which he spoke about sentencing people to death was pretty disturbing.

Last Friday, I attended as much of the on-campus symposium on LGBT Identity and the Law put on by our campus’ main law review. It was really fascinating and brought a lot of interesting topics to the forefront of an issue important to me – but one I have never formally studied.

The lunch was also phenomenal.

fall-themed tables at the luncheon.

My favorite talk surrounded this video:


Cliff Rosky from the University of Utah’s law school mentioned that the way ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) is talked about in the news makes it a debate over “transgender teachers,” when really ENDA would protect everyone from “firmen to stockbrockers.” Andrea Lafferty, from the Traditional Values Coaliation echoes some of Anita Bryant’s crazy-scary rhetoric from the 1970s and said that children need a “safe environment in which to learn” and that the APA says that “gender identity is a serious mental disorder” and that kids would be at risk to be taught by transgender individuals. Rosky’s argument hinged on how Allyson Robinson, Associate Director at the Human Rights Campaign and a transgender woman, responded to these attacks. While Lafferty was saying that children will be “confused” and they may question their own gender by having a transgender teacher, Robinson said: “What about my children? My children aren’t confused. They know what their gender is and they know what mine is. There has not been any sort of gender epidemic.”

Rosky explained that even the HRC’s language alludes to this “fear of a queer child.” The idea that an individual’s gender identity or sexuality may “rub off” on his/her student is 100% preposterous but more importantly…so what if kids are questioning their gender?

My knowledge of this area is COMPLETELY limited, but I found the talk really interesting – and it made me hungry for classes that cover topics a little bit more controversial than the ones I am in now.

And the last legal tid-bit for the day – last night was our Public Interest Law Foundation’s big Silent and Live Auction for the night. It was weird being on campus on a Saturday night (the open bar helped) but it was so fun seeing all of my section buddies dressed up and out of the week-day grind.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic Sunday! Let me know if anyone has any thoughts on the video 🙂


7 Responses to “the law down.”

  1. Kaley [Y Mucho Más] October 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    Open bar on campus? Okay by me.

    Also, that’s an interesting debate and I for one think, So what if a teacher is transgender and causes a student to rethink the gender construct? After all, sex is biological; gender is not. Thus, all our ideas of what femininity is: pink, dolls, ruffles and frills is just that – socially constructed. In fact, the idea of pink being associated with girls/women is a relatively new thing. I think it originated in the 20th century.

    I will stop now. 🙂

    • gillian October 23, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

      I could not agree with you more 🙂

      And I’ve heard that in (maybe the 1920s? not sure about the year) pink became the stereotypical “girl” color and blue for boys – but up until that time it was reversed. So interesting how much those colors “mean” now.

  2. Kristen - Anywhere There's An Airport October 24, 2011 at 12:05 am #

    Very interesting. I love that last talk. The Spaniard and I just has a car ride filled with related topics. I have very defined thoughts on tolerance. And as for the color conversation…. this is one reason why I don’t want to tell anyone the sex of my child, if I should have one one day. I don’t want a baby shower full of pink or blue s&@#! 🙂

  3. leftcoastcontessa October 24, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    I told you over twitter but Rosky was in my class last thursday. You should check out “Like Father Like Son: Homosexuality, Parenthood, and the Gender of Homophobia” from the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism. Fantastic piece.

    • gillian October 24, 2011 at 9:49 pm #

      So cool he came to your class – I’ll be sure to look at that article, thanks for the rec!

  4. Kathy Satterfield October 25, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    Speaking of Homeboy, did you see that the Opus Prize is going to be awarded in ceremonies on the Loyola Marymount campus on Nov. 2 and Father Greg (of Homeboy Industries) is one of three finalists for the $1 million prize? That’s one award that you can’t solicit for….along with the MacArthur Grants. I can just imagine what good he would do with the money! Of course, the other finalists are hard to pass up as well. I’m glad that they give out substantial awards to the finalists as well. There is sure a lot going on at the campus and you are learning that only a small portion of education comes from a classroom!

    • gillian October 27, 2011 at 8:40 am #

      Absolutely! I didn’t realize that – that’s awesome!

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