Category Archives: Legal Academia

New Report: “World Inequality Report 2018”

wir2018-full-report-english-fcb06190New Report: “World Inequality Report 2018” [Note: this is a very professionally done report with big “coordinator” scholars behind it and has great charts.]


My syllabi 2018 (a minor protest against my school): Housing Law, Poverty Law, Indian Law, and Property Law

For reasons that make sense only to bureaucrats, my school has made all syllabi for law school classes at the school password protected. I thought I should make my Housing Law syllabus public because it includes readings that might be of interest. While doing that I thought I should also make my other syllabi publicly accessible:


Research Support: “Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute (Institute) at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Visiting Scholar Program Application 2018”

Full info here, deadline Feb. 9, 2018.

Happy Holidays: “A List of Some of the More Than #2000Verses in Scripture on Poverty and Justice”


New Article: “Measuring Law School Clinics”

New Article: Colleen F. Shanahan, Jeffrey Selbin, Alyx Mark & Anna E. Carpenter, Measuring Law School Clinics, Tulane L. Rev. (forthcoming 2018). Abstract below:

Legal education reformers have long argued that law school clinics address two related needs: first, clinics teach students to be lawyers; and second, clinics serve low-income clients. In clinics, so the argument goes, law students working under the close supervision of faculty members learn the requisite skills to be good practitioners and professionals. In turn, clinical law students serve clients with civil and criminal justice needs that would otherwise go unmet.

Though we have these laudable teaching and service goals — and a vast literature describing the role of clinics in both the teaching and service dimensions — we have scant empirical evidence about whether and how clinics achieve these goals. We know from studies that law students value clinics, but do clinics prepare them to be lawyers? We also know from surveys that clinics provide hundreds of thousands of hours of free legal aid in low-income communities, but how well do clinic students serve clients?

These are big questions across a complex field and set of practices that cannot be answered by a single study. Nevertheless, we report here findings from a large data set of cases that shed some light on the teaching-service promise of law school clinics. Analyzing thousands of unemployment insurance cases involving different types of representation, we are able to compare clinical law students’ use of legal procedures and outcomes to those of experienced attorneys in cases in the same court.

We find that clinical law students behave very similarly to practicing attorneys in their use of legal procedures. Their clients also experience very similar case outcomes to clients of practicing attorneys. Though further research is needed on the impact of law school clinics in the teaching and service dimensions, our findings are consistent with claims that law school clinics help prepare students to be practicing lawyers and to serve low-income clients as well as lawyers do.

Op-Ed: “Law & Neoliberalism”

David Singh Grewal and Jedediah Purdy, Law & Neoliberalism, Law and Political Economy, November 6, 2017. [What does Neoliberalism really mean?]

Op-Ed: “Jonah Gelbach Responds to Amy Wax and Jon Haidt”

Jonathan Haidt, Jonah Gelbach Responds to Amy Wax and Jon Haidt, Heterodox Academy, September 21, 2017. [A defense of Wax and a critique of the letter writers and the open letter process.]

Good news!: SALT honors Jeffrey Selbin with the Great Teacher Award and Robert S. Chang and the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality with the M. Shanara Gilbert Human Rights Award

Yay!  Congrats!  The announcement is here. (I might be a bit biased but I am happy to report this announcement.)

New Article: “The Untold Story of the Justice Gap: Integrating Poverty Law into the Law School Curriculum”

Vanita S. Snow, The Untold Story of the Justice Gap: Integrating Poverty Law into the Law School Curriculum, 37 Pace L. Rev. 1 (2017). [Abstract below]


Once upon a time, not so long ago, a student entered law school with a commitment to change the world. The student quickly recognized that success in first-year classes required understanding the black letter law and applying the law to various scenarios that had little to do with social justice. During the second year, the student’s career-services adviser reminded the student to think critically about post-graduation employment and the importance of on-campus interviews. Pressures to take bar-tested courses and securities law over shadowed the student’s plan to enroll in a clinic. The student soon graduated from law school, but with limited skills that would help her address social justice and a diminished desire to change the world.


Legal Academy News: “Civil Rights Center at UNC Law School Shut Down”

News coverage here.