Friday, March 10, 2023

Reminder: teaching first-generation students, free HLS webinar at 12 noon EST

Teaching First-Generation Law Students

First-generation students face unique challenges. Anthony Abraham Jack’s The Privileged Poor recently highlighted many of the invisible-to-professors barriers such students, especially first-generation students of color, face in college. What about when those students go to law school? Dean John Manning will introduce the panel. Three professors—Angela Littwin, Etienne Toussaint, and Rory Van Loo—will share invaluable insights and recommendations to make “the invisible curriculum” both explicit and navigable to all students.

Panelist bios:

Angela Littwin, Ronald D. Krist Professor in Law at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, is a leading scholar of economic justice issues facing individual consumers. She studies bankruptcy, consumer, and commercial law from an empirical perspective. Her current research includes studying the attitudes towards bankruptcy among consumers being sued by debt collectors, bankruptcy local legal culture, as well as the relationship between consumer credit and domestic violence (DV). She has published in journals such as the Texas Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, California Law Review, and American Bankruptcy Law Journal. She has recently published articles about racial disparities in bankruptcy chapter use, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's complaints process and supervision program as well as on how consumer bankruptcy attorneys adapted to the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act. Professor Littwin has been a principal investigator for a number of empirical projects.

Etienne Toussaint is an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina School of Law where he teaches Contracts, Business Associations, Secured Transactions, and related seminar courses. His scholarship sits at the intersection of law, history, political economy, and critical theory, with a focus on the socioeconomic challenges facing historically marginalized urban communities across the United States. He has been nationally recognized for his teaching, scholarship, and service. For example, in 2022, he was awarded the Junior Great Teacher Award by the Society of American Law Teachers. Professor Toussaint began his legal career as a project finance associate with Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP. Then, he served as a Law & Policy Fellow with the Poverty & Race Research Action Council in Washington, D.C. before transitioning into law teaching. As a student at Harvard Law School, Toussaint served as Vice-President of the Board of Student Advisers. Born and raised in the South Bronx, New York, Professor Toussaint is the son of immigrants from the island of Dominica in the West Indies, the proud husband of Ebony A. Toussaint, Ph.D., and the father of their three amazing sons.

Rory Van Loo teaches Contracts, Business Organization, Consumer Law, and Financial Regulation at Boston University, where he is involved with the First-Generation Professionals student group. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, and as a student he served as a Teaching Assistant in the Negotiation Workshop. He later returned to Harvard Law School as a Lecturer to teach Dispute Systems Design and Advanced Negotiation: Multiparty Negotiation, Group Decision Making, and Special Dispute Management Processes. After law school, he worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Co. and was on the team that helped set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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