Skip to main content

Posts

Welcome to the Law and Society Review Blog

The current editors of Law and Society Review have started this blog with the goal of facilitating broader dissemination of socio-legal research. We hope that this blog allows us to discuss scholarship and teaching issues that may not make it to academic journals quickly.  We invite everyone to contribute; we ask all authors to summarize their recent articles. The new blog will also allow us to discuss the changing research environment.  We’d like to hear more people contribute to pressing conversations around research and publishing.  Many of us already have these conversations among smaller groups of scholars. A blog will allow a larger conversation with more participants and, we hope, a greater diversity of views.   

The questions to weigh in on are many.  Professional associations and funding agencies occasion talk about the press for data access in both Europe and North America.  What do you think about this issue, in every dimension from ethical to epistemological t…
Recent posts

The Racial Disparity in Police Violence

By: Rory Kramer and Brianna Remster
Villanova University


Accusations of racial bias in police use of force have long been a touchstone for civil unrest in the United States. In the 1960s, cities across the country saw massive protests and violence, including Watts, Detroit, and Philadelphia. In the 1980s, Miami residents rioted after police were acquitted in the death of Arthur McDuffie, presaging the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Police violence also triggered riots in the early 21stcentury in Cincinnati and, most recently, police violence energized a national movement under the #BlackLivesMatter moniker in response to the deaths of young Black victims such as Michael Brown in Ferguson, Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Tamir Rice in Cleveland, and Laquan McDonald in Chicago. Under the competing banner of #BlueLivesMatter, advocates suggest that Black people are more likely to be doing something wrong during police encounters than White people, thus precipitating police use of force. Despite thes…

The Christian Conservative Moves to Transform Law Through Legal Education

By Joshua C. Wilson, University of Denver
Amanda Hollis-Brusky, Pomona College



Picture:Wilson, Joshua C. 2018. Photograph. Liberty Law, Lynchburg, VA

 As “gatekeepers to the profession,” institutions of legal education are positioned to provide various forms of essential capital for movements interested in transforming law. They attract, socialize, and credential lawyers (human capital); establish or provide inroads to networks for group advancement (social capital); and create, spread, and legitimate ideas within the legal, political, and wider public's (intellectual and cultural capital).

In our article,"Higher Law: Can Christian Conservatives Transform Law Through Legal Education?", we analyze how three leading Christian conservative law schools and one training program organize themselves to produce the kinds of capital (human, intellectual, social, cultural) needed to effectively change the law.

Scholarship corroborates the proposition that law schools and legal…

Relieving the Tension: Lay Immigration Lawyering and the Management of Legal Violence

By Jamie Longazel 
John Jay College, City University of New York


Picture: Dominguez/Kut, R. (2018, June 30). Thousands gather at the steps of the Texas Capitol to rally against the recent immigration crackdown along the U.S./Mexico border. [Digital image]. Retrieved from http://www.kut.org/post/thousands-protest-trumps-zero-tolerance-immigration-policy-austin
News about the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” border policy understandably sent us into collective shock. But it’s important to note that a lot of what happened was not all that new. This particular set of atrocities took place against a legal backdrop where the U.S. has routinely denied basic rights to many immigrants and refugees. Unlike in criminal cases, for example, immigrants are not guaranteed access to counsel. One recent study found that only 37% of immigrants had legal representation in deportation proceedings.

My article, “Relieving the Tension: Lay Immigration Lawyering and the Management of Legal Violence” exam…

Postdoctoral Opportunity

The Newcomb College Institute of Tulane University seeks two postdoctoral fellows in law and society. We seek applicants whose research takes an intersectional approach to law and society, reflecting how gender, race, class, disability, sexuality, ethnic, community, immigration status, and national identities shape law and, in turn, how law shapes those identities. We will consider applicants beginning in the Spring of 2019, Summer of 2019 or Fall of 2019 for a single semester, a calendar year, or for the 2019-2020 academic year for up to two years of support per person. We prefer a two-year appointment, but are open to shorter terms. The fellows will receive mentoring from senior faculty, participate in our interdisciplinary community focused on intersectionality, and mentor undergraduate student research assistants. We expect fellow to participate in brown bag seminars, receptions, and other programming, mentor one or more undergraduate research assistants, and help to organize a wo…

Gender Bias in Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings

By Christina L. Boyd Department of Political Science, University of Georgia Paul M. Collins, Jr. Legal Studies Program and Department of Political Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and
LoriA. Ringhand School of Law, University of Georgia

Biased and discriminatory behavior toward gender, racial, and ethnic minorities continues to affect many sectors of American society. The 2016 U.S. presidential election provides just the most recent high profile example of this phenomenon. Vigorous debate erupted throughout the campaign about the ways in which gender shaped public perceptions of both candidates, and the extent to which Hilary Clinton was harmed or helped by being the first woman nominated for president by a major political party.

Underlying this public debate is a rich academic literature exploring how gender and race affect the way we select and assess our leaders, including politicians, judges, and lawyers. In “The Role of Nominee Gender and Race at U.S. Supreme Court C…

The Importance of Diversifying Scholarship and Cross-National Cooperation in Sociolegal Studies

By Susan Sterett
Co-Editor, Law and Society Review

When I stream music online, some algorithm figures out my preferences from the musician I pick, and I hear lots of related music. Music aficionados explain that music streaming services might surprise a listener, in a slick way, or they might not. Now that so many people use streaming services, the average music listener (say, me) is less likely to discover music via someone more musically aware, or by buying student discount tickets to a show. Aiming for advertisers shapes how music streaming services target individuals. If I am not a music aficionado and listen to a range of music more limited than what I could like, the music streaming services might throw something at me I never would have run into otherwise. For many musicians who aren’t superstars and who need the average, not especially knowledgeable listener, a collection of music conceived as an album works less well than it did before streaming and iTunes. Music stream…

Accountability, Courts, Misogyny

By Julie Novkov University at Albany, SUNY



Whether or not Republicans acknowledge it, the elevation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court will create a legitimacy problem for the Court. As comparative scholar Fionnuala Ní Aoláin explains, “allegations of sexual misconduct by senior judges and judicial nominees have been rare globally,” and when they have been raised in Costa Rica, India, and Namibia, the judges involved were removed through the operation of “a combination of criminal process, judicial investigation, and administrative/police investigations.” The US Supreme Court’s role both within the United States and as an internationally visible institution demands a high standard of judicial accountability and fair process. Lifetime appointment and the belief in the court as very powerful bring a national spotlight to hearings, making terrible processes all the worse. Even as more women have joined the United States judiciary, Senators and nominees still can choose to use …