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Race, Law & Equity

The Concentration and corresponding Specialized Field of Study in Race, Law, and Equity enables Penn State Law students to structure their academics, and market their success, in courses that support racial justice. At Penn State Law, we commit ourselves to a rule of law that treats all people equally and actively counters racism in all forms.  In the words of our Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Professor Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia: “Systemic racism has pervaded institutions for centuries, including the legal academy and the legal profession. Further, inequities faced by racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ persons, veterans, and first-generation students endure. Finally, international students, those with DACA and without immigration status face new challenges in the wake of changing federal policies and litigation. Penn State Law should be a place where inclusion, equity, and diversity are valued in our teaching, scholarship, learning, and community beyond a piece of paper. ” This field of study offers an opportunity to meaningfully engage in the critical work of racial justice, fully supported by our Penn State Law community.

Declare your intent to complete this Concentration - Concentration Declaration Application

Race, Law & Equity Faculty

Selected courses:

  • Asylum and Refugee Law
  • COVID-19: Law and Tech Policy
  • Comparative Constitutional Law Seminar
  • Constitutional Law II (Equal Protection & Civil Rights)
  • Critical Race & Feminist Legal Theory
  • Election Security Seminar
  • Human Rights, Intersectionality, & the Law
  • Law & (In)equity
  • Law and Sexuality
  • Law of the Police Seminar
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Immigration Law
  • International Human Rights Seminar
  • Mediation of Environmental and Public Conflicts 
  • Minority Business Ownership
  • Native American Law
  • Negotiation & Dispute Resolution Design
  • Property & Poverty Seminar
  • Renewable Energy Law & Energy Justice 
  • Selected non-law elective courses (e.g., the Restorative Justice Initiative’s “Teaching in Corrections” course;  "Race and American Politics" in Penn State's Political Science Department, and certain courses in the School of International Affairs, the African American Studies Department, the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Department, the School of Public Policy, and others with Associate Dean for Academic Affairs approval)

 Experiential Opportunities:

  • Center for Immigrants Rights Clinic
  • Civil Rights Appellate Clinic
  • Criminal Justice Clinic (trial track)
  • Criminal Justice Clinic (appellate track)
  • Selected Externships (e.g., Penn State’s Office of Educational Equity and the Civil Rights division of the Justice Department)
  • Street Law