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Faculty Scholarship

The Vision Project

The BC Law faculty discuss where the Covid-19 pandemic may lead us. There are warnings, but there are also farsighted ideas and strategies for crafting a better future, a more just society, and a world in which each and every human being is equal under the law.


Minuscule in size as the Covid-19 virus is (125 nanometers), it has become a colossal disrupter forcing an epic standoff between nature and humankind. The damage is breathtaking: deaths in the millions, racial despair, economic collapse, global divisions, political fractures. The job of teachers and scholars is to search for meaning in such moments, to offer lessons from history, and to point the way forward. For professors of law, that means looking through the lenses of ethics, equality, rights, justice, governance, and more in an effort to make sense of what is happening and why.

We asked these questions of the Boston College Law School faculty and what emerged is The Vision Project, a collection of some 40 interviews—condensed on these pages and expanded online—on went wrong and how we might make things right. To read expanded content to this package, visit The Vision Project Online.



Dean Hashimoto / The Protector
Chief of workplace health provides guidance in pandemic.

Renee Jones / Cautionary Tales
In public and private sectors, ethics and unity have been wanting.

Hiba Hafiz / Labor Intensive
A toolkit for knocking down barriers to economic mobility.

Katharine Young / Lifting the Curtain
Change begins with a commitment to social and economic rights.

Daniel Farbman / A Better Way
Unleash the power of a participatory conception of the rule of law.

Paulo Barrozo / Simplifiers Can Be Lethal
Dangerous actors can slip in under cover of the pandemic

Ray Madoff / Can Charitable Nonprofits Survive This?
Consider who gets a better tax deal, the wealthy or charities.

David Olson / Hello, Innovation
Business is wise to economic growth.

Thomas Kohler / Solidarity: Let’s Redefine It
How can people thrive when they lack basic freedoms?


Brian Quinn / What’s Toilet Paper Got to Do with It?
Our tissue-think grasp of corporate governance.

Steven Koh / Why We’re Falling Apart
Let’s start with populism and fake news.

Mary Bilder / What Democracy?
The long steady creep of white male aristocracy.


All Is Not Fair
Where’s the Justice in imprisonment and exclusions?

Mark Brodin / Rethinking Criminal Incarceration
Mary Holper ’03 / Who Belongs Where?
Kari Hong / A Prescription for Immigration
Daniel Kanstroom / ‘We Stand at a Tectonic Moment’


The Bottom Line
Three views on why we haven’t’ done better—and how we can.

Natalya Shnitser / Employment Benefits
Patricia McCoy / Improving Consumer Resilience
Shu-Yi Oei / The Impact on Financial Policy


What Are Our Rights?
Let’s see what the Constitution actually says.
By Professor Kent Greenfield


The Law of the Land
How civil discourse, first principles, and distributed powers can turn us around.

George Brown / Restoring Civil Discourse Is Key
Daniel Coquillette / Steadied by Our Touchstones
Ryan Williams / The Pros and Cons of Federalism


Catharine Wells / Social Change
Sharon Beckman / Criminal Justice
Robert Bloom ’71 / Policing
Michael Cassidy / ‘Virtual’ Criminal Courts
Zygmunt J.B. Plater / Crisis and Change
Cathleen Kaveny / Solidarity
Paul Tremblay / Neighborhood Businesses
Judith McMorrow / The Rule of Law


Let’s Give Our Tax System a Chance
It may be able to fix what’s broken.
With Associate Dean of Faculty Diane Ring and James Repetti ’80

The ‘Public” in Public Health Means Everybody
Politics, care disparities, and populism hurt equality.
With Mary Ann Chirba ’81, Alice Noble, and David Wirth

Professors Analyze Policy Responses Early in Outbreak
Professors Hiba Hafiz, Shu-Yi Oei, Diane Ring, and Natalya Shnitser produce a working paper, “Regulating in Pandemic.”