Reminder to law student readers: RebLaw 2019 will take place at Yale Law School on February 15 and 16. Law students who want to be part of building a left answer to the Federalist Society should be there. On Saturday, February 16 from 3:45-5:15, join LPE law student organizers for a workshop on launching an LPE student network at your law school! Continue reading
Earlier this fall, the LPE blog launched 1LPE, which aimed to provide a critical countervailing perspective on the doctrinal areas traditionally constituting the 1L curriculum. Take a look at what we’ve published – and get ready for more posts after the break!
- Teaching Criminal Law from an LPE Perspective, Angela Harris
- Teaching, Guerrilla Style, Amna Akbar, Jocelyn Simonson, and Sameer Ashar
- Rethinking Criminal Law, Jocelyn Simonson and Amna Akbar
- But Who Gets the Driveway? Teaching Property as LPE (Sort of), Jed Purdy
- The State as the Foundation of Property, Ezra Rosser
- Zoning and Race, from Ladue to Ferguson, Rebecca Tushnet
- The Property Course as Critique, Justin Desautels-Stein
- Raze and Rebuild the Property Course, James Grimmelmann
- Rules of Power & Wrongs: A Law & Political Economy Approach to Tort Law, Conor Dwyer Reynolds
- Torts: A Law and Political Economy CounterSyllabus, Conor Dwyer Reynolds
- American Tort Law Tells Us How It Really Feels About Law and Economics, Anita Bernstein
- A Torts Course for the Actually Existing World, John Witt
- Constitutional Law 101: A Primer for the Law and Political Economy blog, Part I, Sabeel Rahman
- Constitutional Law 101: A Primer for the Law and Political Economy blog, Part II, Sabeel Rahman
- Constitutional Law 101: A Primer for the Law and Political Economy blog, Part III, Sabeel Rahman
- LPE of Civil Procedure: Equality Inside and Outside the Courts, Daniel Wilf-Townsend
- Teaching Civil Procedure with Political Economy in Mind, Helen Hershkoff
- 1LPE: Mullane, Financialization, and Procedural Pliability, Emily Villano
LPEBlog will be on break until the New Year. We will be back in 2019 with new and exciting content!
Wishing you all a happy and restorative holiday season,
The LPEBlog Team
We are thrilled to announce our search for the inaugural Executive Director of the Law and Political Economy Project. Details below, and please share widely. Download the announcement here. We also welcome applications for the part-time blog editor position, posted here.
The Law and Political Economy (LPE) project at Yale Law School seeks a full-time Executive Director (ED). The ideal ED will play both a scholarly and organizational role.
The LPE project is a network of scholars, practitioners, and students working to develop innovative methods at the intersections of legal, political, and economic ordering, with special attention to democracy, economic inequality and power, and racialized and gendered inequality. We seek to make our work relevant to judging, advocacy, policy, and politics as well as scholarship more traditionally understood, and see our initiative as, in part, a response to the fraught political moment and an attempt to understand and address the longer-running problems that have contributed to it. This grant-funded initiative is housed at Yale Law School, and will coordinate closely with other key hubs of legal scholarship and advocacy, including Columbia Law School, Demos, and others.
Good news, LPE readers: We are looking for a part-time blog coordinator, to help us continue and expand the work of the blog. Details below, and please share widely. Download the announcement here.
A grant-funded initiative housed at Yale Law School and affiliated with Demos and Columbia Law School (and others to come) seeks a half-time blog editor and coordinator, for the recently launched “Law and Political Economy” blog (lpeblog.org). The blog is the first initiative of a growing Law and Political Economy project, and is substantively edited and managed by a consortium of faculty and students. The site hosts commentary, analysis, and dialogues on law, politics, and economics with a progressive and egalitarian orientation. The blog editor will be responsible for all administrative matters including: generating (in collaboration with the substantive editors) and maintaining a schedule of publication, communicating with contributors about all scheduling and administrative matters, copy-editing content, and routing unsolicited and proposed posts from readers to the substantive editors. The blog editor will also do basic trouble-shooting and maintenance on the site and show initiative and creativity in promoting the content through social and traditional media. We particularly welcome applicants with interest and training in our topics who may be able to assume certain more substantive editorial roles, as well as help guide authors on writing in this format, and extending their ideas in other media (both traditional or “new” / “social”).
Isra Syed & Talya Lockman-Fine —
Many of us came to law school interested in how the law can advance social justice, only to find ourselves disoriented by a 1L curriculum seemingly uninterested (and often hostile) to these questions. We encountered the Coase theorem in torts and Pareto optimality in contracts, but were given no vocabulary to understand the politics underlying these ideas. We were told that matters of economic redistribution were irrelevant to constitutional law, without any rigorous interrogation of why and how this came to be. And we were told that the laws of the market have no bearing on racial and gender equality, despite their tremendous power in ordering modern society.
This experience convinced us that we need other modes of analysis. For many law students, required core courses – typically including constitutional law, contracts, civil procedure, criminal law, property, and torts – are the first introduction to what the law is and how to understand it. As such, they should be our first entry point into modes of critical analysis of the law in relation to power.
We are back online for the academic year, and very excited to introduce our new list of core contributors below! We hope you’ll join us in following their work here at the blog over the next many months.
The LPE Team
We’re back from our hiatus, and first up, this cross-post from On Labor, about a new blueprint for labor law. Shouldn’t every day be Labor Day?
This Labor Day, A Clean Slate for Reform
Benjamin Sachs & Sharon Block —
As divided as we have become as a country, we arrive at this Labor Day with a shared national understanding: both economic and political power are wildly out of balance, with dire consequences for the vast majority of Americans who find themselves on the losing end of this imbalance. Wherever we live, and however we vote, Americans know that both wealth and political influence are now radically concentrated in the hands of a tiny few.
What does economic inequality look like in 2018 America? Here’s an illustration: The average Amazon worker makes about $29,000 per year, while Jeff Bezos, the Amazon CEO, has a net worth of $150 billion. This means it would take an Amazon worker 5 million years, working full time, to earn what Bezos now possesses.
With respect to political inequality, the data is just as stark. Political scientists have shown that the preferences of the vast majority of Americans simply no longer have any impact on what happens in Washington. In fact, when the rich disagree wth the poor and middle class, the path our government takes has nothing to do with what anyone but the rich want.
Why is it important to consider this crisis of inequality on the day we set aside to honor labor? Because the evisceration of the labor movement is in large measure what got us here, and resuscitating the collective power of workers is what will get us out of this mess. The more we learn about inequality – both economic and political – the clearer it becomes that the strength of the labor movement is intimately connected with the equality of our nation. Sustain a strong labor movement and you can count on a more equal society. Kill labor and you kill equality.
The question on this Labor Day therefore must be how, in 2018, can we create a new labor movement, one that can unite the interests of a sufficient number of lower and middle income Americans so that they have the power to restore balance to our economy and politics.
Dear Readers —
We are taking a few weeks off to accommodate the end of summer holidays and the scramble toward the new semester. We’ll be back online in mid-September. Thanks, as ever, for reading.
The LPE Team.