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JD Concentration in Critical Race & Gender Studies

Professor teaching Critical Race & Gender Studies

The JD Concentration in Critical Race & Gender Studies provides degree candidates seeking to study the intersection of race, class, and gender in the law and related disciplines with the concrete tools to navigate issues of privilege and power in law school and in practice. Graduates who complete the concentration will be prepared for career opportunities that focus on improving diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in the legal workplace, and as drafters of policy and legislation, lobbyists, politicians, and staff attorneys at public service agencies and organizations.

Requirements and Learning Outcomes Heading link

Declaration to Pursue the Concentration: Students who intend to pursue this concentration are strongly encouraged to consult the faculty director at the end of the semester in which they complete 30 credit hours, in order to ensure that they will be able to complete the concentration and to discuss pathways for completion that track the student’s interests.

General Requirements

JD students may earn only one concentration. Degree candidates pursuing the JD Concentration in Critical Race & Gender Studies must complete a minimum of 16 credits, including 10 required credits, and must graduate with a cumulative overall GPA of 3.0 and a GPA of 3.25 in coursework taken to fulfill the concentration.

Students who enter the Law School with an interest in critical race and gender studies are encouraged to take specific sections of Lawyering Skills I and II that focus on civil rights, although these courses would not count toward the concentration.

Independent Research Component

The concentration includes an independent research requirement. Candidates must complete a substantial research paper on a topic related to the concentration. The paper may build upon a paper completed in another course or for a law journal project or advocacy competition, if disclosed and approved in advance by the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and the faculty director of the concentration.

Learning Outcomes

Course Level Learning Outcomes

  1. Graduates of the concentration will be able to recognize how race, class, gender,and sexuality shape understanding and interpretation of practical legal texts (e.g.,cases, statutes, rules, pleadings), scholarly legal texts (i.e. journal articles), and other types of texts (e.g. legislative bills, non-legal disciplinary scholarship).
  2. Graduates of the concentration will be able to explain how practical legal texts,scholarly legal texts, and other types of texts are shaped by race, class, gender,and sexuality.
  3. Graduates of the concentration will be able to deconstruct how race, class,gender, and sexuality influence how lawyers and courts frame legal issues.
  4. Graduates of the concentration will be able to deconstruct how race, class,gender, and sexuality influence legal analytical and reasoning processes.
  5. Graduates of the concentration will be able to critique the implicit and explicit ways that practical legal texts, scholarly legal texts, and other types of texts utilize race, class, gender, and sexuality in ways detrimental to minoritized groups.
  6. Graduates of the concentration will be able to critique the implicit and explicit ways that cases, statutes, rules, and other practical and scholarly legal texts utilize race, class, gender, and sexuality in ways that support white supremacy,capitalism, and patriarchy.
  7. Graduates of the concentration will be able to design new legal analytical reasoning frameworks that challenge white supremacy, capitalism, and patriarchy, and disrupt harm to minoritized groups.
  8. Graduates of the concentration will be able to design new legal analytical reasoning frameworks that are equitable and inclusive for all groups.

Classroom Level Learning Outcomes

  1. Graduates of the concentration will be able to recognize how a person’s position(race, class, gender, sexuality) in comparison to other group members shapes classroom interactions and discussions.
  2. Graduates of the concentration will be able to identify how their personal position(race, class, gender, sexuality) in comparison to other group members shapes classroom interactions and discussion.
  3.  Graduates of the concentration will be able to use awareness of personal position (race, class, gender, sexuality) to engage respectfully and meaningfully in classroom interactions and discussions.
  4. Graduates of the concentration will be able to evaluate awareness of personal social position(s) to engage respectfully and meaningfully in classroom interactions and discussions.

All learning outcomes are taken from Teri A. McMurtry-Chubb, Strategies and Techniques for Integrating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into the Core Law Curriculum (Wolters Kluwer 2021),available for free download here.

Adopted May 26, 2023