Letter From the Chair, Katherine Beckett

Submitted by Devon Pimentelli on

Dear Friends of LSJ ~

Warm greetings from LSJ! I am delighted to report that our efforts to revive our experiential learning opportunities are gaining traction, with several new initiatives underway. This summer we offered two study abroad courses with two new quarter-long study abroad programs in development. Philanthropy Lab (led by Professor) Stephen Meyers had another successful run last spring. Professor Ann Frost has revived our book clubs, which will commence in two King County work release facilities shortly. And starting this fall, LSJ will offer two year-long practicum courses designed to give students a chance to develop new skills and use them in the pursuit of justice.

The first course, taught by Professor Angelina Godoy, is called “Story Telling for Migrant Justice.” In it, students will explore – and apply – one concrete form of art for justice: storytelling. Students will work on a collaborative storytelling project to compile and share stories with and from leaders of abolitionist migrant justice organization La Resistencia. The purpose of gathering their stories is to document and share this organization’s powerful visions of a world without borders, rooted in their experiences as undocumented leaders or family members, and nourished by a community of abolitionist practice.

In addition, I will have the pleasure of offering a modified version of the Juvenile Parole Project, created by Professor Steve Herbert in 2019. In past iterations of the course, students worked alongside volunteer attorneys to assist people who were sent to adult prison for crimes they committed as children as they prepared for hearings in which their releasability was considered. The course was featured in the University of Washington magazine and was enormously transformative for all involved. This time around, LSJ students will mainly work alongside people who are serving excessive sentences to develop petitions intended to persuade prosecutors to support their resentencing under Senate Bill 6164.  I am looking forward to working closely with the Seattle Clemency Project and am confident that this collaboration will yield another set of transformative opportunities for our terrific and talented students.

More exciting news: LSJ has been authorized to hire two new assistant professors. One will be an expert in race/racialization as it relates to law, rights, and justice; the other will be an environmental justice scholar. We are excited to recruit welcome new junior faculty and to be able to expand our course offerings in these crucial areas. Stay tuned!

We think of you, our alums, often, and are so grateful for the opportunity to keep in touch with you. And, your support is, as always, greatly appreciated!

All best wishes,

Katherine Beckett