New Report: Out of Reach 2021

New Report: National Low Income Housing Coalition, Out of Reach 2021. [Note, this is a great annual report/resource.]

New Article: Creating a “Great Pro Bono Practice”

New Article: Malka Herman, Creating a “Great Pro Bono Practice”, 109 Calif. L. Rev. 701 (2021). Abstract below:

Pro bono at big law firms is often viewed as an altruistic way for attorneys to give back to society. But when big law firms partner with public interest law organizations (PILOs) to do pro bono work, conflicting interests among the parties involved may interfere with the aims of pro bono work. In this Note, I first review the history of PILOs and origins of the big law-PILO partnership model. I then use the lens of two sociological theories, functionalism and Weberian theory, to examine what motivates the actors involved—big law firms, big law attorneys, and PILOs—to engage in this model, highlighting conflicting interests among the parties. My look into these partnerships is informed by two original interviews I conducted, one with the executive director of a PILO and one with the pro bono counsel at a big law firm. Lastly, I explore the potential problems arising from these conflicts of interest and propose solutions to these problems, including how big law attorneys may be able to improve these partnerships and create a truly “great pro bono practice.”

New Article: Catch-22? Applicability of the Takings Clause to Removal of Homeless Persons’ Property from Public Areas

New Article: Tim Donaldson, Catch-22? Applicability of the Takings Clause to Removal of Homeless Persons’ Property from Public Areas, 55 Gonzaga L. Rev. 439 (2020).

New Article: Excluding Disadvantaged Businesses

New Article: Edward W. De Barbieri, Excluding Disadvantaged Businesses, 28 Geo. Mason L. Rev. 901 (2021). Abstract below:

Laws that subsidize small businesses frequently fail to reach owners most in need of governmental support. Small business owners, especially those who are historically marginalized and discriminated against, are particularly vulnerable in times of market crisis. However, in many instances, laws designed to support small businesses exclude certain disadvantaged businesses from competing in markets by denying government assistance.

This is the first Article to place focus on the ways that well-intentioned laws designed to aid small businesses harm the most disadvantaged ones. I focus on several examples, including the recently enacted Paycheck Protection Program, federal and state procurement preferences, and social equity programs in recreational cannabis licensing. In each instance, laws designed to support disadvantaged businesses serve to exclude them. For example, the Paycheck Protection Program denied loans to business owners with certain criminal histories. Government procurement pro-grams create exclusionary costs for participation. Finally, state-level social equity programs in recreational cannabis licensing favor already entrenched owners at the expense of communities most impacted by the war on drugs.

Lawmakers considering preferences for disadvantaged businesses ought to focus on the way the law excludes certain business owners. Government purchasing to favor owners based on sex and race, which face strict scrutiny review, ought to continue in ways that include new entrants in industry participation. At the same time, transfers of capital through loans, grants, and the tax code, ought to continue and expand to the extent that they remedy exclusion. To operationalize such proposals, economic justice campaigns, which have proliferated in recent years, can, and in some cases already do, advocate for economic development interventions that avoid excluding disadvantaged business.

Call for submissions: “Stuff You’ll Want to Steal: Ideas for Teaching about Race, Class and Indigenous Peoples in Property Law.”

Call for submissions: AALS Property Law Section, “Stuff You’ll Want to Steal: Ideas for Teaching about Race, Class and Indigenous Peoples in Property Law,” for the AALS 2022 conference. Submission deadline Aug. 31, 2021.

New Report: “Long shadows: The Black-white gap in multigenerational poverty”

New Report: Scott Winship, Christopher Pulliam, Ariel Gelrud Shiro, Richard V. Reeves, and Santiago Deambrosi, Long shadows: The Black-white gap in multigenerational poverty, Brookings, June 2021.

New Article: Racial Justice for Street Vendors

New Article: Stephen Lee, Racial Justice for Street Vendors, 12 Calif. L. Rev. Online 1 (June 2021).

New Article: Health Justice Strategies to Combat the Pandemic: Eliminating Discrimination, Poverty, and Health Disparities During and After COVID-19

New Article: Emily A. Benfer, Seema Mohapatra, Lindsay F. Wiley, & Raqaiijah Yearby, Health Justice Strategies to Combat the Pandemic: Eliminating Discrimination, Poverty, and Health Disparities During and After COVID-19, 19 Yale J. Health Pol’y L. & Ethics (2020). Abstract below:

Experience with past epidemics made it predictable that people living in poverty, people of color, and other marginalized groups would bear the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic due to the social determinants of health (SDOH). The SDOH are subdivided into structural and intermediary determinants. Structural determinants include forms of subordination (discrimination and poverty) that influence intermediary determinants (health care, housing, and employment). The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified and accelerated the harms caused by these determinants, limiting health equity among historically marginalized groups and low-income populations. Black, Latino, and Indigenous populations have higher COVID-19 infection and mortality rates, higher rates of unemployment, less access to health care, and greater risk of eviction during the pandemic, among other significant inequities. Without robust and swift government interventions, the impacts of the pandemic will be wide and deep. This Article analyzes mechanisms of these determinants in the pandemic setting and provides solutions using the health justice framework.

Op-ed: “Since When Have Trees Existed Only for Rich Americans?”

Op-ed: Ian Leahy & Yaryna Serkez, Since When Have Trees Existed Only for Rich Americans?, N.Y. Times, June 30, 2021 [includes good graphics comparing neighborhoods]. 

New Article: Mitigating Housing Instability During a Pandemic

New Article: Michelle D. Layser, Edward W. De Barbieri, Andrew Greenlee, Tracy Kaye & Blaine G. Saito, Mitigating Housing Instability During a Pandemic, forthcoming Oregon L. Rev. Abstract below:

Housing instability threatens to impair the United States’ policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic by undermining public health strategies such as social distancing. Yet, mitigation of housing instability has not been the focus of early emergency legislation, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which has focused on providing cash support to individuals and businesses. Although many of these laws have the potential to reduce housing instability, this Article argues that they face barriers to effective implementation akin to those that hindered similar interventions during the Great Recession. These barriers—which include administrative hurdles, reliance on voluntary participation, resource constraints, and political pushback—may prevent these interventions from effectively mitigating housing instability. For this reason, additional rental assistance and mortgage payment assistance will be necessary to prevent the loss of housing that will ultimately exacerbate the public health crisis. We also recommend a new civil right to counsel in eviction cases and targeted place-based interventions to promote affordable housing development where it is needed most.