PLUS: Professors and Law Students Unraveling Scholarship
By 3L Srishti Miglani
Professors and Law Students Unraveling Scholarship (PLUS): Broadening Horizons
The three-year law school curriculum leaves many students feeling that they missed out on taking many interesting courses. For some, the thirst for knowledge is never quenched, especially once they start practicing law and their knowledge base is framed and restricted by their clients’ cases. For most of us, law school is the last time we will be able to take a semester-long course on a topic irrelevant to our careers, but interesting nonetheless. However, there is only so much you can expose your brain cells to in the three-year, 91 credit curriculum. Professors and Law Students Unraveling Scholarship (PLUS) provides law students with the opportunity to learn about new topics, engage in stimulating discussions with talented professors, and broaden their intellectual horizons.
PLUS was inspired by a Journal Club regularly hosted at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, where health professionals gather to discuss new research and evaluate its applications to the practice of public health and medicine. Journal Club has traditionally been associated with medical school education, helping medical students connect developments in medical research to the practice of medicine.
The law school version of Journal Club was brought to SLU LAW by three law students—Srishti Miglani, Daniel J. Sheffner, and Abby Duncan—in the form of PLUS. PLUS is a discussion-based, law student group which hopes to expand understanding of current, topical developments in the law and legal scholarship for the benefit of the law school community. PLUS invites SLU LAW professors to discuss current legal developments with law students, once a month in one hour round-table discussions, relying on their own and others’ relevant publications or on recent case or statutory law developments. Each meeting focuses on a specific area of law and is framed by selected primary or secondary sources to be read by attendees.
On Oct. 4, Professor Tom Stewart led the inaugural PLUS discussion, engaging the attendees in an interactive discussion on the Missouri Non-Partisan Court Plan. Several students, as well as Dean Jon Baris and Professor John Ammann, attended and took part in the discussion.
Dean Baris said, "I am really excited about the PLUS program and was particularly interested in the discussion of the non-partisan court plan and the selection of judges. Being able to participate in an informal and insightful discussion between students and faculty about this timely and important topic was extremely valuable. I encourage all students and faculty to take advantage of this opportunity in future programs."
Professor John Ammann added, "The discussion in the inaugural session of the PLUS program was excellent. Professor Stewart led us through a thought-provoking analysis of how judges are chosen, and the realities of a variety of influences in the selection process."
PLUS has gained the admiration and support of many students and professors, and it hopes to engage SLU LAW students in many more stimulating, neuron-tickling discussions. Keep an eye out for the upcoming PLUS discussions (also listed below) in SLU LAW News and on its Facebook page.
Upcoming PLUS Discussions:
Thursday, Oct. 31, 2-2:50 p.m., Room 774
Paul Finkelman from Albany Law School will be visiting for the Childress Lecture. Prof. Finkelman is an expert in constitutional history and constitutional law, freedom of religion, the law of slavery, civil liberties and the American Civil War, and legal issues surrounding baseball. The recommended reading is his article "Frederick Douglass’s Constitution: From Garrisonian Abolitionist to Lincoln Republican." Anyone who would like to come to the discussion can contact Dan Sheffner (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Srishti Miglani (email@example.com) for a copy of the article.
Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. at Professor Jordan’s apartment
Beer and (good) pizza will be provided. Even though this one will be held at my place, the real host is Prof. Jeff Redding, who will be discussing same-sex marriage. The articles he would like attendees to read are: (1) Jeff Redding, Proposition 8 and the Future of American Same-Sex Marriage Activism, 14 Nexus 113 (2009); (2) Jeff Redding, Querying Edith Windsor, Querying Equality, 59 Vill. L. Rev. 9 (2013); (3) Jeff Redding, Dignity, Legal Pluralism, and Same-Sex Marriage, 75 Brook. L. Rev. 791 (2010). For details, please contact Srishti, Daniel, or Abby.