Summary: Shannon Welch is a third-year law student at Duke Law School. She has worked with the Coalition Against Gendered Violence, the Clemency Project, The Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy, and the Duke Law Wrongful Convictions Clinic. Currently, Welch serves as Executive Director for the Innocence Project at Duke Law. Last week, Juris sat down with her to discuss that initiative. Juris: Could you tell me a little bit about your educational background? Welch: I’m from Washington, D.C. and I went to undergrad at Wesleyan University up in Middletown, Connecticut –The Wesleyan. I was an American History and American Government double major. We don’t really have a pre-law major at Wesleyan, so I took a few legal courses – Constitutional Law and Civil Rights – and that started piquing my interest in law. I interned at the US Attorney’s Office in DC in my sophomore year, and I […]
Indian family law is characterized by the granting of different rights to different religious groups. Although changes have been made to lessen the disparity in gender representation within the law for women, these changes have been primarily directed at Muslim rather than Hindu women. Group-specific family law disproportionately affords Hindu women with fewer rights and limits the policy progress that can be made. Laws concerning Muslim alimonies and divorces have been amended to allow women more rights and cultural accommodations. In 1986, the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Divorce Act secured the ability of divorced Muslim women to collect money from former husbands. The Act invalidated the Supreme Court ruling in Ahmed Khan v Shah Bano Begum, which held that only Muslim women who have not remarried can claim financial compensation. Under the Act, former husbands are required to pay divorced women enough to financially maintain her current lifestyle […]
The quandary of a strong undergraduate major for law school plagues undergraduates nationwide. The archaic pre-law major, once the perfect preparation for law school, appears now out of fashion for students desiring a competitive edge for law school applications. With this in mind, many undergraduates turn to the American Bar Association for advice on the ideal preparatory major; they do so to no avail, as “the ABA does not recommend any undergraduate majors or group of courses to prepare for a legal education.” It is understandable that students desire advice on which courses would best prepare them for the rigor of law school. While the pre-law track covers material taught in these graduate classes, it seems that preparation is now secondary to an interesting or unconventional major. There are several reasons for this shift in preferred undergraduate majors. The 2015-2016 LSAT data attests that the highest percentage of enrolled law […]
During an early-morning tweet session on March 4, President Trump shared that he “Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory” and asked, “is it legal for a sitting President to be ‘wire-tapping’ a race for president prior to an election?” The answer to Mr. Trump’s question is a definitive “no.” Without showing a warrant, the President does not have the unilateral authority to order a wiretap unless it is directed against non-Americans or purely overseas communications. If a sitting President were to order a wiretap of an opposing nominees’ headquarters during the height of their Presidential campaign, it could easily provoke the largest political scandal in recent memory. The very fact that President Trump would make such a claim is deeply troubling. The media was quick to question Mr. Trump’s tweet. The president gave no evidence to back up his claims. […]
The 1st Amendment is one of the staples of a functioning, free democracy. Yet, under the current administration, we have seen multiple attempts to undermine the freedoms of speech, expression, press, and religion enshrined in the 1st Amendment. In November 2016, a tweet by then-President-Elect Donald Trump attacking flag burners sparked controversy related to the tension between the freedom of speech and the legality of flag desecration. A quick review of the history of flag desecration in American history clearly illustrates the complex and contentious nature of the topic. Throughout the Vietnam war, antiwar activists often desecrated the American flag as a form of expressive, social protest. The ambiguity surrounding whether such an act was protected by the 1st Amendment lasted three decades; in the meanwhile, law enforcement and the lower courts held much of the discretionary power regarding each of the cases. The constitutional protection of flag desecration was finally addressed by […]
International criminal law is defined by lofty goals. The branch of law seeks to establish direct criminal responsibility for individuals across state lines by creating transnational mechanisms for adjudication and enforcement of international human rights treaties. The main body for this adjudicative process is the International Criminal Court, (ICC) established by the 1998 Rome Statute. Although the ICC is supposedly the court of last resort for individual criminal activities, it is plagued by problems. The first problem concerns a lack of stakeholders. Several major countries currently do not participate in the ICC. The United States and Russia, while signatories to the Rome Statute, have yet to ratify it. China and India are not signatories at all. Additionally, multiple African nations such as Burundi, South Africa, and Gambia have recently exited from the ICC. Several others, including Uganda and Kenya, seem likely to follow suit. This mass exodus from the stems largely from accusations that the ICC is biased against African nations. In an official statement, the Gambian government noted that “there are […]
In 1875, African Americans were given the right to serve as jurors. Now, nearly 150 years later, people of color are still grossly underrepresented on jury panels across the country. In 2012, almost every criminal trial in Houston, Alabama (a county composed of nearly 30% African Americans) was heard by an all-white jury. How did this disparity between the ideal — a diverse, qualified jury — and the reality begin? The story starts with a man named James Batson, a Kentuckian accused of burglary in 1986. While the case, the crime, and even the man himself were unremarkable, the proceedings of Batson’s trial have revolutionized the way juries are created. During Batson’s voir dire, (jury selection process) all four potential African American jurors were struck from service. Batson, an African American man, was tried and convicted by an all-white jury. Resentful of the seemingly racialized treatment his jury had received, Batson appealed the decision […]
Welcome to the new home page for Juris, Duke’s Undergraduate Law Magazine. Set to launch in Spring 2017, the Juris publication will feature academic essays, case analyses, and interviews written exclusively by undergraduates. In addition to building student experience for law and graduate school, Juris will allow students to explore legal complexities across a broad range of issues through a variety of mediums, whether through already-composed coursework or independent writing. This website will be a companion for the print publication and will be updated with regularity as more writers join the staff. Expect to see new content here very soon. Until then, you can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to hear more about what is to come.