Loyola University Chicago

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Loyola University Chicago

Civitas ChildLaw Center

School of Law

A Comprehensive and Integrated Education Law Curriculum

The law school has developed an array of courses designed to train law students, to address the full range of educational needs of children. Students interested in education law also benefit from the aw Schol's comprehensive curriculum in Child and Family Law as well as the law school's course offerings in Administrative Law, Constitutional and Governmental Law, Advocacy and Dispute Resolution, and Labor and Employment Law. In addition, students may take a limited number of education-related courses in other graduate divisions of the University. The law school course offerings include:

Experiential Learning

Skills

This course, which meets once a week for two hours, will explore in depth labor and employment issues in the 21st century education workplace. Students will form teams -- representing individual employees, the union, and management- and advocate their respective positions in a variety of contexts, including collective bargaining, unfair labor practice proceedings, teacher discipline and dismissal proceedings, and contract grievance arbitration. Current events and contemporaneous developments will provide the backdrop for the course materials and class activities. Topics will include: tenure, reduction-in-force and seniority rights, and teacher accountability and evaluation of professional personnel under new education reform legislation; public sector bargaining trends in Illinois and nationally; the 2012 Chicago Public Schools teachers strike; LGBT issues, free speech, and workplace right of privacy.

Skills

This course will allow those interested in the practice of education law to become familiar with typical and unique issues that require contact between school districts and their attorneys. The course is a combination of in-class, on-line and field study experiences. Students will work individually and in teams to identify resolutions to school district issues. The relationship between attorneys, boards and administration will be investigated. In class sessions are three hours per week to cover practical situations and to develop skills tailored to the practice of education law. The course will focus on typical scenarios, as well as the increasing number of, and breadth of, issues requiring legal assistance.

Experiential Learning 

Skills

This unique course has a classroom component and a field work component.  The class meets formally one hour per week to cover substantive education law issues and to develop skills tailored to the practice of education law.  For the field work component of the class, students have the option to work in one of a variety of local placements where they will work under the supervision of practicing attorneys.  Students may choose to provide either: (1) direct representation and legal assistance to children and families in need of special education services; or (2) representation of school districts in education law matters.   Students may also work on educational policy matters.  Placement options include local organizations, school districts, law firms and government agencies.  In the Spring semester, students may participate in Loyola’s Educational Advocacy Project as an alternative to an external field placement.  (Kaufman, Coustan).  More information on the different placement options is available here.

This course provides an overview of statutory, administrative and case law affecting Illinois school districts.  Legal issues addressed include: powers and duties of the school board; compliance with open records and open meetings laws; teacher tenure, evaluation, reduction-in-force, and for cause dismissal; collective bargaining and labor dispute resolution; legal aspects of supervision, teacher/school liability, common law and statutory immunities; mandated child abuse reporting. Student issues include state law requirements pertinent to residency; discipline, drugs/weapons offenses, suspension and expulsion; federal and state student confidentiality laws. (Hirsman)

Skills

Experiential Learning


Second- and third-year students teach about law and the legal system in Chicago area elementary and high schools. Students attend a weekly seminar and teach two classes per week in their assigned school. In the spring semester students typically have the option of preparing high school students for the city mock trial competition. For that experience, prior or current enrollment in Trial Practice is advisable, but not required. (Bird)

Experiential Learning
Skills

In recent decades, courts, communities and schools are returning to restorative methods to address family issues such as child guardianship; escalating violence in our schools and streets; reintegrating prisoners into their communities; making decisions about appropriate sentencing; and the role of victims in the process.  In each context, the same issues must be addressed: who is involved, what are the needs of the parties, and what can be done to resolve the issues at hand. This one credit course will be conducted in workshop format over the course of one weekend. Students will be able to identify the core principles underlying the restorative justice paradigm, compare and contrast restorative and retributive justice models, and learn the basic elements of conflict resolution techniques through a restorative lens. We will address the history of restorative justice and students will be trained on a restorative dialogue process. Grades will be based on the student's performance in the culminating simulation exercises.

This course, which meets once a week for two hours, will deal in depth with current and timely issues in the education of children with disabilities. Students will learn federal and State statutory and regulatory procedures in determining eligibility for services, evaluation, development of the individualized education program, and provision of services in the least restrictive environment. The education of special needs children from early childhood through post-secondary transition will be addressed. The course will focus on advocacy, statutory and regulatory compliance, and dispute resolution. Students will form teams assuming the roles of parent/student advocate, school administrators, and school service providers in a variety of simulated activities throughout the semester, including: participation in eligibility and IEP conferences; disciplinary manifestation determination reviews; resolution sessions, mediation, and pre-hearing due process procedures; and determining Section 504 eligibility and developing and implementing a Section 504 service plan.


Students may also take the course for three credits by participating in additional small group seminar meetings to discuss course topics of interest in more detail. A student interested in the additional credit hour would have the option to write an additional paper of publishable quality that could be published in Loyola’s e-journals, conduct a training for parents or professionals through an outside organization, or complete other additional course assignments of interest to the student and approved by the instructor.

Experiential Learning
Skills


Mediation is an alternative to litigation which enables disputing parties to negotiate their own agreed settlement. It involves an impartial third party neutral, the mediator, who assists disputing parties in this alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process. This course will offer an overview of mediation techniques, applications, and history. Through simulations and other in-class exercises, students will consider how mediation differs from other types of ADR processes, how mediation styles and models differ from one another, and how the role of the attorney-advocate changes during mediation. This course will be conducted in an intensive workshop format over the course of one weekend where students will role play as client and attorney.  No textbook is required, nor is there a first assignment. (Green

Perspective Elective
Skills

This seminar will explore the difficult legal, political and practical issues currently confronting American education. The course will begin with an analysis of the fundamental political and philosophical principles underlying the American educational system. Students will then be challenged to apply these principles to difficult areas of education law, such as: (1) the limits of compulsory education; (2) the relationship between public education and religious institutions and practices; (3) the nature of a constitutional right to education; (4) the adequacy and equity of school funding; (5) the balance between federal control through statutes, like the No Child Left Behind Act, and state control over curriculum; (6) school governance; (7) the rights and responsibilities of students; (8) traditional and novel torts in the educational environment; and (9) the rights and responsibilities of educators. Students will be required to participate actively in class, to facilitate class discussion of a selected topic, and to submit a paper which analyzes critically an important issue raised in the class. There will be no final examination. (Kaufman)

Perspective Elective

This course begins with an exploration of the legal and political structure of American education, including issues such as: (1) the role of government in mandating education; (2) the relationship between state and religion in the educational process; (3) the governance of educational institutions and the shaping of curriculum; and (4) the rights and responsibilities of teachers and students. The American legal system's resolution of these difficult issues are then compared to the resolution of these same issues by legal systems in other countries. Finally, students are asked to question the fundamental assumptions underlying the American educational system based on their understanding of different assumptions underlying the educational systems in other nations. Students are required to help to facilitate class discussions and to prepare a paper that analyzes critically an issue raised in the class. (Kaufman)

This course examines the results of civil rights education cases brought on behalf of African American, Latino, and other minority students. Students will examine applicable legal precedents and statutory frameworks, classroom level implementation, and experts’ analyses of data and outcomes for five subject areas—student assignment, English Language Learner Programs, tracking (gifted and remedial), special education, and discipline. Students will work in teams and individually to present research and response papers related to the five subject matters.  (Ashley)

Perspective Elective

This unique course will immerse students in a comparative analysis of early childhood education law and policy. The course begins with an exploration of the legal and political structure of American early childhood education, including issues such as: (1) the role of the national and local government in regulating education; (2) the constitutional right to education; (3) the governance of educational institutions and the shaping of curriculum; (4) the rights and responsibilities of teachers; and (5) the image of the child. The American legal system’s resolution of these issues is then compared to the resolution of these same issues by legal and educational systems in other countries, particularly those in Italy and Finland.

One focus of the class will be the world-renowned approach to preschool education developed in Reggio Emilia, Italy. The preschools in Reggio Emilia are widely regarded as the best in the world. The “Reggio” approach to early education is built on a particular understanding of the biological and social nature of children, and the role of the state in developing its young. Accordingly, the class will explore the neuro-science undergirding the Reggio approach and how this science informs: educational objectives and methods; the architecture of the educational environment, the connections between school and community and the legal and political structures surrounding children. Throughout the class, the “Reggio” approach will serve as a benchmark for understanding and assessing the law and policy of early childhood education in the United States. In addition, the class will examine the internationally acclaimed educational system in Finland to determine whether its successes can be replicated in the United States.

Students will be required to participate actively in class exercises and projects, to present material to the class, and to write a 10-15 page analytical, research or policy paper that addresses an issue raised by the class.

Skills

Experiential Learning

This one credit hour course will provide students with an intensive simulated experience in the various processes of resolution of special education disputes. Areas addressed will include some or all of the following: contested IEP meetings, manifestation determination reviews, resolution meetings, mediation, and due process hearings. Assuming the roles of parent legal advocate and school district counsel, students will develop a practical working knowledge of federal and Illinois statutes and regulations governing special education dispute resolution; develop a legal understanding of, and working familiarity with, student special education records and documents; and learn how to interview and prepare clients, witnesses, school personnel, experts, and others for their respective roles in the dispute resolution process. (Hirsman/Johnson)

Experiential Learning

Skills

This one credit weekend course will provide students with an intensive simulated experience in conducting a student disciplinary administrative hearing.  Assuming the roles of counsel for the student and counsel for the school district, workshop participants will prepare for and represent their respective clients in a school expulsion hearing.  Participants will develop an understanding of the constitutional principles of due process, freedom of speech, and search and seizure as they pertain to students in the public school setting; as well as Illinois School Code statutory provisions regarding student discipline, suspension and expulsion.  In the course of preparing for the culminating disciplinary hearing, participants will gain a working familiarity with student codes of conduct and student school records and documents, and they will hone their skills in interviewing and preparing clients, witnesses, and school personnel for their respective roles in the discipline process and administrative hearing.  Students will also deliver opening and/or closing statements and conduct direct and cross-examinations of witnesses and, through this process, will enhance skills applicable to a variety of court and administrative hearing settings. (Hirsman/Johnson)

Skills 

May count as Experiential Learning with instructor approval.

The legal issues surrounding student discipline in public elementary and secondary schools involve the intersection of Constitutional and statutory law with the administrative hearing process. By developing a working knowledge of the school disciplinary process, course participants will build analytical and substantive skills applicable to a wide variety of practice areas.

The course will address the Constitutional implications of student discipline and the statutory provisions governing student discipline and the administrative hearing process. Students will learn about ‘zero tolerance’ policies, the role that school discipline plays in the ‘school-to-prison pipeline,’ and the discriminatory impact of school discipline policies. Issues relating to discipline in charter schools and discipline of students with disabilities will also be addressed. Other topics to be discussed include disciplinary-related challenges that arise in the context of protecting vulnerable children, including issues of harassment and bullying of LGBT and special needs children; and the legal tenets governing school districts’ responses to cyberbullying and the rise of social networks and digital media. Emerging trends in alternatives to punitive school discipline practices, such as human rights approaches, positive behavior interventions and supports, and restorative justice, will be examined.

Throughout the term, students will engage in hands-on learning activities, interactive exercises, and practical applications of the concepts and principles of the course. The culminating experience of the course will involve participation in a simulated student disciplinary hearing.

Experiential Learning Opportunity:

With instructor approval, a limited number of students taking the course will have the opportunity to serve as advocates for students facing expulsion from public schools. Students will work under the supervision of the course’s faculty to conduct client intakes, develop a defense strategy, conduct discovery, prepare witnesses, and advocate for students at a school expulsion hearing. Students may serve in this capacity as part of the course or for an additional credit, and they may earn Experiential Learning credit. Instructor permission is required to enroll in this portion of the course, and preference will be given to 2L students (no 711 license required). If you are interested in enrolling in this portion of the course, please contact Kathleen Hirsman at khirsman@luc.edu and Miranda Johnson at mjohnson11@luc.edu as soon as possible.

Experiential Learning

Skills

The Civitas ChildLaw Clinic represents children primarily in child protection (abuse and neglect), child custody and visitation, delinquency cases. Students typically work on at least two cases during the course of a semester, under the supervision of at least one member of the clinic faculty. The Clinic also includes a weekly seminar (Tuesdays from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.), which addresses relevant substantive law, advocacy skills, and ethical issues in the representation of children. Students will be expected to master the law governing their areas of practice, as well as applicable rules of professional conduct. Students will gain experience with a range of lawyering skills, including client counseling, case planning, and written and oral advocacy. While the subject matter of the Clinic's cases focuses on children's issues, students should expect to develop skills transferrable to any practice setting. Enrollment in the clinic is limited to 16 students. Priority is given to students eligible for a student practice license under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 7-11, and permission of the Clinic instructors is required for enrollment. Civitas ChildLaw Clinic Application.

Participation in the Clinic requires both a significant time commitment and flexibility in the student's schedule. All students will be expected to attend and conduct court appearances throughout the semester, and to be available to attend to other client business during regular working hours. Students working full or nearly full time, or students who have concerns about their ability to maintain a flexible schedule, should speak with one of the members of the Clinic faculty before enrolling in the class. In addition, to avoid conflicts of interest, students may not participate in the Clinic while working for the criminal or juvenile divisions of the State's Attorney's Office, or the juvenile division of the Public Defender's Office.

Professor Bruce Boyer serves as the Clinic Director, and Professor Stacey Platt serves as Associate Director.

* Students in the Clinic for the first time must enroll for four credits and will be expected to participate fully in the classroom component. Students enrolling for a second semester will be expected to participate bi-weekly in the seminar; normally, students repeating the Clinic for a second semester take the course for three credits, but other options are available with permission of the instructor.

More than 50 million Americans have disabilities, even as the population just begins to age significantly. The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990 as a key civil rights law to help persons with disabilities obtain access to employment, government functions at all levels, and most public Accommodations. This seminar will explore how our disability laws have succeeded, and failed, to fulfill their promise. We will also examine closely the significant recent activity by the Supreme Court in this evolving, dynamic area of the law. Each student is expected to select a topic of particular interest to him or her, perform an in-depth review of the law related to that topic, and write a paper on the subject. Student's progress will be tracked through class discussion, informed reaction papers and the final research paper. (Coustan)

Loyola

SCHOOL OF LAW CIVITAS CHILDLAW CENTER
Philip H. Corboy Law Center · 25 E. Pearson Street Suite 1107 · Chicago, IL 60611 · 312.915.6481
· E-mail: ChildLaw-Center@luc.edu · www.luc.edu/childlaw

Notice of Non-discriminatory Policy