The Yale Visual Law Project is a student-initiated alternative law journal that aims to produce smart, engaging documentaries on cutting-edge legal issues. Launched at the Yale Law School in the 2010-11 academic year, the Project runs a yearlong practicum where law students collaborate with skilled professionals to research, write, direct, and produce short documentaries. Our documentaries will be of high production value, and they will tackle the most daunting legal issues of our time. In our pilot year, we are producing a short film series examining the community harms of racial profiling. The film will approach the theme of racial profiling and the law through the contexts of immigration policy, criminal law enforcement and national security policy. We are a student initiative of the Yale Law School’s Information Society Project, supervised by Professor Jack Balkin and Dean Robert Post.
● Democratize knowledge. In an era where traditional legal scholarship goes largely unread by the general public, the Project aims to bring legal knowledge and debate directly to public audiences, injecting compelling documentary films into public debate.
● Innovate in the legal field. The Project approaches the cinematic arts not as a merely representative medium but as an uncharted frontier for knowledge production in the legal field. Our films will meet the rigors of legal scholarship even as they help transform and expand the contours of legal knowledge.
● Uncover buried voices. In our pilot year, we are producing intellectually rigorous and well-researched short documentaries on racial profiling. These documentaries are grounded in the stories of individuals who live out the consequences of the law, and whose voices are often missing from legal discourse.