2016 Systemic Justice Conference
Access, Justice, Protest, Education

Conference Logo

Friday April 8th, 12:00 pm – 5:30 pm, WCC 2012

Saturday April 9th, 9:30 am – 6:00 pm, Pound Hall

Sunday April 10th, 10:30 am – 4:00 pm, Pound Hall

Please join us for the 2016 Systemic Justice Conference, focusing on access, inclusion, protest, and education. Spanning three days (Friday through Sunday, April 8th – 10th), with over 100 presentations, panels, and showcase items, the conference will highlight the work of students, lawyers, activists, and educators who are attempting to understand, protest, and solve systemic problems.

Friday April 8th focuses on problems of access that pose a fundamental challenge to any system promising equality and inclusion. The afternoon will feature a Justice Lab presentation on access to justice and technology and another on access to food. Those presentations will bookend the conference’s first Systemic Justice Showcase (the second will be held on Saturday) in which dozens of students will present posters, podcasts, pamphlets, curricula, websites and more on a variety of pressing policy problems. Friday will conclude with a series of narratives about our broken systems.

Saturday April 9th will begin with the law’s most salient systemic failure — criminal law — and then transition to the campus protests that it helped catalyze. Morning events include a keynote by criminal defense attorney Dean Strang, whose defense of Steven Avery was documented in the Netflix series, Making a Murderer. Mr. Strang will discuss the difficulties of representing individuals when systems are the problem. His talk will be followed by a Justice Lab presentation on right to counsel in misdemeanor cases, in Ferguson, Missouri, and then a second Systemic Justice Showcase and related presentations. In the afternoon, there will be a panel on systemic lawyering, followed by a panel on campus protests, which will feature Jonathan Butler, whose hunger strike at the University of Missouri helped to spark a wave of activism across the country. Saturday will conclude with a series of narratives about broken education systems.

Sunday April 10th draws all of the themes together, with presentations on inclusive and justice-oriented legal education, followed by panels on alternative legal pedagogical practices and systemic curricula. The conference concludes with breakout sessions and a discussion about promoting a new movement within legal education.

Who We Are
The Systemic Justice Project was created in 2014 in response to growing evidence that (1) the legal system and system of legal education are broken, (2) the flaws in both are connected and systemic, (3) understanding those flaws and how to address them should be a primary focus of legal education, and (4) students should be leaders in that effort. One prominent drawback with both law and legal education is the role each plays in insulating and disconnecting their participants from policy problems and the suffering they cause. One goal of the Systemic Justice Project is to help counter those effects by giving students the opportunity to work on issues that they care about, to think about those issues systemically, to connect with experts, activists and lawyers working on those problems, and to share their findings. The conference is a manifestation of that experiment in bottom-up pedagogy, built around presentations by students in the Justice Lab, the Legal Education Lab, and the Systemic Justice Course.  

We hope you will join us for this year’s conference. Find more information and register at https://systemicjusticeconference.wordpress.com/.

Free Registration here 
Tentative schedule here