Posted by The Situationist Staff on November 8, 2008
Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Emily Houh, and Mary Campbell have posted an intriguing article, “Cracking the Egg: Which Came First – Stigma or Affirmative Action?” (forthcoming 96 California Law Review (2008)) on SSRN. Here’s the abstract.
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This Article examines the strength of arguments concerning the causal connection between racial stigma and affirmative action. In so doing, this article reports and analyzes the results of a survey on internal stigma (feelings of dependency, inadequacy, or guilt) and external stigma (the burden of others’ resentment or doubt about one’s qualifications) for the Class of 2009 at seven public law schools, four of which employed race-based affirmative action policies when the Class of 2009 was admitted and three of which did not use such policies at that time.
Specifically, this Article examines and presents survey findings of 1) minimal, if any, internal stigma felt by minority law students, regardless of whether their schools practiced race-based affirmative action; 2) no statistically significant difference in internal stigma between minority students at affirmative action law school and non-affirmative action law schools; and 3) no significant impact from external stigma.
Posted in Abstracts, Education | Tagged: affirmative action, Education, law school classroom, race | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jon Hanson & Michael McCann on July 7, 2008
We recently posted on SSRN a draft of our forthcoming law review article, Situationist Torts, 41 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review _ (forthcoming, 2008). Our article’s abstract is excerpted below.
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This Article calls for a situationist approach to teaching law, particularly tort law.
This new approach would begin by rejecting the dominant, common-sense account of human behavior (sometimes called dispositionism) and replacing it with the more accurate account being revealed by the social sciences, such as social psychology, social cognition, cognitive neuroscience, and other mind sciences.
At its core, situationism is occupied with identifying and bridging the gap between what actually moves us, on one hand, and what we imagine moves us, on the other. Recognizing that gap is critical for understanding what roles tort law (among other areas of law) serves. Beyond that, a situationist approach helps to make clear the subconscious tendencies and otherwise unappreciated external forces that have shaped tort law and tort reforms. A situationist perspective on tort law, this Article argues, also has significant implications for how tort law is taught.
The Langdellian model of teaching, which has monopolized the law school classroom since the late 19th century, has been the brunt of increasing criticism over the past several decades. Most critics emphasize that the casebook method forces the round complexities of law, lawmaking, and human behavior into the square holes of antiquated legal categories and idiosyncratic appellate decisions. A number of leading law schools are now dramatically reshaping their curricula to address such concerns.
Simultaneously, legal theory is in the midst of its own revolution as legal scholars are beginning to reject the hard-core dispositionism at the foundation of law and to incorporate, or at least acknowledge, emerging insights from the mind sciences.
The curricular and theoretical renovations underway represent what we would call a turn toward the situationist. Those trends have created a hospitable climate for the emergence of a more robust situationist approach to law and law teaching. This Article describes not only those trends and their implications, but also some specifics regarding how situationist torts would be taught and what a situationist torts casebook would look like.
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To download the article for free, click here. That link will direct you to the abstract and various download options. We hope you have a chance to read Situationist Torts. Also, we thank Larry Solum of Legal Theory Blog and William Childs of TortsProf Blog for posting on our article.
Posted in Abstracts, Education, History, Law, Legal Theory | Tagged: Christopher Columbus Langdell, law review article, law school classroom, pedagogy, situationist torts | Leave a Comment »