The Law, Diversity & Justice Concentration (major) is an interdisciplinary course of study for Fairhaven College students who are interested in law, diversity and access to the legal system for under-served communities. The rigorous curriculum emphasizes a critical examination of how issues such as race, class, gender, sexual orientation and disability intersect with the legal system. The concentration builds the skills necessary for success after college: critical reading, writing, research, oral communication and analytical ability.
As with any Fairhaven Concentration, students must be formally admitted to Fairhaven College to pursue a Law, Diversity & Justice Concentration, and must also satisfy the Fairhaven Core Curriculum (instead of the regular GURs that other Western students follow). Through the Fairhaven College Concentration Seminar and faculty advisement, students combine the required Law, Diversity and Justice curriculum with courses throughout the University to develop the skills and knowledge necessary for success in law school and other careers in social justice work. Students design their concentrations with a focus that suits their particular interests; past concentrations have included immigration reform, environmental protection, queer advocacy, alternative dispute resolution, labor law and tribal court systems.
With faculty guidance, students combine the LDJ course work with Western Washington University courses. The LDJ Concentration develops the skills and knowledge necessary for success in law school and other careers in advocacy.
All Fairhaven Concentrations are designed in the Fairhaven College Concentration Seminar and students must gain the approval of a three-person Concentration Committee.
Credits required for LDJ Concentration (major): Variable under faculty advisement. The average concentration is 80-90 credits.Admission to the Law, Diversity and Justice Concentration (major):
1) Admission to Fairhaven College, and
2) FAIR 311b The American Legal System (5) or PLSC 311 Intro to Law and Judicial Process (5) (with grade of C or better), and
3) permission of the CLDJ Director.Additional LDJ Concentration Coursework Required: All of the Fairhaven Core Curriculum (instead of WWU GURs), and
4) Fairhaven Concentration Seminar (file LDJ Concentration and Major Declaration Form), and 5) At least ONE of the following two courses: * FAIR 393b Rights, Liberties and Justice in America (4) OR * FAIR 334c International Human Rights (4) 6) At least ONE section of FAIR 412e Advanced Topics in Law (2-5) (topic varies by quarter) (pre-requisite is FAIR 311b or PLSC 311) 7) FAIR 422k Advanced Legal Writing and Analysis (4) (senior year)
The Law, Diversity & Justice Minor is an interdisciplinary course of study for students who are interested in law, diversity and access to the legal system for under-served communities that includes the classes taught in the Law, Diversity and Justice Concentration. This rigorous curriculum, open to all Western students, is taught in seminars by a faculty that includes attorneys using law school texts. The minor welcomes students who desire to effect change and who have the potential to act as leaders and role models in their communities using legal knowledge and processes. While the Law, Diversity & Justice Concentration (major) began in 1991, the Law, Diversity and Justice Minor will start enrolling students in Spring 2012. Law, Diversity & Justice Minor Requirements Total LDJ Minor Credits Required: minimum of 23-28 credits.
Admission to LDJ Minor:
1) FAIR 311b The American Legal System (5) or PLSC 311 Intro to Law and Judicial Process (5) (with grade of C or better), and
2) permission of the CLDJ Director. Additional LDJ Minor Coursework Required:
3) At least ONE of the following two courses: * FAIR 393b Rights, Liberties and Justice in America (4) or * FAIR 334c International Human Rights (4), and
4) FAIR 412e Advanced Topics in Law (2-5) (topic varies by quarter) (pre-requisite is FAIR 311b or PLSC 311), and
5) FAIR 422k Advanced Legal Writing and Analysis (4) (senior year), and
6) Additional 8-10 elective credits (coursework related to diversity issues approved in advance by the CLDJ Director. These courses might be drawn from American Cultural Studies courses, Fairhaven courses, Political Science courses, Sociology courses or other appropriate electives with approval.)
Please direct questions to: Prof. Julie A. Helling, Director, Center for Law, Diversity & Justice (CLDJ),
e-mail Julie.Helling@wwu.edu, phone (360) 650-4907. For information about Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies contact Fairhaven.College@wwu.edu or 360-650-6680
The Center for Law, Diversity & Justice sponsors two practica:
The Whatcom County Court Watch's (WCCW) mission is to encourage equal treatment for victims of domestic violence while students and the community learn about the judicial system through observation. Students will attend the weekly practicum meetings on Wednesdays evenings as well as observe at least two hours of court at the Whatcom County courthouse weekly. This course will train student and community observers to watch protection order hearings and to provide useful feedback on judicial proceedings. This is a good class for anyone interested in how courts actually work (as opposed to what gets shown on TV), anyone considering a career in the legal field, and anyone interested in issues of domestic violence.
Questions? Contact Julie Helling
Founded in the fall of 2001, the Whatcom Civil Rights Project (WCRP) is a joint endeavor of LAW Advocates, the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force, and the Center for Law, Diversity & Justice of Fairhaven College, Western Washington University. Working in conjunction with a network of local attorneys, WCRP provides legal assistance and advocacy to victims of discrimination and civil rights abuse in Whatcom County. Trained students conduct intake interviews for the Whatcom Civil Rights Project in conjunction with volunteers from the Whatcom Human Rights Taskforce. After the intake interview, the students prepare a memo for the Attorney Review Panel that contains a concise summary of relevant facts and identifies possible legal claims. Students then present the case orally to the panel. The panel determines which cases are taken by an attorney.