A Focus on Democracy: HLS Clinics and Classes

The Election Law Clinic, led by Ruth Greenwood, visiting assistant clinical professor, focuses on voter suppression, gerrymandering, and the challenges money poses to democratic participation.

Students in the Democracy and the Rule of Law Clinic, led by Professor of Practice Larry Schwartztol, work with Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to addressing challenges to American democracy. The clinic’s focus includes efforts to protect the electoral process from attack and the pursuit of reforms to renew and improve American democratic institutions.

In A Democracy Initiative, a seminar taught by Professor Lawrence Lessig and University Professor Danielle Allen, students will work on a series of reforms that might be offered as a referendum or initiative designed to address representative democracy’s existing flaws in Massachusetts.

Visiting Professor David Fontana’s reading group, The Crisis Facing Democracy, will examine related current challenges in the U.S., looking to scholars and practitioners for analysis and possible solutions.

American Democracy, taught by Professor Roberto Mangabeira Unger LL.M. ’70 and S.J.D. ’76 and John Stauffer, Harvard Professor of English and of African and African American Studies, explores the past, the present, and especially the future of “the American experiment.”

In Law & Democracy: The Incomplete Experiment, Lecturer on Law Stephanie Robinson ’94 moves beyond representations of democratization as the quest for universal suffrage and fair elections to “a more fluid, real-time construct of competing interests, negotiated outcomes, stressed and malleable institutions, and tumultuous changes.”

The Judicial Role in a Democracy Workshop, taught by Visiting Professor Rosalie Silberman Abella, retired justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, considers the fact that justices in constitutional democracies assume a role that entangles them in the most contentious political issues of their day. Students in the workshop will focus on the purposes of that role and its constraints.