Two New Grants to Law School Professors Support Public Service-Related Work
JULY 17, 2008—Two University of Minnesota Law School professors recently were notified that their public service projects will receive grant funding.
Professor Myron Orfield, Executive Director of the Institute on Race & Poverty since 2003, learned that the Ford Foundation will provide a grant of $300,000 to support the Institute’s core operations of research, public education, and advocacy. The Institute works to remove racial and economic discrimination that creates barriers to opportunity for communities of color and low income.
Orfield has completed more than 60 studies and two books on American metropolitan areas, focusing on such issues as school funding, transportation, affordable housing, and job availability and access. In 2005-2006, he held the University’s Fesler-Lampert Chair for Urban and Regional Affairs, established to support a faculty member in research related to urban and regional affairs in Minnesota. In April, he participated in a six-part series on Twin Cities Public Television called "Close the Gap," which explored regional stories of race, place, and class disparities and possibilities for addressing the problems.
Orfield is the Julius E. Davis Professor of Law, an appointment endowed by family and friends of the late Julius E. Davis to enable important recognition and encouragement of outstanding faculty members. He was recently appointed to be one of five commissioners to the National Commission on Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.
Professor Barry Feld ('69) recently received word of a $93,134 grant from the National Science Foundation to support his work on police interrogation of juveniles. Feld is widely considered a top juvenile justice scholar and proponent of fair treatment of young offenders. His empirical study is only the second involving police interrogation in 60 years and the first devoted to juveniles. He is coding and analyzing data gathered from nearly 350 interrogation files from five Twin Cities area counties to determine how police obtain Miranda waivers, how they question youths who waive their rights, the effectiveness of their tactics, and the frequency of coercive techniques. He is also conducting the first-ever comparative analyses of police interrogation practices in different contexts (e.g., white, black, Asian, Hispanic youths; boys versus girls).
In Cases and Materials on Juvenile Justice Administration, Feld discussed how "get tough" policies have compromised the traditional justice system for children. His Bad Kids: Race and the Transformation of the Juvenile Court received the Outstanding Book Award from both the American Society of Criminology and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. The NSF grant will support further research and writing.
Feld has been the Centennial Professor of Law since it was created in 1990 through the generosity of many Law School alumni.