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DEI Designated Courses

LAW 6196: ASYLUM AND REFUGEE LAW (2 credits)

  • This course will introduce and explore the main concepts, laws, and policies related to protection for those fleeing danger in their home countries. The course will examine the assumptions, origins, and evolution of U.S. asylum and refugee law. Students will gain an understanding of who is protected from serious harm in their home countries, what rights those individuals have throughout the process, and impediments refugees face both at the border and within the United States. The course will also explore what drives refugees to flee their home countries and seek protection in the United States. The course will promote critical thinking about current immigration law and policy.
  • Diversity Equity and Inclusion course


  • From equal voting rights to police reform, and from income inequality to educational equity, change is in the air. The struggle for freedom, equality and full citizenship requires lawyers to utilize innovative skills and methods to help minority and marginalized communities. Students will review recent PA state policy reports on trauma, youth courts, and the juvenile justice system and craft legislation to 1) transform school discipline into a restorative and less punitive system, and 2) reform the justice system. Students will learn practices and strategies to confront income inequality such as: The Community Reinvestment Act, Community Benefit Agreements, and Timebanking. They will learn how movement lawyers use coalition building, community education and training to empower disadvantaged populations. Social change occurs when power shifts. Some past protests led to positive change, and some grievances led to new legislation – but not always. Often state power defeated federal equal protection claims in our courts, corporate power impeded citizen freedom in our economy; and everyday institutional practices frustrated equity and inclusion. Students will conceive their own theory of change, and learn how to use the law to improve society for all citizens. Multiple guest lectures will supplement course readings.
  • Satisfies Graduation Requirement: Skills
  • Diversity Equity and Inclusion course


  • This Inside-Out course is an opportunity for a group of law students and a group of students who are incarcerated to exchange ideas and perceptions about crime, justice, the criminal justice system, corrections and imprisonment. Readings will include scholarly articles, news reports and case law. Our three-hour weekly meetings will take place at the Plummer Community Correctional Center in Wilmington. Law students will carpool to class from campus at 5:00 pm.

LAW 6206: CRITICAL RACE THEORY (3 credits)

  • This course explores critical race theory, a theoretical framework developed that rose to prominence in the 1980s. This theory questions law and society at its juncture with race and power. Critical race theory is critical of assumptions about the law’s race neutrality and colorblindness, and openly discusses the role of law in (re)producing racial and ethnic hierarchies. The course starts by exploring the leading articles and arguments that are the foundation of critical race theory and ends by applying its analytical and methodological approaches to current issues, including mass incarceration and affirmative action. The course explores interdisciplinary approaches, including social science research, narrative, legal scholarship, and philosophy to provide students with an overview of this theory and enable them to apply it to contemporary issues. The primary objective of this course is for you to understand and apply general concepts developed within the critical race theory scholarship and to be able to apply these concepts in varied legal contexts and settings. Our discussions will explore topics such as interest convergence, intersectionality, the whitening of Mexican identity, and implicit bias.
  • Diversity Equity and Inclusion course


  • This one semester client services clinical program provides students in their final year of law school with an opportunity for intensive study and actual experience in representation of clients with civil legal problems under the supervision of law school clinical instructors. Students participating in the civil clinic will interview and counsel clients, frame legal issues in cases, draft pleadings and in litigation under the third-year law student practice rule. In addition, a weekly 9 seminar will provide training in basic lawyering skills and discussion of substantive, procedural and ethical problems encountered in clinical work. Each student will work a minimum of twenty (20) hours per week including semester time. Participation is limited to twenty-five (25) students in their final year of law school. Selection for the civil clinic, unlike regular course selection, is based upon an application procedure, which may include written materials, interviews, and a final acceptance decision, by the Civil Clinic Director.
  • Prerequisites: LAW 836: Evidence and LAW 702: Professional Responsibility
  • Satisfies Graduation Requirement: Skills
  • Diversity Equity and Inclusion course

LAW 6205: DIGNITY LAW (3 credits)

  • This course explores human rights law from the perspective of human dignity. According to the ABA, dignity rights are the foundation of a just rule of law and should be protected in all legislative, executive, and judicial functions. International law is based on the recognition of human dignity and, increasingly, courts in the US and abroad are protecting human dignity in cases dealing with all aspects of the human experience, from rights of conscience to health care to criminal sentencing to abortion to voting, and more. This course surveys how courts are shaping the law to reflect and protect the essential value of human dignity. There will be a take home exam.
  • Diversity Equity and Inclusion course


  • The Dignity Rights Clinic (DRC) is Delaware Law School’s newest clinic and the first law school clinic in the world dedicated to advancing the principle of human dignity under law. The Clinic provides legal services to clients in non-representational matters to help shape the law’s commitment to the protection and promotion of the inherent, inalienable, and equal worth of every person, everywhere. The DRC is part of the Dignity Rights Project and builds on the work that students in the Dignity Rights Practicum have been doing since 2016. The Clinic, like the Practicum, also works with the Dignity Rights Initiative, a non-profit organization founded by Professors Erin Daly and James R. May.
  • Dignity rights are the legal rights that flow from the recognition of the equal worth of every "member of the human family." Because human worth is implicated in every aspect of life, dignity rights protect the full range of the human experience, including rights to freedom of conscience and political participation, rights to equality and equal treatment, rights to live with dignity (including the right to health, to education, to a healthy environment, and so on) and rights to express one’s own identity and have agency over one’s own life course (including rights to marriage equality, family life, and so on). In short, they comprise all the rights necessary to be treated “as a person.” Clinical work may involve any of these sets of rights. Indeed, dignity rights have been recognized in the constitutions of more than 160 countries and have been implicitly recognized by courts in constitutional systems even where they are not explicit, as in the United States. At the same time, dignity rights are the backbone – the source and the very purpose – of international human rights law, recognized in the International Bill of Rights as well as in regional human rights instruments in the Americas, Europe, and Africa. In 2019, the American Bar Association resolved that dignity rights are the “foundation of a just rule of law” and established a Dignity Rights Initiative which works in partnership with the Law School’s Dignity Rights Project. The Dignity Rights Clinic is offered in both fall and spring semesters for 3 credits each semester. Students are not required to take both semesters but may be given permission to do so on an individual basis.
  • Satisfies Graduation Requirement: Skills
  • Diversity Equity and Inclusion course 


  • The Dignity Rights Practicum combines the best of seminar instruction (discussion, perspectives, and a research report) with experiential learning (working with real partners on real applications to help real people). Dignity Law is a new area of law. At its root, it is the body of law that flows from the recognition of the equal and inalienable value of every member of the human family. (For a brief video, click here). This recognition affects rights in all areas of law – from constitutional, corporate and human rights law, to torts, family law, criminal law, international law, human rights law, employment law, environmental law, and more. The practicum permits students to work with a project partner, research a topic, write a paper, and share their work to broaden and deepen their own experience: your work will be used in actual, ongoing legal advocacy.
  • Since the Practicum’s inception, nearly 80 students have worked with local and global partners in Albania, Bhutan, Colombia, France, Haiti, Pakistan, United Kingdom, United States, South Africa, as well as with institutional partners such as to the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights and to the American Bar Association. Some prior students enrolled in the practicum talk about their experience in this video. The Practicum works with Dignity Richard Project, which aims to set dignity in action through public and professional education, advocacy, and support for high-impact lawyering. This is a unique opportunity for students who seek an intensive leaning and lawyering experience. The course is available to JD and LLM students, and those enrolled in the day or evening.
  • There are no prerequisites. Enrollment is limited.
  • Diversity Equity and Inclusion course

LAW 765: DISABILITY LAW (2 credits)

  • This course examines the legal response to the issues confronting people with disabilities. General topics include the meaning of disability; the historical treatment and contemporary social status of people with disabilities; the role of the law in the construction of disability; and constitutional and statutory protections against discrimination in: education; employment; family rights; federally funded programs; housing; and public accommodations, benefits and services. Specific legal rights and protections include: the legal protection guarantee; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Americans with Disabilities Act; the Fair Housing Amendments Act; the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; and the benefits available under the Social Security Act (SSD/SSI and Medicare/Medicaid).
  • Diversity Equity and Inclusion course


  • This course examines the constitutional guarantee of equality. Focus will be on competing visions of equality and their doctrinal expression. Theoretical considerations include conceptions of personhood and difference; the role of the state; and the relationship between historical context and constitutional doctrine. Doctrinal topics include the hierarchy of scrutiny; the requirement of discriminatory intent; desegregation and re-segregation; and congressional power to ensure equal protection.
  • Prerequisites: Law 601: Constitutional Law I; Law 6170: Constitutional Law I; Law 6172 Constitutional Law II (may be taken concurrently with this course)
  • Diversity Equity and Inclusion course


  • The Innocence Delaware Legal Clinic partners with the non-profit organization Innocence Delaware that provides representation to people unjustly incarcerated in Delaware for crimes they did not commit. What Students Do – Students will assist Innocence Delaware in their mission by screening cases for representation, learning post-conviction law, and practicing innocence work. Students will work under the supervision of Clinic Director Judith Ritter, Clinic Professor Romie Griesmer, and the Executive Director of Innocence Delaware. Innocence work may involve screening requests for representation, interviewing clients, conducting investigations, doing legal research, and preparing legal pleadings.
  • Credits – Students are enrolled for seven (7) Credits for the Full Year, three (3) of these Credits are earned in the Fall Semester and four (4) are earned in the Spring Semester. Clinic Seminar and Clinic Hours –Students are required to take the Post-Conviction Remedies course in the Fall Semester (for 2 credits of the 3 credits earned). In addition, students will attend 14 hours of training classes over the course of the Fall semester. In the Spring Semester, students will work on actual cases and attend supervisory sessions. Students are expected to spend an average of 12 hours per week on clinic work in the Spring. If you have any questions about our program, please feel free to drop by our offices (Clinic Professor Griesmer Clinic Wing 253, Professor Ritter 305). Enrollment – Three (3) students will be selected by the Clinic Director and Clinic Professor after submission of application and interview. Only third year students are eligible to enroll. Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure I, Evidence and Professional Responsibility are course prerequisites. Preference will be given to students who have taken Trial Methods/ITAP and/or Criminal Procedure II. Once enrolled, students may not withdraw from the course without specific written authorization from the Program Director.
  • Prerequisite: Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure I, Evidence, Professional Responsibility Satisfies Graduation Requirement: Skills
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion                                                     


  • Together, the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, approved by Congress and ratified by the States on the heels of the Civil War, are known as The Reconstruction Amendments (“RA”). As you (hopefully) remember from Constitutional Law, the Thirteenth Amendment (1865) abolished slavery nationwide; the Fourteenth Amendment (1868) provided, inter alia, that “[a]ll persons born or naturalized in the United States … are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside” and conferred to all persons the protections of due process and equal protection of the laws; and the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) forbid denial of the right to vote on grounds of race or “previous condition of servitude. Leading scholars, such as Eric Foner, refer to this period and these Amendments as constituting the Second Founding of the Republic.
  • This course examines individual constitutional rights, primarily those involving the guarantees of due process and equal protection found in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. It will also expose you to the rights guaranteed by the Thirteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. The course focuses on the constitutionality of laws that classify people on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other bases, as well as laws that restrict abortion, contraception, sexual activity, marriage, and other individual freedoms. We will be examining the development of constitutional law over time. Accordingly, rather than devoting a single class session to a given doctrinal principle, we will return to certain principles multiple times in concert with doctrinal developments over time. This historical approach provides insight into how changes in the Court’s composition and philosophy over time have impacted all aspects of constitutional law.
  • Diversity Equity and Inclusion course


  • This seminar will explore the intersection between law and inequality. Reading materials and classroom sessions will focus on the ways in which the law may be responsible for creating and perpetuating inequality, as well as the ways in which the law can be a tool for redressing inequality. The class will examine inequality as it is correlated with class, disability, gender, race, and sexual orientation, and will consider inequalities in, among other things, employment, education, elections, wealth distribution, immigration policy, and criminal justice. Laws examined will include the constitutional guarantee of equal protection, and federal anti-discrimination legislation. Paper required; the paper can satisfy Delaware Law School’s writing requirement.
  • Diversity Equity and Inclusion course


  • Legislatures, state and federal agencies, and courts charged with protecting the public health are governed by requirements of law: constitutional, regulatory, and common. In a variety of contexts, this course explores the responsibility, actions, and decisions of these entities in their efforts to safeguard the public health. We will focus on the ways that, in some cases, decisions may have unequal and negative impacts on certain groups and communities. We will explore the public health response to various problems, including the current COVID-19 pandemic (and its antecedents), other infectious and contagious diseases, and chronic illnesses, among other topics. Central to this examination will be consideration of the state’s power to encroach on the liberties and decision-making of individuals, where such encroachment is argued to serve a greater, public good; and how such exercise of power may result in inequality and disparate treatment and outcomes for various groups and communities. Time permitting, we may also explore such issues as civil commitment, procreation, and human experimentation and clinical research.
  • As a seminar, this course carries an expectation that students will attend and participate consistently. The discussions for each week will be guided and informed by a series of weekly reaction papers, which students will submit in advance of class. The last few weeks of the semester will be given over to students' presentations on a topic of their choice, relating to one or more of the papers they have written. The topics will be approved in advance, and discussed with the professor(s). Final grades will be based on the reaction papers, participation in class discussions, and the presentation. There is no examination in this course. Students wishing to write a single, longer paper, may do so in lieu of the shorter reaction papers described above. Any student wishing to pursue this option should so inform the professor(s) not later than the end of the second class of the semester.
  • Diversity Equity and Inclusion course

Spring 2022
Community Impact Lawyering
Dignity Rights Practicum
Employment Discrimination Law
Innocence Delaware Legal Clinic
Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program: Crime & Punishment in the US
Public Health Law & Inequality

Fall 2021
DE Civil Clinic (Domestic Violence)
Dignity Rights Clinic
Disability Law
Innocence Delaware Legal Clinic
PA Criminal Defense Clinic
Reconstruction Amendments

Spring 2021
Asylum & Refugee Law
Critical Race Theory
Dignity Law
Dignity Rights Practicum
Equal Protection