University News

school of law opens registration for 2018 mini-law program

Published: September 06, 2018 | Categories: All News, Alumni, Law
Statue of Themis and judges gavel on table with American Flag in the background.

The School of Law is accepting registrations from the community for its 2018 “Inside the Law: Mini-Law School Program.” With a goal of demystifying the law for non-lawyers, the four-week program will offer practical knowledge to assist participants in gaining an understanding of areas of the law that are relevant to their everyday lives. The classes will take place on October 2, 9, 16, and 23 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the University and will be moderated by The Honorable Kenneth Neiman (ret.).

Blending theory and practice, the classes will focus on Marijuana Law, Labor Rights of Public Employees, the Criminal Court Process, and Corporate Law and are taught by Law School faculty. Details of the sessions are:

Tuesday, 10/2 – Professor Julie Steiner
Marijuana Law and Policy
This session will focus on how society has historically, and is currently, regulating marijuana. Professor Steiner will discuss why cannabis is federally illegal, and what that means for those who sell, transport, or consume it. She will address the current evolving approaches to marijuana regulation in Massachusetts, notwithstanding federal law, and major legalization issues such as cannabis impaired driving, youth activities, health consequences, banking, drug free zones, and attorney ethics.

Tuesday, 10/9 – Professor Harris Freeman
Labor Rights of Public Employees: Free Loaders, Unions Dues, and Teacher Strikes
This session will explore how the First Amendment and labor law intersects in governing the free speech and labor rights of public employees. The focus will be on the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on whether public sector employees should be required to pay union dues and the legal issues surrounding the massive strike wave of public school teachers in West Virginia, Tennessee, Arizona, and elsewhere that occurred in the spring of 2017. ​

Tuesday, 10/16 – Professor Tina Cafaro
Understanding the Criminal Court Process
Being charged with a crime starts an individual on a long journey through the court system. Along the way, a defendant will meet many people and attend different court hearings set up to safeguard an individual’s constitutional rights. This session will follow a case through criminal court and will explain the nuts and bolts of each court hearing. Topics will include what happens at the police station after an arrest, how a complaint gets issued, the purpose of arraignment and bail, what occurs at the pre-trial conference, and what takes places during a criminal trial.  

Tuesday, 10/23 – Professor Eric Gouvin
Corporate Law: The Case of Dodge v. Ford
In 1919, the Michigan Supreme Court handed down a decision that appears in virtually every casebook on corporate law – the celebrated case of Dodge v. Ford.  The decision involves a point of corporate law concerning the purpose of the corporate form and the permissible level of discretion allowed to directors of corporations.  Beyond those aspects of corporate law, however, the case provides a wonderful jumping-off point to discuss a wide range of business law topics and the interaction of law, economics, and business.  Professor Eric Gouvin will provide the context to understand the case by describing the early automobile industry and then will discuss the arguments in the case, the personalities behind the dispute, and the ramifications of the decision.

The Mini-Law School is directed by Beth D. Cohen, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Pat Newcombe, Associate Dean for Library and Information Resources. "After five weeks, you won't be a lawyer," Cohen said, "but you will be able to better understand laws that have an effect on your life. And unlike traditional law school, there are no tests or homework."  "Individuals interested in becoming better informed and engaging in stimulating dialogue will find this program rewarding," Newcombe said. "No legal knowledge is necessary, just a curious mind."

Tuition is $35; $20 for any high school, college, or graduate student. For more information, visit