On January 31, 2014 the Northeastern University Law Journal hosted a symposium on Prisoners’ Rights in the Modern Era. The symposium consisted of a keynote speech and 4 panels on which various Northeastern alum, local practitioners, and leading scholars spoke. Dean Jeremy Paul and Professor Daniel Medwed started the day off with introductions and a brief background of the situation facing prisoners in today’s prison industry. The keynote speech was delivered by Fernando Bermudez, an international and motivational guest speaker on wrongful convictions, who was exonerated on actual innocence grounds in 2009 after having spent over 18 years in prison as an innocent man. The first panel, Access to Post-Conviction Legal Representation, featured Wally Holohan, Founder of NUSL’s Prisoners’ Rights Clinic; Patty Garin, co-teacher of the clinic and partner at Stern Shapiro Weissberg & Garin; Michael Tumposky, adjunct teacher and mock trial coach at NUSL; and Andrew Pappone, Staff Attorney at the New England Innocence Project. The second panel on Gender and Sexuality in the Prison Context featured Flor Bermudez, Director of the Mental Health Advocacy Project at Lawyers for Children and 2010 NUSL Daynard Public Interest Fellow; Giovanna Shay, Professor of Law at Western New England University School of Law; Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney with the LGBT & AIDS Project of the ACLU; and Alisha Williams, Director of the Prisoner Justice Project at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project.
The third panel on the Effects of Privatization on Prisoners featured David Siegel, Professor of Law and Co-Director for the Center for Law and Social Responsibility at New England Law School; Robert Jack, Staff Attorney with the Human Rights Defense Center; and Dr. Saby Ghoshray, Founder and President of Interdisciplinary Studies, which consults on post-conviction review at both penalty and appellate review phases. The fourth panel, Services Available to Persons while in Prison and after Release, featured Leslie Walker, Director of Prisoners’ Legal Services; Haywood Fennell, Sr., Founder of Tri-Ad Veterans League and the Stanley Jones Clean Slate Project; Gabriel Arkles, Professor at Northeastern University School of Law. There were also six breakout sessions led by Northeastern Law Students on topics ranging from Juvenile Incarceration to Access to Medical Care for Prisoners. Articles on this topic are currently being solicited from symposium participants and other interested authors. The Journal is expecting to publish its Prisoners’ Rights in the Modern Era edition in early 2015.
Please join us for the Northeastern University Law Journal's annual symposium, Employed or Just Working? Rethinking Employment Relationships in the Global Economy. On March 22nd, academics, advocates, practitioners, businesspeople, and students gathered at the Northeastern University School of Law to hear distinguished speakers from across the country examine the limits of traditional employment relationships. The symposium addressed how law confers the status of "employee" to some workers and "independent contractor" to others, while forcing many individuals outside the protections of our legal system altogether.
We are honored to have a remarkable group of accomplished speakers and panelists. Dr. Richard Freeman, one of the world's leading labor economists, gave our introductory keynote address and provided some guiding insights for the day's activities. Jocelyn Jones, Deputy Chief of the Fair Labor Division at the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, and Michael Felsen, New England Regional Solicitor at the U.S. Department of Labor, offered on-the-ground perspectives of the state and federal efforts to combat employee misclassification. Other distinguished speakers and panelists focused on cutting edge issues, including the triangulation of employment relationships through contracting and temp agencies, the exclusion of domestic workers from protections, and the misclassification of employees as interns.
We have initiated the process for editing the articles and other materials for the symposium.