Fall 2022
Laws 3503A – (in)Equality & Discrimination
LAWS 3503A: Assignment 1
Submission Instructions:
Papers must be submitted in word (.doc or .docx) format and following standard university guidelines (doublespaced, in 12pt Times New Roman font with standard 1” margins) through the Carleton Bright-Space assignment
submission ‘dropbox’ by 4pm Friday November 4th 2022. Any paper submitted after this date/time will be
considered late, unless a formal extension is granted (in writing) by the course director.
Alternative submission (email/hardcopy) will not be accepted – excepting with the explicit agreement (in writing)
of the course director and only under special circumstances.
This assignment is worth 30% of the final grade for the course.
Assignment Instructions:
Answer two (2) of the three (3) questions provided below.
Answer in essay style – following all standards for university level writing. Students are expected to ensure their
papers are properly edited for clarity, spelling and grammar. Each answer must be between 5 and 7.5 pages in
length (excluding title page and bibliography), standard margins, double spaced, Times New Roman font, 12 pts.
The total assignment length for both answers should not exceed 15 pages (excluding bibliography and title page).
Answers must be fully cited (uniform legal citation or MLA).
In answering each question, students are instructed to demonstrate knowledge of, and the ability to apply, the
concepts and approaches discussed in appropriate course materials as covered in: 1) assigned readings, 2)
screened documentaries, and 3) lectures.
Each question focuses on different themes, legal principles, and materials. Students may draw on any assigned
readings, lectures, or notes on media shown in class. Emphasis should be placed on required readings, specifically
the demonstration of having read and understood assigned articles, as well as the ability to draw links between
the ideas and themes covered in the course.
Student MUST demonstrate knowledge, NOT simply repeat statements from lectures or in the assigned readings,
and students must use citations to show where they have drawn from their assigned readings. It is insufficient to
simply identify issues or conceptual tools – you must be able to show that you understand the content of the ideas
you deploy.
Outside sources are neither required, nor permitted.
Fall 2022
Laws 3503A – (in)Equality & Discrimination
Scenario Questions:
1. Imagine you are a member of an editorial board for an online journal that publishes videos,
articles, and opinion pieces about Law and Society. Generally, your job is to review potential
submissions to make sure they meet the board’s standards for being high quality and factually
accurate. That said, recently your organization published an opinion piece by a prominent social
media figure regarding how personal bias was at the root of all the inequality in society broadly,
and the legal system specifically. They argued that it’s a bunch of ‘bad apples’ or ‘hidden vipers’
in the ‘halls of power’ that are the problem. The article was titled: Time to Clean House!
While the article was mostly well received, a lot of discussion has followed across your social
media platforms about other kinds of bias and systemic discrimination. Knowing you did some
Critical Legal Studies (CLS) courses in school, the other members of the board have asked you to
take the lead in writing a rejoinder article (a complimentary response) from the editorial board
that discusses other ways to understand bias and embedded inequality in the law and society.
The requested piece isn’t about rejecting the importance of individual bias or explicit
discrimination – but rather to compliment it by drawing attention to some of the more
structural ways one can understand these issues in the context of law and justice.
Drawing on the assigned readings by Dorothy Smith and Carole Smart, as well as at least one
(1) other assigned article, prepare the requested editorial.
[PLEASE NOTE – while you may prepare your answer as a draft ‘editorial’ modeling it after how
such articles are usually written – including the use of first person – you are not obligated to do
so. Regardless, you must ensure you demonstrate your understanding of assigned materials as
indicated in the assignment instructions.]
2. You have been selected as one of the finalists for a full scholarship to any law school in the
world – all tuition, living expenses, travel and a living allowance included. As part of the last
phase of the selection process, each finalist has been asked to write a short essay about the
power of law. More specifically, finalist have been asked to offer their critical evaluation of the
incredible depth and scope of influence the law has on questions of equality and discrimination,
as well as more generally on people’s everyday lives. How can one describe and understand the
ways in which the law does more than punish wrong-doing, establish rules, or even determine
‘truth?’ In short, how does the law operate as a ‘hegemonic’ force?
Drawing on the assigned readings by Douglas Litowitz and Carole Smart as well as at least 1
other assigned article/chapter from the course, write the requested essay.
3. Imagine you are applying for a policy analyst position job with the federal government in the
Department of Justice. As part of the interview process, you have been asked to provide a short
writing sample demonstrating your socio-legal knowledge as well as your ability to express
yourself clearly and concisely. Knowing that all the candidates have a background in Critical
Legal Studies (CLS) – the interviewers are testing candidates to see how they use and explain CLS
perspectives.
Specifically, each candidate has been asked to provide a short essay considering and
explaining, from a CLS perspective, the difference between the principles of ‘redistribution’
and ‘recognition’ in the context of justice, and what these two different principles offer
someone in terms of thinking through issues of inequality or discrimination in law.
Drawing on the assigned readings by Leif Wenar (on Rawls), Booker Cook (on De Bois and
Fanon) and Nancy Fraser, prepare the requested writing sample.

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