Blog for the Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice at University of Cincinnati
Nikita Srivastava graduated from University of Cincinnati College of Law in May 2019. Nikita's goals include fighting for indigent people by becoming a public defender and working hard to promote positive change. Through her research and writing, Nikita hopes to provide insightful thoughts on issues pertaining to race, gender, and social justice.
On March 24, 2018, more than five hundred men and women marched through Memphis Tennessee. Most of them had spent a large part of their lives in prison– a combined 3,501 years among them– for crimes they did not commit.
The march was the closing event for the 2018 Innocence Network conference, a gathering of exonorees and lawyers working on behalf of those wrongfully convicted. Exonorees came from every state in the country and from countries across the globe. They marched with attorneys and advocates and family. They held signs demanding change in the system that had wronged them. Demanding accountability. Demanding, at least, public recognition that innocent men and women were being arrested and convicted by agents acting on the public’s behalf.
UC Law Women teaches women how to fight the gender wage by giving its members the necessary negotiating techniques.
Nikita Srivastava (’19)
UC Law Women hosted a Salary Negotiation Event on March 21, 2018. As a group, UCLW wanted to provide a tool its members could use to fix gender related issues. For this event, UCLW focused on backlash women face when negotiating their salaries.
Professor Marjorie Aaron was the guest lecturer who crafted a presentation that focused on her work in negotiations and her own experience. She has not only participated in many negotiations herself, but also has written several scholarly articles on the topic including one about gender and negotiations. Professor Aaron delivered an interactive lecture that engaged in the students’ interests. The lecture started with general negotiation techniques that men and women could all use also known as gender-neutral techniques. These included: not disclosing what you want from a firm; not disclosing your information; learning about the firm; use anchoring; and do not overshoot.
Today Ru-El Sailor is a free man, after spending 15 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. Over the years, Sailor continuously maintained and fought to prove his innocence. Then, finally, on March 28, 2018, the Cuyahoga County Court vacated his sentence.
How Sailor got Wrongly Convicted
In November 2002, Sailor was hanging out with his friends at a bar on the East Side of Cleveland. Across town, Nicole and Cordell Hubbard got into a dispute with Omar Clark . The matter got out of hands – threats, guns, and then shots rang out, leaving Clark dead. Cuyahoga County prosecutors roped in Sailor who Cordell Hubbard’s best friend at the time, wrongly believing that Sailor was the second man in this fatal shooting. Sailor testified that he was not the shooter nor was involved in this violent outburst. However, after a trial that included shady eye witness testimony that could not place Sailor at the scene, a jury still convicted Sailor. The court sentenced him to 28 years to life with the possibility of parole.
Guest Contributors: Gibran Pena-Porras (’19) and Natalia Trotter (’19)
The University of Cincinnati College of Law’s Latino Law Student Association (LLSA) and UC Law Women (UCLW) student organizations had the pleasure of hosting an immigration panel with guests Professor Yolanda Vazquez, from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, Attorney Julie LeMaster from the Immigrant and Refugee Law Center, and Attorney Deifilia Diaz from the Law Offices of Valencia and Diaz. The different focal areas of immigration law that each of these panelists work with every day provided for a lively and diverse discussion of current immigration issues.
These are only a few words Professor Janet Moore used to describe the Honorable Shira Scheindlin, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (ret.), this year’s Judge-in Residence at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
I had the pleasure to attend her lecture on Race and Policing, and have lunch with her the following day. As a law student, I’ve always told myself that I will be the change I want to see to paraphrase Mathama Gandhi. But, like many other law school students, I get bogged down by the environment at the law school. I stress out most of the time. I don’t get enough sleep. I find myself comparing me to other people making me insecure. I constantly fight the urges to lash out because of insecurities. In just two years, I forgot why I wanted to be a lawyer. However, Judge Shira Scheindlin reminded me why I made that choice.
After the recent tragedy in Florida, we need to ask legislatures that if not now, then when? When will our legislature overpower the lobbyists and the NRA and create change in this nation’s gun control policy?
When my British family members came to the United States, their jaws dropped when we mentioned going to a shooting range for fun. In England, shooting ranges , like the ones in the United States, do not exist. In fact, the U.S. is the only industrialized country that has experienced multiple devastating mass shootings and extremely high firearm mortality rates; also, the U.S has passed no major federal legislation addressing this issue. Compared to other industrialized nations, America has a major unaddressed gun violence issue.
We’re excited to host Judge Shira Scheindlin, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (ret.) as our Jugdse-in residence the week of February 26, 2018. While in law school, only 10% of Judge Schiendlin’s class were women. Judge Schiendlin was nominated for the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1994. Recently, she wrote an article about women in the legal professions. In this article, she not only shares her personal experience as a federal judge but also other women’s experiences. Continue reading “Judge Shira Scheindlin”
UC Law Alum Christopher P. Chapman argues a proposed new cap on federal student loan borrowing will severely impact students pursuing graduate and professional education.
“Anyone can get a car loan, right? And people don’t get those off the backs of taxpayers. That’s what private lenders are for. What’s so different about student loans? Private lenders will fill the gap, just like they do for people who can’t buy cars with cash, and everybody’s happy. Perhaps at first blush that argument appears to make sense, but it leans on a false equivalency that places the future of real people at risk and creates the potential that society will ultimately become less than it could be.”
The twilight hours of that night in 2016 are buried in oblivion, sunk out of my head, perhaps for self-protection. Fraternity boy coolness turns to shadiness at nightfall. His country boy accent is of the coal pitch blackness of the mines. I try to take flight, hasten away from my wails, make a quick getaway. I sink lower, shutting my eyes in this icebox. He is soulless, like a lone wolf committing acts of terrorism upon me in his below-zero bedroom His 240 pounds are unrelenting against my small body. He’s deaf to my screams. I tunnel inside myself, finding a crawlspace to hide. He finishes, “Don’t go out there and make a big deal out of this.” So, I am cast aside, and sent back outside into the cold night.
In the 1980s, a young female lawyer and her lawyer husband attended a party hosted by a club only allowing male lawyers. The room was filled with young men celebrating their legal careers. One of the guests at this party handed the woman a name tag. Instead of writing her name, she wrote “discrimantee” and proudly placed it on her chest. “Well, it is true,” she said after getting several questions about it. (I should write “discrimantee” on all my name tags because nothing much has really changed)
Sharon Rowen’s Balancing the Scales, addresses discrimination using women’s narratives to guide the audience. Due to Ohio’s CLE requirements, Ms. Rowen had to pause the film and explain why she directed it this way. Rowen said the film is divided into 3 parts: 1) the oral history of female role models, 2) what keeps women from achieving higher positions, 3) women not making choices from a level playing field.