Thirteenth Amendment and Economic Justice Symposium

Scholars have recently applied the Thirteenth Amendment to a number of contemporary problems ranging from minimum labor standards to mass incarceration. This Conference aims to gather scholars of the Thirteenth Amendment from law schools and academic departments throughout the United States and beyond. This conference focuses specifically on the ways that the Thirteenth Amendment can be used now in legislation, litigation and discussions aimed at reducing economic injustice in the United States.

We also welcome analysis that interrogates the interactions between economic justice and other forms of subordination such as race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion and immigration status. This conference will be the inaugural event of the Thirteenth Amendment Project, an interdisciplinary association of scholars of labor, class, race, caste and poverty at law schools and universities throughout the United States and the wider world.



Approved for 6 CLE credits




Saturday, March 3, 2018
Tam Alumni Center (across the mall from UNLV School of Law)

Buses to UNLV leave the Signature at MGM Grand 8:00 a.m.
Breakfast/Registration (Tam Alumni Center) 8:15 – 8:45 a.m.
Welcome from Dean Hamilton and Associate Dean Ruben Garcia 8:45 a.m.
Session 1: Thirteenth Amendment and Economic Theory
  • Mary Anne Case, University of Chicago Law School, Slavery in Other Domestic Relations
  • Rebecca Zietlow, University of Toledo College of Law, The Transition from Slavery to Liberty
  • Aviam Soifer, University of Hawai’i Richardson Law Current Litigation Possibilities Under the Peonage Abolition Act
  • Gabriel "Jack" Chin, UC Davis School of Law (commentator)
  • Fred Smith, Emory University School of Law (commentator)
9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Refreshments 10:30 – 10:45 a.m.
Session 2: Thirteenth Amendment & the Carceral State
  • James Gray Pope, Rutgers University School of Law, The Thirteenth Amendment, Convict Leasing and Mass Incarceration
  • Noah Zatz, UCLA School of Law, From the New Debtors Prisons to the New Peonage: Criminal Justice Debt as a Pathway to Forced Labor
  • Lea VanderVelde, University of Iowa College of Law, The Territorial Origins of "except as punishment for crime": From Settler Colonialism to the Reconstruction Congress
  • Ahmed White, University of Colorado School of Law (commentator)
  • Cortney Lollar, University of Kentucky College of Law (commentator)
10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Lunch/ Break 12:15 - 1:15 p.m.
Session 3: Health, Education, Environment & Welfare
  • Mehmet Konar-Steenberg, Mitchell Hamline School of Law, The Thirteenth Amendment, Environmental Justice and City of Boerne
  • Andrea Freeman, University of Hawai’i Richardson School of Law, The Thirteenth Amendment and Health Disparities Related to Food
  • David Orentlicher, UNLV Boyd School of Law, Economic Segregation and College Admission Policies
  • Addie Rolnick, UNLV Boyd School of Law (commentator)
1:15 - 2:45 p.m.
Session 4: Using the Thirteenth Amendment in Court
  • Richard Blum, CUNY School of Law, Thirteenth Amendment, Antitrust and the Power to Withhold Labor
  • Ruben Garcia, UNLV Boyd School of Law, The Thirteenth Amendment and Minimum Wages
  • Maria Ontiveros, University of San Francisco School of Law, Guestworker Contracts, Liquidated Damages and Debt Bondage
  • Charlotte Garden, Seattle University School of Law (commentator)
3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Open Discussion on the Thirteenth Amendment Project: Where Do We Go From Here? 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Closing Reception 5:30 - 7 p.m.
Last bus leaves UNLV for return to the Signature at MGM Grand 7:15 p.m.


Hotel information:

The Signature at MGM Grand              



·You may book your reservation by using the web-link above or by calling us toll free at (877) 880-0880.

·You also book by calling our local reservation number (702) 891-7777.



·Guests must be 21 years of age to check-in to the hotel.

·The individual deposit policy for your group is first night’s room and tax due at the time of booking.

·The individual cancellation policy is 72-hour prior to arrival.

·The Cut-off date, is January 30, 2018.

March 3, 2018
7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
William S. Boyd School of Law