Teaching Public Health Law and Inequality

Date of Event



Those who teach public health law are acutely aware of the effect of public health law and policies on marginalized populations—including, but not limited to, those in the Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) community. In some cases, public health officials have created or exacerbated the problem through laws and policies that disproportionately affect these communities— sometimes, even deliberately.

This emerging attention to these important problems has now led to the development of a new course, "Public Health Law and Inequality." The course is being co-taught by the two presenters, who will describe the basic outline of the course and offer some examples of how the topics are interwoven throughout the semester, and how the students have become deeply involved in the course, through regular reflection papers, class discussion, and presentations.

John Culhane is the H. Albert Young Fellow in Constitutional Law, professor of law, and co-director of the Family Health Law & Policy Institute at Delaware Law School (Widener University) and visiting professor of law at the Beasley Law School, Temple University. He teaches in the areas of Constitutional Law, Public Health Law, Torts and Family Law. Author of more than 40 law journal articles, he is also a regular contributor to Slate and Politico. His latest book, "The Many Ties that Bind," will be published in 2023 by the University of California Press. He has written two electronic casebooks: "Culhane Torts I and II"; and "Kelly/Culhane Family Law" (with Alicia Kelly) for ChartaCourse, and has also created "Torts Study Guide" for the same publisher.

John's work has also appeared in The New York Times, Huffington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer and Dissent, among many other places. He has been featured and interviewed in media including the NPR shows Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Marketplace Morning Report, as well as MSNBC, Radio Times, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Reuters, and Associated Press. He has thrice won the Outstanding Faculty Award from Delaware Law School.

Joseph Farris is the assistant dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and adjunct faculty at Delaware Law School (Widener University), where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and was awarded the Dean’s Award and the President’s Award. He received his BSE in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, then served as an Officer in the United States Navy. Joseph has significant diversity leadership experience working on diverse and multicultural teams spanning from his roles in the military, church and nonprofit organizations to legal and business teams. Through DEI-related programming and messaging and a passionate commitment to social justice and the advancement of DEI interests and issues, he is helping the law school and broader legal community become more adept at recognizing and responding to DEI-related interests and issues, resulting in greater awareness and action towards creating a more inclusive and equitable environment.

Joseph teaches legal problem-solving and this semester is co-teaching Public Health Law and Inequality with John Culhane. Joseph is a licensed attorney in the state of Delaware and prior to joining the law school administration, he practiced law in the areas of corporate transactions, intellectual property, bankruptcy and restructuring matters. He has published works in those areas. In November 2021, he moderated a panel for the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce Women’s Leadership Conference about equity in the workplace; and in September 2021, he was a panelist in the National Association of African American Human Resources (Delaware chapter) event on the topic of justice in the workplace.

Lecture Series

Elena and Miles Zaremski Law-Medicine Forum


CWRU Law Virtual Event

Document Type