Sessions Information

  • April 30, 2021
    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
    Session Type: Bellow Scholars
    Session Capacity: N/A
    Hotel: N/A
    Room: N/A
    Floor: N/A

    This session will use the current Bellow Scholar research projects to explore different empirical methodologies suited for research by clinical legal educators. While the session will use the current Bellow Scholars’ research as
    examples, it is intended to be useful for any clinicians conducting or considering empirical research projects.

    The Bellow Scholar program recognizes and supports empirical research projects designed to improve the quality of justice in communities, enhance the delivery of legal services, and promote economic and social justice. The Bellow Scholar Program recognizes and supports projects that use empirical analysis as an advocacy tool and involve substantial collaboration between law and other academic disciplines. This session features the 2021-22 Bellow Scholars. The next class of Bellow Scholars will be selected in Fall 2022.

    Co-Chairs and Moderators:
    Wendy A. Bach, University of Tennessee College of Law
    Fatma Marouf, Texas A&M University School of Law

    Sabrineh Ardalan and Philip Torrey, Harvard Law School
    Solitary Confinement in Immigration Detention
    This project will examine how frequently solitary confinement is used in immigration detention and the reasons ICE and detention facilities give for placing individuals in solitary confinement. We will focus on whether there are safeguards in place to protect individuals with mental illness from solitary confinement and what treatment options are available. We will focus our research on data obtained through FOIA requests and Privacy Act requests from our home state of Massachusetts and subsequently expand on that research to study other states across the country. Given the lack of available public data on the number of immigrants placed in solitary nationwide since 2013, our first goal is to discover how many immigrants have been affected by this practice and the reasons given. We will then examine the safeguards and processes in place to screen people before, during, and after they are subjected to these conditions. The project is a collaboration between Sabrineh Ardalan, Philip Torrey, and Dr. Arevik Avedian, a Lecturer on Law and Director of the Empirical Research Group at HLS. Her expertise is in applied quantitative analysis, and her research, teaching, and scholarship have an interdisciplinary focus in various areas of political science, law, and economics.
    Lisa Martin, University of South Carolina School of Law
    Domestic Violence and Access to Civil Justice in South Carolina
    The goals of this project are to learn about the people seeking civil legal protections from domestic violence in South Carolina, how their claims for relief are faring in courts, and whether court outcomes meet the needs conveyed by petitioners. In doing so, the project aims to shine light on court and judicial practices that often remain hidden and examine the impact of such practices on access to the efficacy of civil protection orders. This archival research project will create a comprehensive, statewide dataset of court filings in cases involving claims for the four primary civil injunctive remedies used to protect against domestic violence in South Carolina: orders of protection, restraining orders, permanent restraining orders, and emergency restraining orders. The project seeks to answer several questions, including: (1) who is seeking civil legal protection and for what purpose; (2) how courts are responding to requests for relief; and (3) the accessibility and efficacy of emergency relief.
    Kele Stewart, University of Miami School of Law
    Reimagining Communities that are Overpoliced by the Child Welfare System
    This project will collect information about the three zip codes in Miami with the highest child welfare removal rates that are also low-income, predominantly Black neighborhoods. If we are truly interested in adopting a public health prevention approach to child welfare (or more accurately, child well- being), then we need to tackle some of the intractable structural problems facing those communities. The goals of the research project are to: (1) identify the main factors contributing to disproportionate child welfare involvement in those communities; (2) identify available services and resources within those communities and potential gaps in services; (3) identify the existence and goals of policy, advocacy or organizing initiatives aimed at strengthening those communities; and (4) gain perspectives from individuals in those communities about community resources, strengths, and needs with a specific focus on the capacity to care for children.
    Nicole Summers, Harvard Law School
    Pathways to Eviction
    This project aims to understand how and in what contexts eviction filings produce actual evictions by coding and analyzing data from approximately 1,000 eviction case files. The goals of the project are twofold: 1) to identify the specific legal mechanisms by which eviction filings result in actual eviction at a systematic level, and 2) to map which tenants are most likely to remain in their unit after an eviction is filed and which are most likely to end up being formally evicted based on the features of their eviction case, tenancy, and type of landlord. To conduct this analysis, we will review and code a random sample of eviction case files to identify characteristics of the eviction filing, the legal procedure the case followed, and the landlord. We will then merge the case data with parcel level data about building types and property ownership from the City of Boston Assessing Department.
    Keeshea Turner Roberts, Howard University School of Law
    Access to Justice to Unpopular Clients: Representation of Respondents in Civil Protection Order Cases
    The District of Columbia Domestic Violence Court presents a unique opportunity to test the impact of representation and remote hearings on case outcomes and compliance. This research project, conducted in partnership with Dr. Jennifer Wollard, Profesor and Interim Chair in the Department of Psychology at Georgetown University, will address two fundamental questions. First, what are the differences in procedural experiences, substantive outcomes, and compliance for pro se parties and represented parties in civil protection hearings? Second, how do protection order hearings and outcomes change when courts operate remotely via technology? The project offers a type of natural experiment in three ways – differential rates of representation during the study period, the delay of Civil Protection Order (CPO) hearings during the pandemic, and the impact of extended Temporary Protective Order (TPO) hearings. First, we can examine whether hearing outcomes vary during periods of no respondent representation, some representation, and more representation. Second, we can examine the number and type of uncontested CPO hearings as well as the number and type of TPO violations in relation to representation. Third, the Court has conducted video hearings since March 2020; in person hearings have not resumed as of November 2020, allowing us to compare hearings and outcomes before, during, and potentially after the pandemic. Unlike other scholarship that focuses exclusively on petitioners, our project is unique in its focus on respondents only. Our study is divided into three parts: (i) analysis of case processing and outcomes; (ii) observations of civil protection order proceedings; and (iii) interviews with respondents.
    Mary Yanik and Laila L. Hlass, Tulane University Law School
    Habeas Litigation and the Louisiana Immigrant Detention Crisis
    This project proposes empirical analysis of 499 federal court cases challenging the legality of immigration detention in Louisiana over the past decade. These federal cases, all habeas corpus petitions, are the last resort for immigrants who have been detained for months or even years, often without the chance for an individualized hearing on release. The court in Louisiana that hears these types of claims, the Western District of Louisiana, has become centrally important to immigration detention because of the exponential rise in detention beds within the district. Louisiana now houses more detained immigrants than any other state, save Texas. While this district has been considered a legal blackhole by immigrant rights advocates for many years, some recent successes suggest that these claims can prevail with new approaches. We therefore have begun an ambitious review of all of these cases filed in the Western District of Louisiana from 2010 to 2020 to better understand the barriers faced by detained immigrants challenging the legality of their prolonged detention. Our research team includes clinic students and research assistants who are coding and analyzing cases in collaboration with Tulane University Political Science Professor Mirya Holman and members of the SPLC Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative. Ultimately, we hope to improve outcomes in habeas litigation and adjudication in the state and raise awareness regionally and nationally about mass incarceration in the immigrant detention context.
Session Speakers
Harvard Law School
Bellow Scholar

University of Tennessee College of Law
Bellow Scholars Facilitator

Tulane University Law School
Bellow Scholar

Texas A&M University School of Law
Bellow Scholars Facilitator

University of South Carolina School of Law
Bellow Scholar

University of Miami School of Law
Bellow Scholar

Harvard Law School
Bellow Scholar

Harvard Law School
Bellow Scholar

Howard University School of Law
Bellow Scholar

Tulane University Law School
Bellow Scholar

Session Fees

Fees information is not available at this time.