Legal Studies Monthly News & Updates

May, 2024

Congratulations to our graduates! 

It was wonderful to see so many of you at commencement, smiling and celebrating after a year of many challenges. Just think about all that you have learned over the past four years, both in and out of the classroom. You have navigated college life after pandemic isolation. You’ve worked with vulnerable populations and on important legal/political issues with our community partners. You’ve developed your own opinions in difficult discussions about world events. And you have learned to analyze and think critically about legal frameworks that govern our daily lives. You are emerging from university life stronger, and with more tools to help you succeed in the next part of your life’s journey. Challenges will always be there, but you are ready to meet them.


Please don’t forget to take time for fun. Take time for conversations with friends and loved ones. Take time for trivia, ice cream, and lighthearted jokes, especially if they are at Professor Breen’s expense.  Remember not just what you have learned, but the fun times you’ve had with us. We will!


Special thanks to Melissa McKenna, who keeps the Legal Studies program running so efficiently, and to our UDRs Sophia Koolpe, Maggie DiPierdominico, and Jacqueline Lan who brought a strong work ethic and enthusiasm to the role.  And finally, thank you to Christine Kwon, whose creativity and patience make this newsletter possible!


Happy summer!


Rosalind Kabrhel, JD

Chair, Legal Studies Program

Goodbyes and Good Luck to the Class of 2024!

Celebrating our Graduating Seniors: Words of Wisdom from Brandeis LGLS Faculty

Legal Studies Highlights: 2023-2024 Memories

Message from our current UDRs

Message from Sophia Koolpe:

"Being a Legal Studies UDR was an amazing experience, and I am so grateful Jacqueline, Maggie, and I were able to plan and execute so many wonderful Legal Studies events! My favorite part of being a UDR was seeing the passion of the students who took part in the events, and I will leave Brandeis knowing that this department will continue to grow and reach so many bright students. I also want to give my gratitude to the Legal Studies faculty members who are an integral part of this department. UDR work could not happen without them, and I am appreciative of their guidance and insight. I can't wait to come back as an alum and see the work of future UDRs and the Legal Studies department!"

Message from Maggie DiPierdomenico:

"It has been a pleasure being a UDR for the Legal Studies Program for the past two years! Serving in this role has been one of the fondest experiences of my time at Brandeis. My favorite memories include the various Legal Studies trivias hosted by Professor Breen, the Legal Studies Fair, and getting to know the Legal Studies faculty. Thank you to Jacqueline and Sophia, who made this role so fun, and to Professor Breen, Professor Kabrhel, and Melissa McKenna for their support and guidance over the years. As I embark upon law school next year, I will carry all the lessons I learned, making me a stronger law student. Good luck to the next UDRs, and I hope you embrace the experience for all it offers. I cannot wait to see all you accomplish in this role!"

Message from Jacqueline Lan:

"It has been a great honor to serve as the UDR for the legal studies department during the past year and it is a pleasure to work with Sophia and Maggie. I grow a lot through planning events with the other UDRs as well as working with faculty members. I hope that these events can provide the legal studies community with a place to connect and support each other. When taking on the role of UDR, I was hoping that I could be a resource for students who might be curious about the department. Fortunately, with the help of the other UDRs and faculty members I am able to accomplish this goal. I truly appreciate the level of dedication members of the department show during the year. I would also like to thank organizations that are associated with the legal studies department for their support of our work. It has been a great year and I’ve enjoyed my time serving as the legal studies UDR."

Community Shout-Outs

Students receiving program awards and prizes 

Adah Anderson

Recipient of the Lester Martin Foundation Award in Legal Studies

Robert Hall

Recipient of the Lester Martin Foundation Award in Legal Studies

Emanuel Glinsky

Recipient of the Justice Louis D. Brandeis Internship Research Prize

Miranda Sheinbaum

Recipient of the Justice Louis D. Brandeis Internship Research Prize

Audrey Kiarsis

Recipient of the Justice Louis D. Brandeis Essay Prize

Introducing our new UDRs for 2023-2024

Peyton Gillespie

Peyton Gillespie is a senior from Reno, Nevada with majors in politics and international and global studies and minors in legal studies and near eastern and Judaic studies on the pre-law track. Last summer, he began interning with Northern Nevada Legal Aid's incredible Immigration Department team; he continued his internship virtually during the academic year and will return to in-person work this summer. Peyton has worked with the Brandeis Law Journal since his first year at Brandeis, and is the Publisher/Treasurer for the second year in a row. In his free time, Peyton enjoys taking flight lessons with the Brandeis Aviation club, attending Mishelanu club events, and exploring Boston with his friends. He is very excited to be a Legal Studies UDR and is more than happy to answer any questions about the department, Legal Studies classes, or law-related internship experiences!

Noah Levy is a Junior from Ocean, New Jersey. He is majoring in Politics and minoring in Legal Studies, Economics, Business, and Hebrew. He interned for Congressman Josh Gottheimer, is interning this summer for Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey, is the President of the Brandeis Israel Public Affairs Committee, and is the Library Liaison of the Brandeis Law Journal. He is a specialty coffee hobbyist, so in addition to Legal Studies, feel free to ask him about his dozen pour over, espresso, immersion, and percolation coffee makers and hundreds of beans he's tried!

Noah Levy

Niyati Patel

Niyati Patel is from Chicago and she is majoring in Business Administration and minoring in Art History and Legal Studies. She has interned for Elena's Light as a public relations intern. She joined the Brandeis Mock Trial Association two years ago and has loved being a part of it. Niyati is also fluent in three languages and has been a Gujarati and English tutor throughout high school and continues to tutor people. Niyati loves to explore art museums and currently her favorite is the Chicago Institute of Art. She also loves to read and she is currently reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. Niyati is excited to be the Legal Studies UDR and is looking forward to answering any potential questions regarding the department!

LGLS Course Highlights

Summer 2024

The Legal Studies Program will be offering three classes during the Summer of 2024. Registration for these summer classes will open in early April. Check the link below for more information about summer school courses.

Learn More

Fall 2024 Course Highlights:

Recent Event Highlights

Legal Studies End of Year Celebration

On Monday, April 15th, from 1PM to 3PM, Brandeis Legal Studies Program hosted an end of year celebration featuring a delightful ice cream social. Although Professor Breen couldn't join us in person, his presence was a special highlight of the event. The celebration was well-attended, providing peers with a wonderful opportunity to connect with each other and engage with the LGLS faculty members while enjoying the ice cream.

Meli Jackson's Kahn Award-Winning Research Presentation at the URCC Symposium

Our Kahn Award Winner, Meli Jackson, presented their research at the URCC symposium on Thursday, May 2, 2024. Meli Jackson’s project, titled 'Incarcerated Identities: Prison Writing and the Reclamation of Humanity,' explores the narratives of those behind bars.

Faculty News

Professor Kabrhel and BEJI Host Changing Lives Through Literature Session at Brandeis

Through her work with the Brandeis Educational Justice Initiative, Professor Kabrhel facilitated a 12 week session of Changing Lives Through Literature on campus for the first time in the history of the program. CLTL brings probationers, a judge, and probation officers together to collaborate in a facilitated discussion about literary works. Kabrhel was assisted by English PhD students Sreemoyee Bhattacharyya and Jessi Brewer. The seven students who completed the program will receive time off of their probation, and be honored in a celebration at Middlesex Superior Court on June 6.

Exploring Legal Challenges in AI

On May 9, Professor Breen, in collaboration with Professor Hickey from the Computer Science Department, delivered a compelling ZOOM presentation to Brandeis alumni. The session focused on the emerging legal issues associated with Artificial Intelligence, offering valuable perspectives on navigating the complexities of AI technology within the legal framework.

Professor Ariel Ludwig's Upcoming Publication on Carceral Ethnographies

Professor Ariel Ludwig’s chapter, 'White Coats and Carceral Bodies: Ethnographies of Multiplicities Behind Bars,' is set to be published in the coming weeks. This insightful work will appear in the book Politics and Practices of the Ethnographies of Biomedicine and STEM: Among White Coats, edited by C. Greco.

Presentation by Professor Breen at Law, Culture and Humanities Society Meeting

On May 18, Professor Breen presented a paper titled "No Common Sense: Thomas Reid, James Wilson, and the Hopelessly Flawed Use of Original Intent in the Dobbs Case" at the Law, Culture and Humanities Society meeting in Vancouver, BC. The paper explores the application of original intent in the Dobbs case through the philosophical perspectives of Thomas Reid and James Wilson.

'How to Lose an Empire: Lord North's Response to the Boston Tea Party' Lecture by Professor Breen

On May 23, Professor Breen presented "How to Lose an Empire: Lord North's Response to the Boston Tea Party" at the Somerville Museum. His lecture explored the historical events and political strategies following the infamous Boston Tea Party, shedding light on Lord North's role and decisions during this pivotal moment in history.

Student Resources:

Lauren Dropkin

(Pre-Law Advisor)

Amiee Slater


Melissa McKenna

(Program Administrator)

Peyton Gillespie


Class of 2025

Noah Levy


Class of 2026

Niyati Patel


Class of 2026

Contact Us!

Have a shout-out or student activity you'd like to share?

Email our Newsletter Editor, Christine Kwon:

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