Thursday, February 21, 2013

Exciting LL.M. Independent Study Projects

The 2013 LL.M. class includes an ambitious group of attorneys tackling the issues that drive the public's growing interest in agriculture, the environment, and our food system through personalized Independent Study Projects.

LL.M. Candidate Sara Albert is collaborating with the University of Arkansas Community Design Center on an urban development model for the fifty percent increase to Fayetteville's built environment that is expected by the year 2030. The project, Fayetteville 2030: Food City Scenario, envisions a future based on food security, linking local food production to urban development. The final design model will incorporate urban agricultural land uses and relevant infrastructure that would support the development of Fayetteville as a local "food shed." Sara is assisting by providing legal research, analysis, and guidance on topics as identified by project leaders throughout the planning and design stages.

Sara will also be working with fellow LL.M. Candidate and Graduate Assistant to the LL.M. Program, Nicole Civita on a second independent study that will examine issues related to food justice. This study, titled Hunger, Access and Food Justice examines the persistent but under-recognized problems of hunger and malnutrition in America, with attention to the economics of healthy eating, the presence of urban, rural, and tribal food deserts, the rampant waste of food that occurs in both institutional and domestic settings, wealth disparities and worker poverty within the food system. Sara's work within this study will focus on identifying legal and advocacy work that might be done to create transformational change while Nicole plans to research and address these issues through the creation of a comprehensive set of teaching materials for a graduate level course in Food Justice.

LL.M. candidate, Lauren Handel is developing a alcoholic beverage law practice guide that will she will use in her practice when she returns to New York.  Lauren will be representing those involved in the food and beverage industry in the New York area. The guide considers the special regulations applicable to the sale and manufacture of alcoholic beverages and will be a useful tool for her as an attorney as well as for her future clients.

LL.M. Candidate Todd Heyman is providing work with the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), a Boston-based non-profit organization that uses "the law, science, policymaking, and the business market to find pragmatic, innovative solutions to New England’s toughest environmental problems."   Todd is providing legal research and writing in support of their Farm & Food Initiative, as well as other projects in CLF's Healthy Communities program.

LL.M. Candidate Adam Soliman is designing a course in Canadian Agriculture, Resource and Food Law. Adam's work will fill a void in Canadian legal education, as many law schools there do not teach Agriculture & Food Law. The course will address Agriculture Law, Resource Law and Food Law through a series of 14 units, each designed to cover one distinct topic, including sessions on topics such as Fisheries Law, Animal Welfare, Religious Food, and Nanomaterial & Food.

LL.M. Candidate and Visiting Scholar, Professor Pamela Vesilinds' study focuses on the development of an online course, Animals in Agriculture. This online course will cover the evolution and regulation of animal agriculture in America, contrasted with farmed animal welfare policies in other developed nations. Materials will cover laws related to the breeding, raising, feeding, transporting and slaughtering of land and marine animals used for food. Although the course will touch on multiple interrelated disciplines, including food safety law, agricultural law, labor law, environmental law, and business regulations law, the focus will remain on the laws and market pressures affecting the conditions of farmed animals while they are alive.

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