Assistant Professor of Law
Etienne Toussaint will teach Contracts, Business Associations, and Secured Transactions. His current scholarship explores community economic development policies through the lens of critical theory, law and philosophy, and law and political economy.
"I seek to highlight opportunities for law to mitigate social and economic inequities while revealing injustices that constrain liberty, undermine equality and, ultimately, degrade democratic citizenship," says Toussaint. "My scholarship is intentionally interdisciplinary, bringing insights from historians, political scientists, sociologists, and economists to bear on modern legal discourse while evoking a 'systems' approach toward legal analysis stemming from my prior training in engineering."
Initially interested in building machines and bridges, Toussaint graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with his bachelor's in mechanical engineering. But during a semester abroad, he discovered a passion for urban planning and a desire to build bridges that would address the social and economic divides in impoverished communities. So, he next pursued a master's in environmental engineering at The Johns Hopkins University, during which he took an environmental policy class that revealed the critical role lawyers play in shaping the meaning of globalization and sustainability. That class ultimately led him to Harvard Law School, where he would learn how to use his engineering background to leverage law for positive social change.
He comes to the School of Law from the University of the District of Columbia, David A Clarke School of Law, where he was the co-director of the Community Development Law Clinic and taught Contracts, Business Organizations, and Law & Economy.
"I first became intrigued by USC Law during a visit to Columbia in October 2018 to attend the Southern Clinical Conference. From my earliest conversations with law faculty and students, I immediately discerned USC Law's collegial and collaborative environment," says Toussaint. "I have remained impressed by USC Law's commitment to innovative legal scholarship that maintains an intimate connection to local concerns yet emphasizes broader legal challenges facing American democracy. Further, the law faculty's commitment to preparing lawyer-leaders who serve their communities with excellence is not only inspirational but necessary to combat the immense challenges facing our modern age."
Assistant Professor of Law
Madalyn Wasilczuk is the newest clinical faculty member at South Carolina Law, teaching Interviewing, Counseling, and Negotiations, Criminal Adjudication, and Eighth Amendment Law & Litigation. She will soon direct the Criminal Practice Clinic. Her scholarly interests examine human rights in all phases of criminal law and procedure, including policing, racial and youth justice, the death penalty, and death by incarceration.
"As a public defender, it was always clear how the criminal legal system exerted so much power and caused so much trauma in my clients' lives and those of the ones they loved," says Wasilczuk. "I want to understand better how we work toward a world with less harm, more repair, and more justice instead of fear, banishment, and control."
Her interest in legal academia began while studying in Kenya as an undergraduate in international development at American University. For her thesis, she interviewed many legal service providers for her research on police violence in the country.
"When I found myself thoroughly absorbed in that paper, more than anything else I had done in undergrad, I thought law school might be for me. Once in law school, I realized how many parallels there were between the criminal legal systems in Kenya and the U.S., and I split my interests between human rights issues, including policing, and public defense work," she says.
Upon graduating from New York University Law School, Wasilczuk represented adults and children at the Defender Association of Philadelphia before accepting a clinical teaching fellowship at Cornell Law School's Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide. During her fellowship, she represented people on South Carolina death row in federal post-conviction litigation.
Before joining South Carolina Law, she directed the Juvenile Defense Clinic at Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center.
"I love clinical teaching because it gives me the opportunity to maintain a high-level practice with more time for reflection and with the energy and passion that students can bring to the work," says Wasilczuk. "My teaching, scholarship, and practice reinforce one another, and I'm thrilled that South Carolina Law will give me the time and support to do all three."