Over the past year, student organizing has become an important part of the Law and Political Economy Project. This week we’re highlighting the work of several LPE student chapters. We hope that by amplifying their work—the impetus behind the student network, the successes and challenges of different chapters, and the community that students are building around LPE—we can reach more students at more law schools. So professors, if you’re reading this, let your students know that there’s a student network eager to include them, and law students, we’re excited to meet you!
If you’re interested in starting a chapter or doing LPE work at your law school, you can start by
- signing up for our list serve to get connected to the network and get help launching your chapter,
- checking out our syllabi,
- reading our 1LPE series on LPE approaches to 1L courses
We’re starting the series with the Yale Law School chapter:
Isabel Echarte —
The LPE student group at Yale Law School sprung from the same root as the broader LPE Project. In 2016, a group of students asked Amy Kapczynski to teach a seminar that would allow them to better understand the social, political, and legal structures that have led our society to the various crises it faces and that facilitated President Trump’s election. To build this first seminar, students pulled in scholarship from existing traditions like ClassCrits, Critical Race Theory, and APPEAL to locate the law’s role in our current political economic structure, as well as to understand how the law might be used to facilitate the work of movements seeking to build a better one.
This seminar gave rise to LPE Blog. The students wanted to continue the conversations they’d had in class and to bridge methodological and geographic divides by providing a space for legal scholars to engage each other on the central LPE questions. As the blog became more and more successful at facilitating academic conversations, and as demand for the LPE seminar grew to nearly 100 students (a sizeable share of the law school), students recognized the need for space outside of the blog and seminar. In particular, we were interested in expanding beyond academia to make LPE approaches relevant and accessible to students who want to practice law and to build networks with alumni and practitioners as well as students at other campuses. We are also interested in curriculum reform—in particular, unseating the dominance of Law and Economics in legal pedagogy and to provide a more robust and critical account of the role of racialized subordination and the patriarchy.