The outbreak of COVID-19 has fundamentally disrupted life as we know it, creating unprecedented legal, ethical, and policy challenges across the globe. In the United States, the pandemic has exacerbated the underlying social, economic, and political inequalities that define life for so many Americans, calling into question the rules we play by and forcing institutions and companies to grapple with challenging issues in governance and business. Legal and policy responses to COVID-19 and its aftermath have created openings to forge new alliances between movements, find intersections among legal issues, and opportunities for lawyers to be thought leaders. As we begin to cope with the current loss and prepare for the future, we ask ourselves, what are the emerging issues? How do we protect the vulnerable and re-imagine a better, more just future? How can we lead?
The strength and limits of our Constitution and our federal, state, and local laws have been tested before. In moments of crisis―after 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina ―lawyers were critical in reshaping the laws in response to our nation’s pressing issues. Similarly, what we do now and in the months and years to come as lawyers, will shape our future for generations.
In line with our mission at GGU Law, the course will ensure our students are practice-ready in times of crisis and need. We will highlight the role of the law in both addressing the unmet legal needs of the current crisis and building new legal frameworks for a more equitable future. By examining specific issues that a range of communities and businesses are facing, students will reflect on this moment in history, gain a framework for how to address emerging legal issues, learn and apply relevant legal doctrines in a variety of settings, and re-imagine the future. Utilizing a co-teaching model with the school’s clinical and doctrinal faculty across disciplines, and industry experts in privacy, technology, intellectual property, employment, child welfare, criminal justice, and juvenile law, students will gain a practice-ready lens to the legal issues raised in the course.