Student-Sponsored Symposia

UC Irvine School of Law encourages student organizations and publications to sponsor academic conferences and symposia. One student organization or publication is selected each year to sponsor a subsidized full-day conference or symposium.

Upcoming Event

To be announced.

Past Events

March 23-24, 2018: Transgender Communities and the Law: Contemporary Legal & Policy Battles
Transgender people are facing legal challenges in the United States. In recent years, private lives have been held up for legislative scrutiny, even as long-fought battles for basic protections have seen some success. Transgender people in different parts of the country experience wildly disparate legal treatment: contrast North Carolina’s HB2 and the Trump administration’s attempted ban on transgender people from serving in the military with Obama-era federal guidelines on the use of bathrooms in schools and California’s new Gender Recognition Bill. While large swaths of the country aim to marginalize their transgender residents, other states are increasing legal services and protections. Advocates have responded by deploying a wide range of legal and non-legal strategies. OutLaw will highlight and explore these fights in a collaborative symposium. We will bring together academics, organizers, and community members to address both theoretical and practical concerns about legal issues facing transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people. Symposium sessions will cover a variety of topics, including education, employment, immigration, healthcare, non-binary frontiers, identification documents, public accommodations, and the prison industrial complex. The symposium will expose participants to a diversity of perspectives on these legal issues, emphasizing intersectionality and collaboration. Together we will examine the challenges and possibilities facing those in Southern California and across the nation, now and in coming years.

March 24, 2017: Blood Quantum, Identity, and Sovereignty: Contemporary Legal Battles In Indigenous Communities - Native American Law Students Association Student-run Symposium
This symposium gathered indigenous people together to discuss the realities of blood quantum and identity in Indian Country and Native Nations' battles for sovereignty. The symposium was broken down into two main topics: “Blood Quantum, Culture, Lineage, and Identity” and “The Fight for Sovereignty.” The first panel focused on the intersections of the above topics and how they affect tribal communities. The second panel focused more closely on legal battles that Native peoples currently are facing in the judicial system.

Feb. 10, 2017: Race of the Races
This symposium focused on the inter-group and group-specific experiences of people of color under the law. Sociolegal scholars, practitioners, and community organizers shared their expertise on some of the most salient issues affecting communities of color—higher education, mass criminalization, and employment. Discussion centered on finding opportunities for solidarity across different contexts—the Black Lives Matter movement, immigrant rights’ movement, anti-Islamophobia movement—and identifying what role(s) lawyers and law students can play in dismantling oppressive legal regimes.

March 28, 2015: Bridging a Troubled Stream: Confronting Legal Issues at the Nexus of Entertainment and Technology
This symposium examined current legal issues at the nexus of entertainment and technology in a rapidly changing digital frontier. Experts from the legal, technological, business, media, entertainment, and government sectors discussed the consequences of legal decisions on access to entertainment in the internet age. The panelists explored questions that directly affect the way consumers access entertainment, how artists and entertainers create content, and the future landscape of entertainment and information distribution.

February 21, 2015: Critical Perspectives on the Drug War
An Associated Press investigation in 2010 concluded the U.S. has spent over $1 trillion on the War on Drugs since 1970. Despite decades of effort and incarcerating more than 37 million people for drug-related offenses, drug use remains high and drug supply and purity are greater than ever, according to AP and CNN reports. The panelists at this symposium demonstrated how past prohibitionist policies have failed, and how it is time to reevaluate our approach. Experts from the legal, political and judicial arenas, as well as civil rights activists, harm reduction workers, entrepreneurs and full-time reform workers looked at how U.S. drug policies have affected society, and discussed the future of drug policymaking.

Feb. 22, 2014: Prisoners’ Access to Justice: Exploring Legal, Medical, and Educational Rights
The symposium brought together legal and medical experts with ex-prisoners. Ex-prisoners introduced each topic by describing their experience of access, or lack of access. Experts discussed what rights exist in prison and whether prisoners currently have access to those rights. Panels also addressed what steps can be taken to fill gaps in access to justice.

March 14–15, 2013: Law and Economics
In the wake of the financial crisis and the Great Recession, many were rethinking the role of regulation and the tools available to regulators. This symposium sought to re-think regulation by focusing on cost-benefit analysis. Understanding the benefits and pitfalls of cost-benefit analysis is particularly important now, given the potentially increasing role of cost-benefit analysis in regulation. For instance, the recently proposed Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act could require independent agencies to conduct cost-benefit analysis to justify regulations.

March 15-16, 2012: Reigniting Community: Strengthening the Asian Pacific American Identity
The conference explored the following four questions: Who identifies as Asian Pacific American, and what are the implications? Is economic justice and socio-economic achievement an APA issue, and how does it comport with commonly held assumptions based on the model minority myth? How is the APA identity complicated by the theory of intersectionality? How do the struggles and successes of APA racial formation inform community collaboration and interracial coalition building more broadly?

April 1, 2011: A3 [Assemble. Advocate. Act]: A Conference on Climate Justice
This conference examined the social injustices faced by vulnerable populations who are disproportionately affected by climate change. The event strategized ways to address climate justice through law, policy, and coalition building.