Law, Inequality, and Education Reform

Section 1, Fall 21

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 14/16
Credits: 3
Day Time Room Start Date End Date
  • W
  • 1000-1200
  • SL278
08/25/2021 12/01/2021

Course Description

In the United States, education serves as the foundation of our democracy and economy. Law and policy determine the quality of educational opportunities in the United States. Although law and policy have made substantial inroads in reducing discrimination in education, they also tolerate and exacerbate inequalities in educational opportunities that influence the academic, professional and social outcomes of students and communities. After analyzing how law and policy shape educational opportunities, students will read and critique scholarly proposals for reducing educational opportunity gaps. Students will assess the benefits and costs of recognizing a federal right to education for addressing disparities in educational opportunity through readings and an in-class debate.

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Final Type (if any): None
Description: None

Written Work Product
Written Work Product: Students will prepare a substantial research paper (due via EXPO by noon on the last day of the finals period) that proposes how law and policy should be reformed to reduce inequality and improve outcomes in education and present their proposal to the class.

Other Work
Students will be required to make a presentation to the class on their reform proposal. Students will be required to participate in an in-class debate regarding recognition of a federal right to education in the United States. Student discussion and analysis of the assigned readings provides the core of each class meeting.

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: None Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: No
First Day Attendance Required: No
Course Resources: To be announced.
Course Notes: Non-law students interested in taking this course must contact the Law School's Student Records Office at and follow the steps at

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: Yes
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*If “Yes,” then students are required to submit a substantial research paper in this course, which means students do not need to submit any form to SRO for this paper to meet their upper-level writing requirement. If “No,” then students must submit a “special request” e-form to SRO (available via LawWeb) no later than five weeks after the start of the term for a paper in this class to be counted toward the upper-level writing requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Tuesday, November 23, 12:01 AM
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Friday, December 03, 11:59 PM