UMLR and UMBLSA Special Issue of Caveat

In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, our nation has reckoned with protests, demonstrations, and civic unrest. We have witnessed a model for change on the local level in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Reformers have called for state and federal legislators to pass a police reform bill that adequately addresses the issue of police brutality.

However, we cannot address the issues plaguing our nation without first recognizing their underlying causes. To do so effectively, we must admit that our nation still fails to ensure that all citizens are treated equally in workplaces, housing markets, hospitals, and police interactions. We cannot say our legal system provides justice to every person equally because justice cannot exist in a country where race determines how people are treated.

As members of the legal community, we have a duty to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. In the most favorable light, the Constitution enshrines principles such as equality, liberty, and due process. Nevertheless, to effectuate those ideals, we must first critically analyze how systemic racism pervades the legal system in the United States and how, in turn, the legal system fails to protect those values for all.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shed a grim spotlight on the pervasive and long-standing racial inequities in our society and government, particularly in criminal justice, education, housing, and healthcare. As a community of lawyers and future lawyers, we have an ethical and moral duty to keep discussing and working on issues of systemic injustice beyond this summer, beyond the 2020 election, and beyond the pandemic.

As the first step in facilitating the discourse required to bring these discussions to the forefront within and outside of our Miami Law community, the University of Miami Black Law Students Association and the University of Miami Law Review will be collaborating on a special issue of the University of Miami Law Review Caveat, the Law Review’s digital publication.

This special issue will focus solely on systemic injustice and discrimination in the law. Because both organizations know that all members of the Miami Law community should partake in this discussion, for the first time in the Law Review’s seventy-five-year history, the Law Review will consider submissions from any member of the Miami Law student body. Accordingly, all Miami Law students, alumni, faculty members, and administrators may submit manuscripts for consideration for publication in this Caveat special issue.

Submissions must meet the following criteria to be considered for publication:

  1. Submissions should focus on systemic injustice and particularly on the following topics:
    • Racial discrimination in education law/policy
    • Racial discrimination within the criminal justice system
    • Racial discrimination in housing law/policy
    • Racial discrimination in healthcare law/policy
    • A case for reparations centered in law and policy
  2. Submissions must:
    • Be original works. Submissions that have been published elsewhere or are summaries of other work will not be accepted.
    • Be no longer than 3000 words (excluding footnotes). Please note: We strictly enforce this word limit; we will not consider submissions over the word limit.
    • Be in 12-point, Times New Roman font.
    • Utilize footnotes for citations, which must conform to the citation rules in The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (Columbia L. Rev. Ass’n et al. eds., 21st ed. 2020); and have numbered pages.

Authors, upon selection, will be required to submit PDFs of all their sources.

All submissions for this special issue should be addressed to the Law Review’s Senior Articles Editor, Joanna Niworowski, at Submissions must include (1) a brief cover letter that indicates what issue the submission is addressing, (2) a copy of the manuscript, and (3) the author’s most recent resume or curriculum vitae.

Submissions will be considered for the special issue until Monday, November 9, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.