Studying Gender and the Law at WCL

Spring 2017 Courses in Gender & Law

Gender cuts across many of the traditional boundaries that separate legal disciplines.  At Washington College of Law, we take multiple approaches to integrate gender throughout the entire curriculum.  We offer basic and advanced upper level courses in gender and law (such as Feminist Jurisprudence or Gender, Cultural Difference and Human Rights).  Many professors include significant components on gender in more general courses (such as Human Rights or Employment Law).  Finally, many professors integrate a gender perspective into courses where students might not expect it (such as Tax or Environmental Law,) which is a wonderful reminder that there is no area of the law that is not affected by gender.   We also offer two clinical programs specifically focused on gender and law, the Women and the Law Clinic and the Domestic Violence Clinic.



Pathways Gender and Law Guide

The Women and the Law Program serves as a resource for students who are interested in taking gender and law classes.  The program circulates a list of gender and law classes each term, hosts a Q&A session each semester with the faculty who teach gender and law classes and holds office hours for students who want informal advice on selecting their courses



WCL offers four courses that give students a solid foundation in gender and law.

Feminist Jurisprudence
This course examines the relationship of law to the experiences of women situated differently in the world; the relationship of sex and gender as reflected in and influenced by law; the relationship of gender to understandings and experiences of sexuality; cultural images of women and men that both shape and are shaped by the law; and institutional and social structures and practices that perpetuate inequality or subordination. 

Sex-based Discrimination
Sex-based Discrimination explores the application of the Constitution, Title VII, Title IX, criminal law, and family law to discrimination against women and men. Students explore historic, social, economic, and psychological factors impacting sex-based discrimination, including the role of the feminist and father's rights movements. The impact of sex and gender on professional and personal decision-making are discussed throughout the class. 

Family Law
Family Law provides an overview of the definitions of family, marriage, and divorce; the economic consequences of divorce; child placement; constitutional doctrine affecting the family; state intervention in the family; and the impact of gender on family law. 

Gender, Cultural Difference and International Human Rights
This course examines the underlying assumptions, principles and approaches of major human rights and humanitarian law instruments, with a particular emphasis on the role of gender and culture in specific context such as: marriage and divorce, reproductive rights, health (HIV/AIDS), trafficking, and abuse against women committed in the context of mass violence or armed conflict.

Faculty Who Integrate a Gender Perspective

The Women and the Law Program publishes a list of courses in which the instructor plans to include a gender perspective in at least some component of the course.  This list changes from term to term, but often includes courses such as Environmental Law, U.S Legal History and International Law. 

Advanced Courses Focused on Gender and Law

Feminist Theory

  • Feminist Jurisprudence

Anti-discrimination Law

  • Sex-Based Discrimination

Legal History

  • Women’s Legal History

International Law

  • Gender and International and Comparative Law
  • Gender, Cultural Difference & International Human Rights Law
  • Women & Conflict
  • Women & International Human Rights Law (Academy on Human Rights)

Family Law

  • Family Law
  • Advanced Family Law: Theory and Policy
  • Advanced Family Law: Children of LGBT Parents
  • Legal Drafting: Family Law
  • Domestic Violence
  • Comparative Family Law
  • Adoption Law: Policy and Practice

Labor and Employment

  • Labor & Employment Law:  Work, Family  & Equality

Migration and Trafficking

  • Labor & the Global Economy
  • International Trafficking in Persons
  • Immigrant Women: Law and Policy


  • Sexuality & the Law

Women’s Health

  • Reproductive Rights and  the Law
  • Gender & Health Law & Policy

Domestic Criminal Law

  • Advanced Criminal Law:  Women, Crime, & the Law
  • Sexual Assault Cases:  Prosecuting and Defending             

Domestic Policy/Poverty Law

  • Gender, Inequality & the State

Upper Level Writing

  • Advanced Legal Writing: Gender and Law