The Writing Program is led by Y-Lab’s Assistant Director, Crisanne Hazen, Faculty Director, Professor Michael Gregory, and Professor Mary Welstead (University of Buckingham, United Kingdom). It offers students (JDs, LLMs, and SJDs) a supportive learning community in which to share ideas and give and receive feedback on writing projects in progress. In their third year, Youth Advocacy Fellows are required to write a capstone research paper and take part in the Writing Program, but participation is open to all students writing a paper who wish to participate.
Writing Program participants meet informally on a regular basis throughout the fall semester (usually over lunch) to discuss their individual research and writing on topics broadly relevant to Y-Lab. All participants have the potential to receive 1 credit through Professor Gregory’s Writing Group, Topics in Children/Youth and the Law. In the spring, if they choose to, participants may give semi-formal presentations of their working papers to an invited academic audience over lunch, followed by questions and discussion.
Previous Writing Program participants have found the experience valuable as preparation for making more formal presentations at national and international conferences.
Presentation topics from past years have included, among others:
- International adoption
- Children and domestic violence
- Universal drug testing for newborns
- Substance abuse in pregnant mothers
- Child trafficking for labor in Nigeria
- Street children of Brazil
- Prosecuting the recruitment of child soldiers
- Forced marriage
- Religious symbols in public schools and universities
- Female genital mutilation
- Children and online privacy