On November 5, 2019, the Kathrine R.
Everett Law Library hosted the law school’s inaugural Open Mic: Speak Your
Research event as part of UNC’s Research Week. The Office of Undergraduate
Research describes Research
Week as “an annual campus event designed to improve awareness of what is
means to be a research university, align the University’s missions of producing
world-class research and providing a world-class undergraduate education, and
promote opportunities for students to discover and engage in research and
scholarship.” Departments across the university host various activities to
discuss and promote the scholarship in which students and faculty are engaged.
Carissa Hessick, Anne
Shea Ransdell and William Garland "Buck" Ransdell, Jr. Distinguished
Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Faculty Development, organized the open
mic to give law faculty, staff, and students a chance to talk about their areas
of research, current projects, and the impact that pursuing research has had on
their lives. Eight faculty members, three students, two librarians, and Dean
Brinkley spoke about a wide variety of research projects and topics.
Several threads emerged as faculty
and students got up to the mic. Professors spoke about researching in areas
where law meets implementation, which spanned topics from prosecutorial powers
to the IRS’s administration of tax laws to studies of drug arrests. Questions
of how our legal systems hold governmental actors accountable for their choices
proved to be fertile areas for academic research at Carolina Law.
Many professors spoke about the
impact that their research has had not only on their lives, but also on the
legal or academic community more broadly. Joe Kennedy, Martha
Brandis Term Professor of Law, recently had his study of drug arrests written
up in the New York Times, while Barbara Fedders,
Assistant Professor of Law, has been quoted by the Washington Post and
ProPublica on charter school issues. There is some hope by the faculty that media
coverage of their legal research might yield new laws, regulations, or policy
changes in their fields.
Speakers explained the origins of
various projects; for some, it was projects from law school, while others found
inspiration in questions that arose early in their careers. Many professors
addressed remarks directly to students, encouraging them to think about their
research as ongoing projects that can be continued after law school.
The librarians discussed the
importance of holding a research event in the law library. The library works to
support all of the scholarly pursuits of the UNC law faculty, staff, and
students, as well as contributing legal research expertise to members of the
entire UNC research community.
Overall, Carolina Law’s inaugural research open
mic for University Research Week was a great success. It provided an opportunity
for students to better understand the projects of faculty, while giving the
entire law school community a chance to appreciate the wide variety of vital
projects that our faculty, staff, and students undertake on a daily basis.
Posted by Ellie Campbell on Fri. November 8, 2019 11:00 AM