Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Along with the usual constitutional law class and moot court, students at the University of San Francisco School of Law now have a new subject for study: war. Exactly one week after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a professor at the university began working on plans for a new course. Professor Peter Jan Honigsberg designed his course, “Legal Issues of America’s Twenty-First Century War,” to help students venture into the new legal territory created by the attacks. “There’s a lot of issues going on and people need to hear about them,” said Honigsberg. Each of the course’s 15 classes addresses a different topic tied to Sept. 11. To help teach the classes, Honigsberg turned to his colleagues and ended up recruiting 13 professors to guest lecture for the course. One of those is Dolores Donovan, who represented Daniel Ellsberg in the Pentagon papers trial and is considered an expert in military and national security. Donovan will speak twice about the controversial military commissions and military tribunals, focusing on detainees. Although military commissions are not a new topic, they have not been in place since World War II. Honigsberg says students need to be in the middle of the huge debate going on now over the legality of such commissions. He has other professors slated to discuss the government’s right to eavesdrop on conversations between detainees and their lawyers, the legality of some of the new airport security issues, and the ongoing issues of racial profiling and free speech during a time of war. Honigsberg tried to shape his class around new issues resulting from the tragedy, but he also wanted to address issues that were of interest to his students. The idea for the class came one day when Honigsberg ended his legal drafting class early and invited the students to stay and share their thoughts regarding the week-old tragedy. Two-thirds of the class took him up on his offer. “I was really surprised at how many people had so many different thoughts, and some people started saying how uninformed they were,” said Honigsberg. “It became very apparent to me that all of us — me included — were very uninformed.” He felt there was a demand to look at this tragedy that was reshaping the world. And he was proven right when 24 students dropped one of their scheduled classes to add his last-minute course. Katie Burke, a third-year student, had taken several of Honigsberg’s classes, so when she saw the flyer about the new course, she signed up. “I love it,” she said. “It’s taught me above and beyond what I would normally hear about in the newspapers. The professors come in with their different backgrounds and there’s a lot of frank discussion.” This is the first time Honigsberg has hurriedly created a class in response to a current event, but he’s no stranger to taking a stand on political issues. While working on his J.D. at New York University School of Law, Honigsberg joined a civil rights campaign in Louisiana. The University of California Press recently published a book he wrote about his experience, “Crossing Border Street: A Civil Rights Memoir.” He was also an active participant in the anti-Vietnam movement and took part in the teach-ins at NYU. “Both my experience at civil rights work and teach-ins at NYU, I think, probably had a lot of influence in wanting to do this course.” Honigsberg plans to keep teaching the new course as long as there’s a need for it. “I would like to think it’s going to continue because I think these issues are so large,” he said. “I don’t think they are going to go away. But we never know. Things obviously evolve and there’s continually new issues that keep appearing.”

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.