Legal LegworkGAMBIER, Ohio (July 21, 2010) Gavin McGimpsey is rooted issues-deep this summer in a debate that typically pits his peers against music industry moguls. One of six participants in the John W. Adams Legal Studies Scholars Program, McGimpsey, a rising senior, is probing the impact of law and society on file sharing, the often unauthorized downloading of music and movies that is widespread among students.
Part of McGimpsey's research is an online survey of file-sharers and people invested in file-sharing related topics such as copyright law. "It's great to be able to delve with such depth into a practice that is so relevant to my generation," said McGimpsey, of Idaho Falls, Idaho. "I would never have the time or resources to do this outside the legal scholars program."
In its third year of funding, the program awards a $3,000 fellowship and on-campus summer housing to students who collaborate with Kenyon professors on law-related research projects. This year's projects address an array of important issues, from women's and civil rights to global climate governance, from immigration legislation to corporate growth.
A highlight of the program was a two-week residency-funded by the Foundation for Law, Justice and Society-at the University of Oxford in England, where Kenyon students joined undergraduates from Oxford, Rutgers University, and Central European University of Budapest, Hungary, for a series of seminars on a wide range of legal practice and philosophy. The excursion included visits to London's Inns of Court with a tour of the High Court, Blenheim Palace, and Stratford to see a production of King Lear by the Royal Shakespeare Company.
The Oxford trip "was one of the best academic experiences I've had," said Robert Wallace, a rising junior from Chicago, who is researching the role of title and status in treatment under the law. "It was especially interesting to hear different perspectives from the international mix of students. We had some fascinating discussions."
Christine Ann Bonomo, a rising senior from Cleveland, Ohio, is researching medieval law codes to examine the history of women in Spain during the Christian Reconquest. She welcomed the opportunity to add graduate-level research experience to her transcript. "For an undergraduate in the humanities to be offered a funded research grant just doesn't happen very often," she said.
The 2010 Kenyon Summer Legal Scholars and fellows in the Oxford program are:
Christine Bonomo, Class of 2011, "Women in the Law Codes of Reconquest Spain"
Jessica Goley, Class of 2012, "From Temporary Charters to 'Too Big to Fail:' The Social and Legal Causes of Corporate Growth in America"
Quentin Karpilow, Class of 2012, "The Unintended Consequences of U.S. Law: The Role of U.S. Anti-Gang and Immigration Legislation in the Evolution of the Mara Salvatrucha Street Gang"
Gavin McGimpsey, Class of 2011, "Defending Creators' Incentive: Legal Reponses to a Culture of Infringement"
Lukas Moe, Class of 2011, "Global Climate Governance and the Role of NGOs"
Robert Wallace, Class of 2012, "Status Crime: Re-emerging Issues in the Law"