About the center
Experience and scholarship tell us that the role of law in society and culture is best understood through interdisciplinary analysis. Culture, power, politics, globalization, information technology, biotechnology, literary criticism, environmental science, economics — these and many other disciplines and phenomena create a rich context for the study of law, a context that is critical to gaining an understanding of our society. There is simply no one discipline or field of professional study, domestic or global, that can impart a comprehensive understanding of law's impact and meaning.
The fundamental mission of the Center for Law, Society, and Culture is to promote and disseminate a multidisciplinary understanding of law through scholarship, teaching, and discussion. The Center produces, presents, and coordinates research conducted by exceptional scholars in schools and departments across Indiana University on the subject of law and legal problems. The Center supports research related to the law in a broad sense, including cultural aspects of law expressed through political theory and the humanities, and scientific aspects of law expressed through technological advance in biotechnology, environmental science, and information technology.
Recognizing that a vital democratic culture requires an informed citizenry that is comfortable talking about and thinking about the law, the Center for Law, Society, and Culture inspires collaboration among scholars and serves as a catalyst for curricular innovation and enhancement. The Center advocates and invigorates the study of law and its relationship to society and culture among all students at Indiana University.
To engage students at the Maurer School of Law in particular, the Center oversees two innovative programs: the Access-to-Justice Service Learning Program and the Bradley Fellows in Criminal Law and Procedure.
The Access-to-Justice Service Learning Program
To engage students at the Maurer School of Law in particular, the Center oversees two innovative programs. Through the Access to Justice service learning project, 1L students engage in conducting legal needs studies in Southern Indiana (specifically Monroe and Lawrence Counties) and in service learning projects with community partners to enhance effectiveness in legal aid delivery. Additionally, 2L and 3L students can participate in a Project Management course in which teams of students learn the necessary skills by working on actual access-to-justice service learning projects. The five projects that the teams seek to accomplish before graduation are:
- Creating an online form bank for unrepresented litigants in family law cases, integrating them with easy-to-use software, and making instructional videos for their use;
- Collaborating with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana’s pro bono office to create a web-based software platform for counsel recruited to represent indigent prisoners with meritorious medical malpractice claims;
- Working with IU’s Title IX office to design a restorative justice program for resolving campus sexual assaults;
- Partnering with the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic to extend its Project GRACE expungement help desk to Bloomington
- Partnering with Thriving Connections to design easily understood materials that will advise and counsel Bloomington residents on debt collection and debt management.
The Bradley Fellows in Criminal Law and Procedure
The Center also is home to the Bradley Fellows in Criminal Law and Procedure. The Bradley Fellows Program, named after the late Professor Craig M. Bradley, includes a full range of curricular, extra-curricular, and experiential learning opportunities designed to prepare Indiana Law students for a successful and rewarding career in criminal justice – as a prosecutor, public defender, private criminal defense attorney, policy-maker, or researcher.
Advisory Board Members:
Pamela Foohey, Associate Professor of Law, Advisory Board Chair
Jeannine Bell, Richard S. Melvin Professor of Law
Joseph L. Hoffmann, Harry Pratter Professor of Law and Director, Bradley Fellows Program
Laura Foster, Assistant Professor of Gender Studies
Ilana Gershon, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
Michael Grossberg, Sally M. Reahard Professor, Department of History and Professor of Law
Jim Sherman, Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences