Civil Rights Courses & Clinics

The following courses are offered in the area of Civil Rights. Not all courses on this list are offered on a regular basis. You must consult the current course list and plan your schedule accordingly.

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Children in Prison Project

S/U only; fulfills Skills Training requirement
The Children in Prison Project (CIPP) provides legal advocacy on behalf of children who have been incarcerated in Florida’s adult prison system. In addition to direct representation of clients, CIPP students may also participate in law reform projects to advocate for changes in statutes and administrative rules to improve prison conditions for children. Students participate in every aspect of litigation, gaining experience in areas from motion practice to conducting full resentencing proceedings for CIPP clients, and have the opportunity to litigate in State court, Federal court, and administrative forums. Presentations to the Florida Legislature and participation in legislative sessions teach students additional advocacy skills and provide an opportunity to create broader legal impact while networking with state lawmakers and other stakeholders. Please fill out an application. Contact Professor Paolo Annino with any questions.

Children’s Advocacy Clinic

S/U only; fulfills Skills Training requirement

The Children’s Advocacy Clinic (CAC) provides free legal services to children across Florida on a variety of issues such as healthcare, disability, education, dependency (foster care), delinquency, and adoption. Through direct representation of children, students develop and hone litigation, negotiation, and interviewing skills, as well as learning substantive legal topics regarding the legal representation of children. CAC Students are responsible for every aspect of their cases and have the opportunity to practice their skills in circuit court, administrative proceedings, and other forums. Please fill out an application. Contact Professor Paolo Annino with any questions.

Constitutional Law II

(3 credits)
Prerequisites: Constitutional Law I

Required. An advanced study of freedom of expression and association, substantive and procedural due process of law, and the equal protection of the laws.

Consumer Protection Law

(2 credits)

A study of consumer protection regulations, including consumer lending, mandatory and voluntary disclosures, common law fraud, and unfair and deceptive acts and practices. 

Death Penalty and the Supreme Court

(2 credits)

This skills training class focuses on the United States Supreme Court decisions on capital punishment beginning with Furman v. Georgia (1972) and continuing to the Court’s current docket. There are two capital cases before the Court (so far) this term. Students will: study the Court’s fundamental Eighth Amendment decisions and apply those holdings to current capital cases; listen to the actual oral arguments before the Court; review the record and lower court opinions; and write an “opinion” for the Court in a pending case. This class counts towards the skills training requirement.

Disability Law

(3 credits)

This course examines a variety of aspects of disability, including: the legal and policy framework underpinning federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability; the legal and social implications of having a disability; and entitlement programs. Particular emphasis will be on the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Fair Housing Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This course will also examine entitlement and social insurance programs (eg. Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare), the ideas of “capacity” and “competence” as legal constructs and the implication of federal healthcare policy decisions on people with disabilities.

Elder Law

(2-3 credits)
Prerequisites: None

This course will focus on national and state elder law issues. The course will introduce students to the emerging specialty of elder law. It will provide students with an understanding of national and state legal issues in elder law. Students will be introduced to policy issues facing the aging population and provided with an understanding of ethical issues confronted by elder law attorneys.

Election Law

(3 credits)
Prerequisites: None

This course surveys the legal regulation of elections and politics. Topics include the individual's right to participate in the political process, redistricting and the distribution of electoral power, the role of race in the regulation of politics, political party regulation and campaign finance reform.

Employment Discrimination Law

(2 credits)

This course provides a practical study of employment discrimination law, which is primarily federal and statutory in nature. The course will examine multiple issues surrounding employment discrimination but will focus on identifying discrimination and advising employers on avoiding claims of discrimination. The course will also examine what happens when a claim of discrimination is filed at both the administrative level and in federal court. These issues will be considered in the context of discrimination on the basis of race/color, national origin, gender/sexual orientation, age, religion and disability. 

Employment Law

(3-4 credits)
Prerequisites: None

Survey of basic legal and policy concepts governing the employment relationship. 

Gender and Family Justice Clinic

S/U only; fulfills Skills Training requirement

In this skills training course, students in the Gender and Family Justice Clinic strengthen their lawyering skills in real-life settings, while supporting their clients as they attempt to address the collateral consequences of incarceration. Students in the Gender and Family Justice represent people who are incarcerated and formerly incarcerated on family law matters, including child custody and visitation, child support, divorce, and injunctions for protection. Students also develop and teach family law workshops in area jails and prison facilities. The Clinic addresses the intersection between mass incarceration and families. We welcome students interested in family law, criminal justice, gender justice, and prison law, as well as those interested in other areas of the law. Please fill out an application. Contact Professor Carla Laroche with any questions.

Gender Justice

(2 credits)

In this skills training class we will examine factors that increase the exposure of women and girls to the criminal justice system and the special considerations they face while confined. Even in this era of mass incarceration, the increased rate of girls and women entangled in the criminal justice system is astounding. This interdisciplinary course will explore the factors that may lead to incarceration, discuss trauma-informed lawyering, and examine potential empowerment tools. Course readings will highlight how race, sexuality, disability, and other identity characteristics intersect with sex to affect outcomes in the criminal justice system. Students will also attend legal proceedings related to the issues identified in this course and/or meet with advocates who address such issues. S/U grade only.

Global Health & Pharmaceutical Law

(3 credits)
Prerequisites: None

Global sales of pharmaceuticals total more than $600 billion annually, with the United States constituting the world’s largest pharmaceutical market. This course addresses legal regulation of the pharmaceutical sector, from research and development to manufacturing and distribution. The principal focus is on U.S. law, including the FDA regulatory system. In addition, the course examines foreign regulation, such as the European pharmaceutical regulatory system, and the role of multilateral agencies, including the World Health Organization.

Health Care Access Project

S/U only; fulfills Skills Training requirement
The Health Care Access Project (HCAP) represents children in need of greater access to health care services. HCAP focuses on impact litigation, and has litigated several Federal class action suits on behalf of children with disabilities. This project offers students the opportunity to advocate on behalf of children with disabilities in Federal court as well as administrative forums. In addition to litigation, students will participate in administrative rulemaking proceedings, providing research and comments to government agencies during the rulemaking process. Please fill out an application. Contact Professor Paolo Annino with any questions.

Human Trafficking

(3 credits)
Prerequisites: None.

Human trafficking represents a troubling side effect of globalization, encompassing forced labor, sex trafficking and the illicit trade in people within and across borders. This course will review and critically assess a diverse literature on the traffic of migrant labor into the United States and the exploitation of U.S. and foreign-born individuals within U.S. borders, with an emphasis on the sociological and legal issues raised by human trafficking. We will consider the blurred lines between immigrant labor exploitation and trafficking, as well as the issues raised involving prostitution and sex trafficking, with due regard for the role of advocacy and the essential lawyering skills of anti-trafficking attorneys. We will draw from a variety of sources, including academic scholarship (articles, books, etc.), domestic and international laws, governmental and non-governmental reports, transcripts from recent federal and state cases, media articles and videos. 

Human Trafficking and Exploitation Law Project

S/U only; fulfills Skills Training requirement
The Human Trafficking and Exploitation Law Project (HELP) focuses on legal advocacy for child victims of human trafficking, among the most vulnerable children in Florida. Students have the opportunity to work directly with victims of human trafficking, providing them legal representation in areas such as dependency (foster care), delinquency, criminal record expungement, and injunctions for protection. Students will engage in community outreach, providing educational presentations in and around Tallahassee on topics related to human trafficking. HELP students will also participate in law reform projects, advocating before the Florida Legislature and in administrative forums to improve laws and services for victims of human trafficking. Please fill out an application. Contact Professor Paolo Annino with any questions.

Immigration Law

(2-3 credits)
Prerequisites: None

A course addressing the legal and policy implications of U.S. immigration law including removal proceedings, family reunification and employment-based, which also incorporates a survey of international refugee and domestic asylum law issues. There are no prerequisites, and no prior immigration law study is presumed.

International Human Rights Law

(3 credits)
Prerequisites: None

This problem-oriented course is designed for students seeking a general understanding of the subject as well as for students wishing to acquire specific skills for personal involvement in the promotion of International Human Rights, whether in government service or private practice. The course includes consideration of substantive international human rights norms, especially civil and political rights; the role of such norms in international and domestic law; fora-international, regional, and domestic-available for adjudicating or promoting the observance of human rights standards; the procedural rules that govern such fora; the methods by which decisions are made and increasingly enforced; and problems of including human rights concern as an integral part of the country's foreign policy.

Students will take part in one or two role playing exercises - for example, a U.N. debate, an appellate court argument, a congressional hearing, an ABA debate, or a Department of State decision-making meeting. This participation, as well as class discussion based upon regular attendance and a thorough reading of the assigned materials, forms a significant part of the course and will be taken into account in determining the student's grade.

Juvenile Justice: Skills Practice

(3 credits)
Prerequisite/Co-requisite: Evidence

This 3 credit hour course teaches how Florida’s legal system deals with children who allegedly commit acts that would be criminal offenses if committed by adults. The course will teach and develop the practice skills essential for the future practice of juvenile law. Additionally, students will have opportunities to observe Florida’s juvenile courts in action and to hear and interact with judges, juvenile probation officers, Assistant State Attorneys; Assistant Public Defenders, and others who have special knowledge and skills in the area of Florida’s juvenile law and practice. Further, we will discuss issues such as “Direct Filing”; Competency; Collateral consequences of involvement in Florida’s juvenile law system and reforms.

Sexuality and the Law

(2 credits)
Prerequisites: Constitutional Law II

This course will explore the relationship among sexuality, gender, and the law on both a theoretical and a practical level. The first four weeks will explore the definition of sexuality/sexual orientation as well as the basis for laws that discriminate on the basis of sexual and gender non-conformity. Weeks 1-4 will ask the question of “What Is a Sexual Orientation?”, and will explore, respectively, gender/race parallels to sexual orientation, bisexuality, polyamory/polygamy, and transgenderism/gender non-conformity. Week 5 will look more closely at the interrelationship among sexuality, disgust, and the law, and at what sustains laws that discriminate on the basis of sexual preference.

The remainder of this course will be divided according to major substantive areas of the law, including:

1) The legal regulation of non-traditional sexuality, intimate relationships (marriage), and familial structures

2) Sexuality, the First Amendment, and the conflict between liberty (e.g., free speech, free exercise of religion) and equality (e.g., anti-discrimination) guarantees under the law

3) Gender, sexuality, and employment discrimination (Title VII).  

We will likely spend at least two weeks on the movement for marriage equality, one week on the normative critique of the marriage equality movement, one week on family formation (assisted reproduction/artificial insemination), and two weeks on the First Amendment. That leaves two more weeks. For one of those weeks we’ll read Kenji Yoshino’s very important book Covering. The last week is still to be determined.

All readings (aside from Yoshino’s book) are from packets that are available for purchase in the copy center.