Preparing for the Next Pandemic: Learning from the Past and the Present

Join the St. Thomas Law Journal for this virtual symposium.

Date & Time:

Thursday, April 22, 2021
8:45 AM - 4:15 PM



The COVID-19 pandemic has severely and negatively impacted nearly every aspect of individuals' lives across the United States. Government responses have varied widely on the local, state, and federal levels. But this is neither the first nor the last time that our country has had to, or will have to, confront a widespread health crisis.

Legal historian John Fabian Witt’s recent book, American Contagions relates the history of our country’s legal responses to epidemics, offering a compelling framework for exploring the success and failures of these responses on different sectors of our society. 

Theologian Paul Scherz offers an even deeper dive into history, exploring theological frameworks for assessing responses to epidemics throughout the centuries. 

These historical perspectives will be supplemented by assessments of contemporary responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on different interests and vulnerable populations.  Speakers will address issues ranging from religious liberty issues, to general considerations of public health policy, to the experiences of specific  populations, including Native Americans, prisoners, the homeless, the disabled, and immigrants.
Please join the University of St. Thomas Law Journal, in conjunction with the Murphy Institute, as they host a virtual symposium “Preparing for the Next Pandemic: Learning from the Past and the Present”  to examine and challenge pre-existing, legal and policy obstacles that are exacerbating the danger of the COVID-19 health crisis to all segments of our society.

Register at

6.75 CLE Credits Approved.

To make an accessibility request, call Disability Resources at (651) 962-6315.

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