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Aoki Center's First Spring Speaker Series '12-13

Posted Apr 22, 2013

This spring the Aoki Center hosted its first “Spring Speaker Series,” co-sponsored by the National Lawyers Guild, UC Davis chapter. The lunchtime talks centered around the theme: critical perspectives on first year classes. Professors and Deans from King Hall took a critical approach to each first year course that reflected their own research or interest. A detailed list and description of the talks can be found here.

Many Professors integrate critical perspectives of their subject into the normal curriculum. However, often times topics and discussions surrounding race, poverty, discrimination and gender bias are missing from the first-year class experience. This is unfortunate because many students come to law school, especially King Hall, because they are passionate about social justice, civil rights and racial equality. With the amount of material that must be covered in the first-year curriculum, there is little time to advance or entertain critical perspectives on the law.

Therefore, the spring speaker series has two main goals: 1) to expose first-year students to critical perspectives in the law, which may be missing from their first-year classes and 2) to connect students more closely with the accomplished King Hall faculty and allow students to learn about faculty research and scholarship on a deeper level.

During the Spring 2013 semester, we had six lunchtime talks. Professor Villazor talked about critical race issues in Property Law, Dean Amar talked about Constitutional Law, Dean Johnson talked about Civil Procedure, Professor Chin talked about Criminal Law, Professor Pruitt talked about Tort Law Professor Joo talked about Contracts Law.

The Aoki committee hopes to continue the Spring Speaker Series in the next school year, 2013-2014.