Social Justice and Equity Law Journal publishes first issue

by Sarah Carlson,

  • The Social Justice and Equity Law Journal at Willamette Law published its inaugural issue January 29.
    Members of the editorial board of the Social Justice and Equity Law Journal (from L to R: Felipe Rendón, Andy Blevins, Megan Oshiro and Christian Muro).

The Social Justice and Equity Law Journal at Willamette Law published its inaugural issue January 29. Students formed the journal in fall 2016 to contribute to society’s understanding of legal and policy issues concerning topics such as race, class, gender and sexuality.

The journal is the first of its kind in Oregon. Editor-in-chief Felipe Rendón came up with the initial idea after noticing there weren’t many places to publish scholarly work on social justice issues.

“The journal became a natural end goal for all of us who got involved in the early stages,” Rendón says. “It’s a collection of input of all the members of our founding editorial board.”

The first issue of the journal contains four articles:

  • “Searching Scrutiny: Thurgood Marshall’s Constitutional Jurisprudence and its Influence on Lawrence v. Texas and Obergefell v. Hodges” by Shantanu Chaterjee, JD
    • This piece explores Justice Marshall’s equal protection jurisprudence and how it paved the way for the court’s decision in Lawrence v. Texas and Obergefell v. Hodges.
  • “Deconstructing Sex and Gender Essentialism: Protecting Transgender, Nonbinary, and Gender Non-Conforming Employees from Discrimination in the Context of Sexed and Gendered Dress Codes and Grooming Policies” by Bailey Moody, JD
    • This article discusses the issues faced by transgender individuals who face discrimination based on company policies dealing with dress code standards.
  • “I’m on the Wrong Track Baby, I Was Made This Way: How Gender Essentialism and Cisnormativity Discipline the Transition Processes of Transgender Individuals” by Kai River Blevins, MLS
    • Blevins’ article examines the legal difficulties individuals face when transitioning due to society’s cisnormative approach to the law and medicine.
  • “The Fiction of Intent: Why the Equal Protection Clause is Incapable of Remedying Inequality in the Criminal Justice System” by Erin Roycroft
    • The last piece analyzes the intent requirement behind many criminal statutes and argues that the requirement helps exacerbate and shield some of the racial discrimination and disparity seen in the criminal justice system.

The board’s goal is for the journal to become a leading civil rights publication in the Pacific Northwest. Any legal scholar, practitioner or Willamette Law student can submit articles for consideration. The journal will publish at least once a year, with the possibility of twice a year if there is enough content.

About Willamette University College of Law

Opened in 1883, Willamette University College of Law is the first law school in the Pacific Northwest. The college has a long tradition at the forefront of legal education and is committed to the advancement of knowledge through excellent teaching, scholarship and mentorship. Leading faculty, thriving externship and clinical law programs, ample practical skills courses and a proactive career placement office prepare Willamette law students for today's legal job market. According to statistics compiled by the American Bar Association, Willamette ranks first in the Pacific Northwest for job placement for full-time, long-term, JD-preferred/JD-required jobs for the class of 2014 and first in Oregon for the classes of 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. Located across the street from the state capitol complex and the Oregon Supreme Court, the college specializes in law and government, law and business, and dispute resolution.