New Article: “Bridging the Two Cultures: Toward Transactional Poverty Lawyering”

New Article: Gregory E. Louis, Bridging the Two Cultures: Toward Transactional Poverty Lawyering, 28 Clinical L. Rev. 411 (2022). The article is here: Louis – Bridging the Two Cultures. Abstract below:

As U.S. society emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic that decimated Black and Brown communities and law schools reexamine their curricula after the summer of 2020, a moment of interest convergence has emerged: the need for legal education to matter for Black and Brown livelihoods. This Article proposes a concrete measure for meeting this moment. Informed by CUNY School of Law’s lawyering seminar and building upon scholarship long calling for a paradigm shift toward a transactional understanding of social justice – especially Professor Susan R. Jones’s work – this Article calls upon law schools to leverage their positions and resources toward Black and Brown economic recovery. Specifically, the Article proposes that law schools do so by requiring their students to enroll in a transactional poverty law seminar and clinic instructing students toward assisting socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses with applications for capitalization and finance. With such a course, law schools can become centers of what Professor Jones terms “action research,” assisting the flow of assets to populations historically locked out of capital, most recently with the pandemic economic stimulus programs. It also would serve to enlighten privileged law students on the stark exclusions within the U.S. market economy and initiate socially and economically disadvantaged law students into transactional practice. Through advancing mutual benefit about this principle of double discovery, the course would serve to bridge the gap between the two Americas as well as the silos of litigation and transactional lawyering.

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