Monday, May 18, 2020
Karen Sloan (Law.com), It's Real and It's Spectacular: A Free Summer Class on 'Seinfeld' and the Law:
The Newman U.S.P.S. Professor of Law. The Jacopo “J.” Peterman Chair in Jurisprudence and Fashion Design. The Jackie Chiles Chair in Constitutional Criminal Procedure.
If the names of those endowed professorships don’t make you chuckle, you’re probably not a “Seinfeld” obsessive like University of Iowa law professor Gregory Shill—the mastermind behind the Yada Yada Law School (and the Art Vandelay Dean & Kenny Rogers Roasters Foundation Chair in Business Law.)
For the uninitiated, each of those (made-up) names reference characters and plot lines from the much-beloved ‘90s sitcom “Seinfeld,” which is the focal point of a free, online summer lecture series that explores the law through the lens of the show. The Yada Yada Law School will run for 10 weeks over the summer, with faculty from across the country offering up their expertise each Wednesday over Zoom.
Shill had been batting around the idea of teaching a “Seinfeld”-centered reading group for years, but other commitments always got in the way. The COVID-19 quarantine, however, means that he and many other professors have more time on their hands than usual. Not to mention a desire to have a little fun in challenging times. ...
This is not the first time academics have mined “Seinfeld” for educational purposes. The Yada Yada Law School was inspired by a website called The Economics of Seinfeld, which uses the show to illustrate different economic principles and concepts. But bringing professors and students together in real time seemed more enjoyable than just building a website about “Seinfeld” and the law, Shill said.
Finding law professors to teach the 10 classes was pretty easy. Shill had a solid idea of which legal academics are “Seinfeld” super fans through Twitter, then he asked around for tips on others who fit the bill. The entire Yada Yada Law School program came together in about a month. The first class is slated for June 3, and people can sign up here.
- June 3, 2020: Seinfeld Property Law (Sara C. Bronin (Connecticut))
- June 10, 2020: Seinfeld Constitutional Law (Anthony Michael Kreis (Georgia State))
- June 17, 2020: Seinfeld Evidence Law (Derek T. Muller (Iowa))
- June 24, 2020: Seinfeld Criminal Procedure (Jordan Carr Peterson (North Carolina State))
- July 1, 2020: Seinfeld Contracts (Gregory H. Shill (Iowa)
- July 8, 2020: Seinfeld Torts (David A. Simon (George Washington))
- July 15, 2020: Seinfeld Civil Procedure (Robin J. Effron (Brooklyn))
- July 22, 2020: Seinfeld Criminal Law (Guha Krishnamurthi (South Texas))
- July 29, 2020: Seinfeld Securities Fraud (Andrew K. Jennings (Stanford))
- August 5, 2020: Seinfeld, Gender, and Sexual Orientation (Ann Bartow (New Hampshire)