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American Lawyers in a Changing Society, 1776-1876
Maxwell Bloomfield
Harvard University Press, 1976

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America’s Lawyer-Presidents
From Law Office to Oval Office
Norman Gross
Northwestern University Press, 2009

The historic election of Barack Obama was rife with references to Abraham Lincoln, perhaps the greatest lawyer-president, whose legal career spanned 25 years and 5,100 cases. President Obama’s ties to Lincoln are part of a great tradition begun by John Adams, the first lawyer-president, who combined a twenty-year law practice with major contributions to our nation’s founding charters. His son, John Quincy Adams, argued landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases both before and after his presidency, one of eight lawyer-presidents to appear as counsel before the highest court in the land. And Rutherford B. Hayes and Benjamin Harrison were among those lawyer-presidents who handled notable high-profile cases, including sensational murder trials.

These are but a few of the fascinating—yet still largely unknown—stories about America’s lawyer-presidents. Now available in an updated, expanded paperback edition, America’s Lawyer-Presidents sheds light on the legal backgrounds of each of these chief executives and how their experiences as lawyers impacted and shaped their presidencies. Written by historians and presidential scholars and featuring an engaging and image-rich presentation, America’s Lawyer-Presidents provides unique insights into our national leaders and their lives and times, from colonial days to the present.

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Asian Legal Revivals
Lawyers in the Shadow of Empire
Yves Dezalay and Bryant G. Garth
University of Chicago Press, 2010

More than a decade ago, before globalization became a buzzword, Yves Dezalay and Bryant G. Garth established themselves as leading analysts of how that process has shaped the legal profession. Drawing upon the insights of Pierre Bourdieu, Asian Legal Revivals explores the increasing importance of the positions of the law and lawyers in South and Southeast Asia.

            Dezalay and Garth argue that the current situation in many Asian countries can only be fully understood by looking to their differing colonial experiences—and in considering how those experiences have laid the foundation for those societies’ legal profession today. Deftly tracing the transformation of the relationship between law and state into different colonial settings, the authors show how nationalist legal elites in countries such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and South Korea came to wield political power as agents in the move toward national independence. Including fieldwork from over 350 interviews, Asian Legal Revivals illuminates the more recent past and present of these legally changing nations and explains the profession’s recent revival of influence, as spurred on by American geopolitical and legal interests.

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Attorney for the Frontier
Enos Stutsmon
Dale Gibson
University of Manitoba Press, 1983

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Beyond Monopoly
Lawyers, State Crises, and Professional Empowerment
Terence C. Halliday
University of Chicago Press, 1987
How do professional associations build their resources and establish authroity? What are the conditions under which professional expertise can be mobilized for political action? If professional organizations are endowed with a wealth of resources, do they use them responsibly or only for economic monopoly? What is the potential scope of professional action today?

In this pathbreaking study of the legal profession, Terence Halliday raises and addresses these questions combining extensive data from the rich archives o the Chicago Bar Association, one of the nation's largest and wealthiest bar organizations, with data from a national survey of bar legislative and judicial action. Beyond Monopoly demonstrates that the primary commitment of lawyers to economic monopoly has long been complemented by "civic professionalism" as the legal profession takes on more responsibility in the American democratic system when state capabilities diminish.

Through his examination of three types of state crises in the 1950s and 1960s—the challenges to legitimacy in the legal system, the crisis of individual rights during McCarthyism and the civil rights eras, and the fiscal crises of various state governments—Halliday shows that large bar associations can have extensive influence on any institution that is regulated by law. He argues that lawyers have the capability of turning social and political issues into technical legal matters in what he calls an "idiom of legalism." Under technical guise, lawyers come to exercise moral authority.

Halliday maintains that the American legal profession over the past century has gone from a formative stage, when controlling its market in the delivery of legal services was paramount, to an established phase in the past two decades, when it has committed extensive resources to the complex needs of the modern state. A de facto bargain has been struck: if the state leaves the profession's monopoly fairly intact, the profession can use its expert resources to help the state adapt to strain and crisis. It can do so not only in the legal system, where it has been championing "autonomous" law, but in other spheres as well—from the economy to the private sphere of individual rights.

Halliday confirms that the legal profession deploys its expertise not merely to attain professional dominance, to control a market, or to purvey an ideology, but to increase the viability of democratic institutions. Beyond Monopoly introduces a pioneering approach to a historical and comparative sociology of the professions that will be of vital interest not only to sociologists, but to political scientists and lawyers as well.
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The Biggest Damned Hat
Tales from Alaska's Territorial Lawyers and Judges
Pamela Cravez
University of Alaska Press, 2017
Alaska history from the days before statehood is rich in stories of colorful characters—prospectors, settlers, heroes, and criminals. And right alongside them were judges and lawyers, working first to establish the rule of law in the territory, then, later, laying the groundwork for statehood.
 
The Biggest Damned Hat presents a fascinating collection of stories ranging from the gold rush to the 1950s. Built on interviews and oral histories from more than fifty lawyers who worked in Alaska before 1959, and buttressed by research into legal history, the book offers a brilliantly multifaceted portrait of law in the territory—from laying the groundwork for strong civil and criminal law to helping to secure mining and fishing rights to the Alaska Court-Bar fight, which pitted Alaska’s community of lawyers against its nascent Supreme Court. Bringing to life a time long past—when some of the best lawyers had little formal legal education—The Biggest Damned Hat fills in a crucial part of the story of Alaska’s history.
 
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Black Lawyers, White Courts
The Soul of South African Law
Kenneth S. Broun
Ohio University Press, 2000

In the struggle against apartheid, one often overlooked group of crusaders was the coterie of black lawyers who overcame the Byzantine system that the government established oftentimes explicitly to block the paths of its black citizens from achieving justice.

Now, in their own voices, we have the narratives of many of those lawyers as recounted in a series of oral interviews. Black Lawyers, White Courts is their story and the anti-apartheid story that has before now gone untold.

Professor Kenneth Broun conducted interviews with twenty-seven black South African lawyers. They were asked to tell about their lives, including their family backgrounds, education, careers, and their visions for the future. In many instances they also discussed their years in prison or exile, or under house arrest. Most told of both education and careers interrupted because of the ongoing struggle.

The story of the professional achievements of black lawyers in South Africa—indeed their very survival—provides an example of the triumph of individuals and, ultimately, of the law. Black Lawyers, White Courts is about South Africa, and about black professionals in that country, but the lessons its protagonists teach extend far beyond circumstances, geography, or race.

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The Boy from Altheimer
From the Depression to the Boardroom
William H. Bowen
University of Arkansas Press, 2006
Bill Bowen’s memoir deals with many of the most important events and years in Arkansas history in the twentieth century. Bowen was born and raised in Altheimer, in the Arkansas Delta, a section of the country that was among the most impoverished in the nation during the Depression. His adolescence was shaped by the Depression, and as a young adult he enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and served in the U.S. Naval Reserve until 1963. After the war, Bowen became a tax attorney. He used his unique skills to refine the legal aspects of investment banking in Arkansas and became so proficient at it that he moved into the banking field to serve first as president then board chairman of one of Arkansas’s largest banks. Legal and banking experience led naturally to politics, and he became chief of staff for Gov. Bill Clinton. After Clinton announced his candidacy for president, it became Bowen’s task to protect the interests and programs of Governor Clinton in the face of intense pressure from then Lt. Gov. Jim Guy Tucker to become de facto governor. Even in retirement he continued to lead an energetic, productive life as he prepared himself for yet another career, this one in education, serving two years as dean of the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, Law School, which now bears his name.
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Brooke at the Bar
Inside Our Legal System
Brooke Wunnicke
University Press of Colorado, 2023
Brooke at the Bar is a candid, lively, and sometimes humorous autobiography by Brooke Wunnicke, the first woman to be a trial and appellate attorney in Wyoming and who went on to become a legal legend in Colorado. In conversational writing, Brooke provides insights from a lawyer, mentor, and educator. She advocates that, while not perfect, the United States has the world’s best legal system and that all citizens need to understand and protect their rights, freedoms, and responsibilities.
 
Brooke shares vignettes of her early life—California in the Great Depression, college at Stanford, law school in Colorado during World War II, and the 1946 opening of her Cheyenne law office, a precedent for women in law. She vividly describes memorable and amusing experiences with clients, witnesses, lawyers, juries, and judges and explains some significant cases. She recounts important and dynamic events from her twelve years as Denver’s chief appellate deputy district attorney, an era during which she was an inestimable mentor to many young lawyers who became prominent in the private and public sectors.
 
Brooke passionately believed “the law has been and will continue to be civilization’s hope.” In her book’s final part, she demystifies many legal terms and procedures and describes the parts of a civil jury trial—including information for jurors and witnesses—and provides an enthusiastic and clear refresher on the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.
 
Brooke at the Bar is a unique and historically important contribution that will be of interest to general readers, scholars, and students interested in US law, political science, government, women’s history, twentieth-century western history, civil rights, and legal communities, including those in Wyoming and Colorado, where Brooke was “at the Bar.”
 
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Business Of Practicing Law
Carroll Seron
Temple University Press, 1996

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Cheaper by the Hour
Temporary Lawyers and the Deprofessionalization of the Law
Authored by Robert A. Brooks
Temple University Press, 2012

Recent law school graduates often work as temporary attorneys, but law firm layoffs and downsizing have strengthened the temporary attorney industry. Cheaper by the Hour is the first book-length account of these workers.

Drawing from participant observation and interviews, Robert A. Brooks provides a richly detailed ethnographic account of freelance attorneys in Washington, DC. He places their document review work in the larger context of the deprofessionalization of skilled labor and considers how professionals relegated to temporary jobs feel diminished, degraded, or demeaned by work that is often tedious, repetitive, and well beneath their abilities.

Brooks documents how firms break a lawyer's work into discrete components that require less skill to realize maximum profits. Moreover, he argues that information technology and efficiency demands are further stratifying the profession and creating a new underclass of lawyers who do low-end commodity work.

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Chicago Lawyers, Revised Edition
The Social Structure of the Bar
John Heinz and Edward Laumann
Northwestern University Press, 1994
The legal profession is stratified primarily by the character of the clients served, not by the type of legal service rendered, as John P. Heinz and Edward O. Laumann convincingly demonstrate. In their classic study of the Chicago bar, the authors draw on interviews with nearly 800 lawyers to show that the profession is divided into two distinct hemispheres–corporate and individual–and that this dichotomy is reflected in the distribution of prestige among lawyers.
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Chicago Lawyers
The Social Structure of the Bar
John P. Heinz
Russell Sage Foundation, 1982
What determines the systematic allocation of status, power, and economic reward among lawyers?  What kind of social structure organizes lawyers' roles in the bar and in the larger community? As Heinz and Laumann convincingly demonstrate, the legal profession is stratified primarily by the character of the clients served, not by the type of legal service rendered.  In fact, the distinction between corporate and individual clients divides the bar into two remarkably separate hemispheres.  Using data from extensive personal interviews with nearly 800 Chicago lawyers, the authors show that lawyers who serve one type of client seldom serve the other.  Furthermore, lawyers' political, ethno-religious, and social ties are very likely to correspond to those of their client types.  Greater deference is consistently shown to corporate lawyers, who seem to acquire power by association with their powerful clients. Heinz and Laumann also discover that these two "hemispheres" of the legal profession are not effectively integrated by intraprofessional organizations such as the bar, courts, or law schools.  The fact that the bar is structured primarily along extraprofessional lines raises intriguing questions about the law and the nature of professionalism, questions addressed in a provocative and far-ranging final chapter. This volume, published jointly with the American Bar Foundation, offers a uniquely sophisticated and comprehensive analysis of lawyers' professional lives.  It will be of exceptional importance to sociologists and others interested in the legal profession, in the general study of professions, and in social stratification and the distribution of power.
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Citizen Rauh
An American Liberal's Life in Law and Politics
Michael E. Parrish
University of Michigan Press, 2011

"Joe Rauh was the type of lawyer who comes along maybe once in a generation---talented, politically astute, effective, and stubbornly devoted to principles, the type of person who not only could but did make a difference. He deserves a biography that explores not only his persona, but the America in which he lived and worked, and how he made a difference to so many people. Michael Parrish has given us just such a book, an exceedingly fine, well-written story that will make clear to another generation not only who Joe Rauh was, but why we as a nation will always need someone like him."
---Melvin I. Urofsky, Professor of Law and Public Policy, Virginia Commonwealth University

"Michael Parrish has captured the life of this great civil libertarian in splendid fashion. His biography of this energetic New Deal liberal weaves effortlessly between public and private, friend and foe, victory and defeat. With Parrish as a sure guide, Citizen Rauh transports the reader through an American history that begins with Sacco and Vanzetti and ends as he battles CIA skullduggery in the 1980s. This biography should be on your shelf and in your heart."
---Nelson Lichtenstein, MacArthur Foundation Professor of History and Director of the Center for the Study of Work, Labor, and Democracy, University of California, Santa Barbara

"Michael Parrish has fashioned a biography filled with Rauh's spirit, achievements, his losses, and above all, the importance of his presence. This is a wonderful account of a giant of late 20th century political and legal affairs."
---Stanley Kutler, E. Gordon Fox Professor Emeritus of American Institutions, History, and Law, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Citizen Rauh tells the story of American lawyer Joseph L. Rauh Jr., who kept alive the ideals of New Deal liberalism and broadened those ideals to include a commitment to civil rights. Rauh's clients included Arthur Miller, Lillian Hellman, A. Philip Randolph, and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. With good reason Freedom Rider John Lewis once called him "the blackest white man I ever knew."

No lawyer in the post-1945 era did more to protect the economic interests of working-class Americans than Rauh, who fought for the unions as they struggled for legitimacy and against them when they betrayed their own members. No lawyer stood more courageously against repressive anticommunism during the 1950s or advanced the cause of racial justice more vigorously in the 1960s and 1970s. No lawyer did more to defend the constitutional vision of the Warren Court and resist the efforts of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan to undo its legacy.

Throughout his life, Rauh continued to articulate a progressive vision of law and politics, ever confident that his brand of liberalism would become vital once again when the cycle of American politics took another turn.

Michael E. Parrish is Distinguished Professor of History at the University of California, San Diego, where he has taught for forty years. A specialist in the legal and constitutional history of the United States, he has also taught at Nanjing University in the People's Republic of China, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Glasgow, and the University of Helsinki, where he was the Fulbright Bicentennial Professor of American Studies.

Parrish is the author of five other books: Securities Regulation and the New Deal; Felix Frankfurter and His Times; Anxious Decades: America in Prosperity and Depression; The Hughes Court: Justices, Rulings, and Legacy; and The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment: Judging Death. His articles have appeared in the American Historical Review, the Historian, Diplomatic History, the Journal of the Supreme Court Historical Society, and the Yale Law Journal.

Jacket design by Paula Newcomb

Jacket photograph: Joseph L. Rauh Jr. with President Lyndon B. Johnson. Courtesy of the Estate of Olie W. Rauh.

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Closing Arguments
Clarence Darrow on Religion, Law, and Society
Clarence Darrow
Ohio University Press, 2005

Clarence Darrow, son of a village undertaker and coffinmaker, rose to become one of America’s greatest attorneys—and surely its most famous. The Ohio native gained renown for his central role in momentous trials, including his 1924 defense of Leopold and Loeb and his defense of Darwinian principles in the 1925 Scopes “Monkey Trial.” Some have traced Darrow’s lifelong campaign against capital punishment to his boyhood terror at seeing a Civil War soldier buried—and no client of Darrow’s was ever executed, not even black men who were accused of murder for killing members of a white mob.

Closing Arguments: Clarence Darrow on Religion, Law, and Society collects, for the first time, Darrow’s thoughts on his three main preoccupations, revealing a carefully conceived philosophy expressed with delightful pungency and clarity. His thoughts on social issues, especially on the dangers of religious fundamentalism, are uncannily prescient. A dry humor infuses his essays, and his reflections on himself and his philosophy reveal a quiet dignity at the core of a man better known for provoking Americans during an era of unprecedented tumult. From the wry “Is the Human Race Getting Anywhere?” to the scornful “Patriotism” and his elegiac summing up, “At Seventy-two,” Darrow’s writing still stimulates, pleases and challenges.

A rebel who always sided intellectually and emotionally with the minority, Darrow remains a figure to contend with sixty-seven years after his death. “Inside every lawyer is the wreck of a poet,” Darrow once said. Closing Arguments demonstrates that, in his case, that statement is true.

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The Conscience of a Lawyer
Clifford J. Durr and American Civil Liberties, 1899–1975
John A. Salmond
University of Alabama Press, 1990
Clifford Judkins Durr was an Alabama lawyer who played an important role in defending activists and other accused of disloyalty during the New Deal and McCarthy eras. His uncompromising commitment to civil liberties and civic decency caused him to often take unpopular positions.

In 1933, Durr moved to Washington to work as a lawyer for the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, a creation of Roosevelt’s new Democratic administration, becoming a dedicated New Dealer in the process. He was then appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a politically sensitive position as FDR sought to counter the increasing power and concentration of broadcasters, many of whom were opponents of the New Deal. Durr resigned from the FCC in 1948 and after brief employment with the National Farmers Union in Colorado, the Durrs eventually returned to Montgomery, Alabama in the hope of returning to a more prosperous, less controversial life.

Durr continued to practice in Montgomery as counsel for black citizens whose rights had been violated and ultimately, in December, 1955, when police arrested Rosa Parks for refusing to give her bus seat to a white man he stepped in and lent his extensive legal prowess to her case and the continuing quest for civil rights. Closing his firm in 1964 Durr began to lecture in the United States and abroad. He died at his grandfather's farm in 1975
 
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The Consciousness of the Litigator
Duffy Graham
University of Michigan Press, 2005
"An important and thought-provoking addition to the literature on the ethics of lawyers."
---Kimberly Kirkland, Franklin Pierce Law Center

The Consciousness of the Litigator investigates the role of the lawyer in modern American political and social life and in the judicial process, and plumbs lawyers' perceptions of themselves, their work, and, especially, their sense of right and wrong.

In so doing, the book sheds light on the unique and little-examined subject of the moral mind of the litigator, whose work extends to all corners of society and whose primary expertise---making legal arguments---is the fundamental skill of all lawyers.

The Consciousness of the Litigator stands with Michael Kelly's Lives of Lawyers as a must-read for the many law students, scholars, and practicing litigators who struggle to balance ethical questions with the dictates of their highly commercialized profession.
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Constance Baker Motley
One Woman's Fight for Civil Rights and Equal Justice under Law
Gary L. Ford Jr.
University of Alabama Press, 2017
When the name Constance Baker Motley is mentioned, more often than not, the response is “Who was she?” or “What did she do?” The answer is multifaceted, complex, and inspiring.

Constance Baker Motley was an African American woman; the daughter of immigrants from Nevis, British West Indies; a wife; and a mother who became a pioneer and trailblazer in the legal profession. She broke down barriers, overcame gender constraints, and operated outside the boundaries placed on black women by society and the civil rights movement. In Constance Baker Motley: One Woman’s Fight for Civil Rights and Equal Justice under Law, Gary L. Ford Jr. explores the key role Motley played in the legal fight to desegregate public schools as well as colleges, universities, housing, transportation, lunch counters, museums, libraries, parks, and other public accommodations.
 
The only female attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., Motley was also the only woman who argued desegregation cases in court during much of the civil rights movement. From 1946 through 1964, she was a key litigator and legal strategist for landmark civil rights cases including the Montgomery Bus Boycott and represented Martin Luther King Jr. as well as other protesters arrested and jailed as a result of their participation in sit-ins, marches, and freedom rides.
 
Motley was a leader who exhibited a leadership style that reflected her personality traits, skills, and strengths. She was a visionary who formed alliances and inspired local counsel to work with her to achieve the goals of the civil rights movement. As a leader and agent of change, she was committed to the cause of justice and she performed important work in the trenches in the South and behind the scene in courts that helped make the civil rights movement successful.
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Cultivating Justice in the Garden State
My Life in the Colorful World of New Jersey Politics
Raymond Lesniak
Rutgers University Press, 2022
Born into a working-class Polish immigrant family in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Raymond Lesniak went on to become a major force in the tough and bruising world of state politics. In this remarkable memoir, he reflects upon his life and career fighting for social justice in the Garden State.
 
He recounts the many causes he championed in his forty years as a state legislator, from the landmark Environmental Cleanup Responsibility Act to bills concerning animal protections, marriage equality, women’s reproductive rights, and the abolition of the death penalty. He also delves into his experiences on the national stage as a key advisor for Bill Clinton and Al Gore’s presidential campaigns. With refreshing candor, Lesniak describes both his greatest achievements and his moments of failure, including his unsuccessful 2017 gubernatorial run. 
 
Cultivating Justice in the Garden State is both a gripping American success story and a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the inner workings of our political system. It offers an insider’s perspective on the past fifty years of New Jersey politics, while presenting a compelling message about what leaders and citizens can do to improve the state’s future.
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David Schenck and the Contours of Confederate Identity
Rodney Steward
University of Tennessee Press, 2012

A mid-level Confederate official and lawyer in secessionist North Carolina, David Schenck (1835–1902) penned extensive diaries that have long been a wellspring of information for historians. In the midst of the secession crisis, Schenck overcame long-established social barriers and reshaped antebellum notions of manhood, religion, and respectability into the image of a Confederate nationalist. He helped found the revolutionary States’ Rights Party and relentlessly pursued his vision of an idealized Southern society even after the collapse of the Confederacy. In the first biography of this complicated figure, Rodney Steward opens a window into the heart and soul of the Confederate South’s burgeoning professional middle class and reveals the complex set of desires, aspirations, and motivations that inspired men like Schenck to cast for themselves a Confederate identity that would endure the trials of war, the hardship of Reconstruction, and the birth of a New South.
    After secession, Schenck remained on the home front as a receiver under the Act of Sequestration, enriching himself on the confiscated property of those he accused of disloyalty. After the war, his position as a leader in the Ku Klux Klan and his resistance to Radical Reconstruction policies won him a seat on the superior court bench, but scathing newspaper articles about his past upended a bid for chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, a compelling fall from grace that reveals much about the shifting currents in North Carolina society and politics in the years after Reconstruction. During the last twenty years of his life, spent in Greensboro, Schenck created the Guilford Battleground Company in an effort to redeem the honor of the Tar Heels who fought there and his own honor as well.
    Schenck’s life story provides a powerful new lens to examine and challenge widely held interpretations of secessionists, Confederate identity, Civil War economics, and home-front policies. Far more than a standard biography, this compelling volume challenges the historiography of the Confederacy at many levels and offers a sophisticated analysis of the evolution of a Confederate identity over a half century.

Rodney Steward is an assistant professor of history at the University of South Carolina, Salkehatchie. His works have appeared in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Encyclopedia of North Carolina, and North Carolina Historical Review.

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Death on the Lonely Llano Estacado
The Assassination of J. W. Jarrott, a Forgotten Hero
Bill Neal
University of North Texas Press, 2017

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Deathwork
Defending The Condemned
Michael Mello
University of Minnesota Press, 2002

A gripping exposé of what lawyers face when they defend prisoners in capital cases.

Legal cases are stories, and some of the most compelling-and the most disturbing-are those that take place on death row: the innocent man executed, juveniles and the mentally ill condemned to die, a smoking electric chair, a napping defense attorney, a senile hit man. These are the stories in which Michael Mello, as a capital public defender, played a crucial role, and they are the cases that make up Deathwork, a moment-by-moment, behind-the-scenes look at the life and work of a death row lawyer and his clients.

Part memoir, part legal casebook, Deathwork offers a gritty, often anguishing picture of what Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun called the American legal "machinery of death." The stories Mello tells raise questions about legal issues-from prosecutorial misconduct to the racial inequities of sentencing, from the rules of evidence to the rights of the mentally ill-that here take on a life-and-death urgency. They describe in detail how constitutional issues are raised postconviction, and how those issues are adjudicated by the courts and in accordance with bizarre claims of objectivity. And they show, with a painful immediacy and authenticity, what it is like to live and work under an impending death sentence, the adrenaline rush of the stay or unexpected success, the inconsolable sadness upon the execution of the sick, the afflicted, the innocent.As DNA reversals, last-minute confessions, and revelations of corruption are bringing capital punishment to the forefront of public debate nationwide, this firsthand account of the legalities and realities of the death penalty is as relevant as it is enthralling, as edifying as it is impossible to ignore.
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Defending Nazis in Postwar Czechoslovakia
Life of K. Resler, Defense Councel Ex Officio of K. H. Frank
Jakub Drápal
Karolinum Press, 2018
In this book, Czech lawyer and scholar Jakub Drápal tells the story of the life of Kamill Resler, an attorney who defended the most prominent Nazi tried in postwar Czechoslovakia: Karl Hermann Frank, who would go on to be executed for his role in organizing the massacres of the Czech villages Lidice and Ležáky in 1942. Celebrating Resler’s lifelong commitment to justice—to honoring even the most nefarious criminals’ right to a defense—Drápal highlights events that influenced Resler’s outlook and legal career, important cases that preceded Frank’s trial, Resler’s subsequent defenses of other Nazi criminals, and the final years of Resler’s life under the communist regime.
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Defending the Masses
A Progressive Lawyer's Battles for Free Speech
Eric B. Easton
University of Wisconsin Press, 2018
Free speech and freedom of the press were often suppressed amid the social turbulence of the Progressive Era and World War I. As muckrakers, feminists, pacifists, anarchists, socialists, and communists were arrested or censored for their outspoken views, many of them turned to a Manhattan lawyer named Gilbert Roe to keep them in business and out of jail.

Roe was the principal trial lawyer of the Free Speech League—a precursor of the American Civil Liberties Union. His cases involved such activists as Emma Goldman, Lincoln Steffens, Margaret Sanger, Max Eastman, Upton Sinclair, John Reed, and Eugene Debs, as well as the socialist magazine The Masses and the New York City Teachers Union. A friend of Wisconsin's progressive senator Robert La Follette since their law partnership as young men, Roe defended "Fighting Bob" when the Senate tried to expel him for opposing America's entry into World War I.

In articulating and upholding Americans' fundamental right to free expression against charges of obscenity, libel, espionage, sedition, or conspiracy during turbulent times, Roe was rarely successful in the courts. But his battles illuminate the evolution of free speech doctrine and practice in an era when it was under heavy assault. His greatest victory, including the 1917 decision by Judge Learned Hand in The Masses Publishing Co. v. Patten, is still influential today.
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The Development of a Russian Legal Consciousness
Richard S. Wortman
University of Chicago Press, 1976
Until the nineteenth century, the Russian legal system was subject to an administrative hierarchy headed by the tsar, and the courts were expected to enforce, not interpret the law. Richard S. Wortman here traces the first professional class of legal experts who emerged during the reign of Nicholas I (1826 – 56) and who began to view the law as a uniquely modern and independent source of authority. Discussing how new legal institutions fit into the traditional system of tsarist rule, Wortman analyzes how conflict arose from the same intellectual processes that produced legal reform. He ultimately demonstrates how the stage was set for later events, as the autocracy and judiciary pursued contradictory—and mutually destructive—goals.
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Down and Dirty Down South
Politics and the Art of Revenge
Roger Glasgow
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2016
Returning from a vacation trip to Mexico, Little Rock attorney Roger Glasgow and his wife got the surprise of their lives when they were stopped at the border crossing. Guards ordered them out of their car and began to remove the back seat. What followed was a long nightmare of political intrigue and subterfuge that led all the way back to Arkansas and its capital city.

While pursuing a race for district prosecutor in the 1970s, Glasgow had run afoul of the local political machine. The machine later decided to teach Glasgow a lesson even though he’d lost the race. Down and Dirty Down South is Glasgow’s story of how he attempted to clear his name and also track down the people who had set him up for charges of smuggling illegal drugs into the United States.
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Eagle Days
A Marine Legal/Infantry Officer in Vietnam
Donald W. Griffis
University of Alabama Press, 2007
Much has been written about America’s war in Vietnam, and an enduring and troubling subtext is the composition of the body of soldiers that made up the U.S. troop deployment: from the initially well-trained and disciplined group of largely elite units that served in the mid-sixties to what has been termed an “armed mob” by the end of that decade and into the early 1970s. Drug use, insubordination, racial antagonism that often became violent, theft and black market dealing, and even “fragging” (murder of officers and senior noncoms by disgruntled troops) marred the record of the U.S. military presence. Don Griffis served in the twin roles of legal officer charged at various times with the task of both defending and prosecuting servicemen, while at the same time leading combat patrols in “search and destroy” missions against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese enemy. Eagle Days is a remarkable account of Griffis’ personal record of experiencing what the military should do best—meet, engage, and defeat the enemy—and what it becomes when esprit de corps, discipline, and a sense of purpose decay.
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Giant in the Shadows
The Life of Robert T. Lincoln
Jason Emerson
Southern Illinois University Press, 2012

University Press Books for Public and Secondary Schools, 2013 edition

Book of the Year by the Illinois State historical Society, 2013

Although he was Abraham and Mary Lincoln’s oldest and last surviving son, the details of Robert T. Lincoln’s life are misunderstood by some and unknown to many others. Nearly half a century after the last biography about Abraham Lincoln’s son was published, historian and author Jason Emerson illuminates the life of this remarkable man and his achievements in Giant in the Shadows: The Life of Robert T. Lincoln. Emerson, after nearly ten years of research, draws upon previously unavailable materials to offer the first truly definitive biography of the famous lawyer, businessman, and statesman who, much more than merely the son of America’s most famous president, made his own indelible mark on one of the most progressive and dynamic eras in United States history.

Born in a boardinghouse but passing his last days at ease on a lavish country estate, Robert Lincoln played many roles during his lifetime. As a president’s son, a Union soldier, an ambassador to Great Britain, and a U.S. secretary of war, Lincoln was indisputably a titan of his age. Much like his father, he became one of the nation’s most respected and influential men, building a successful law practice in the city of Chicago, serving shrewdly as president of the Pullman Car Company, and at one time even being considered as a candidate for the U.S. presidency.

Along the way he bore witness to some of the most dramatic moments in America’s history, including Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse; the advent of the railroad, telephone, electrical, and automobile industries; the circumstances surrounding the assassinations of three presidents of the United States; and the momentous presidential election of 1912. Giant in the Shadows also reveals Robert T. Lincoln’s complex relationships with his famous parents and includes previously unpublished insights into their personalities. Emerson reveals new details about Robert’s role as his father’s confidant during the brutal years of the Civil War and his reaction to his father’s murder; his prosecution of the thieves who attempted to steal his father’s body in 1876 and the extraordinary measures he took to ensure it would never happen again; as well as details about the painful decision to have his mother committed to a mental facility. In addition Emerson explores the relationship between Robert and his children, and exposes the actual story of his stewardship of the Lincoln legacy—including what he and his wife really destroyed and what was preserved. Emerson also delves into the true reason Robert is not buried in the Lincoln tomb in Springfield but instead was interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

Meticulously researched, full of never-before-seen photographs and new insight into historical events, Giant in the Shadows is the missing chapter of the Lincoln family story. Emerson’s riveting work is more than simply a biography; it is a tale of American achievement in the Gilded Age and the endurance of the Lincoln legacy.
 

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Giving It All Away
The Story of William W. Cook and His Michigan Law Quadrangle
Margaret A. Leary
University of Michigan Press, 2011

“Margaret Leary's carefully researched book illuminates a complex man who marked his university in a truly enduring way."
---Francis X. Blouin Jr., Director, Bentley Historical Library, and Professor, School of Information and Department of History, University of Michigan

“Generations of Michigan Law grads have passed on myths about their generous but eccentric benefactor. . . . Now Margaret Leary has given us the real story, and it reads like a gripping whodunit."
---Theodore J. St. Antoine, James E. and Sarah A. Degan Professor Emeritus of Law and Past Dean, University of Michigan Law School

“In an absorbing book, Margaret Leary unstintingly investigates unpublished, archival material to unravel enigmas surrounding William Wilson Cook. She brings to life Cook's brilliant interactions with powerful moguls of the early twentieth century as she traces his lofty, philanthropic mission to elevate the legal profession."
---Ilene H. Forsyth, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of the History of Art, emerita, University of Michigan

William W. Cook, born in 1858 and a graduate of the University of Michigan and of its law school, made his fortune by investing in the burgeoning telegraph and communications industry, as well as in representing the Mackay Company in their frequent tumultuous battles with Western Union and the U.S. government. Though Cook entered New York society and never returned to Michigan after receiving his law degree, he decided not just to give his alma mater the finest physical facility of any existing law school, but to donate permanent resources that would permit the law school to engage in groundbreaking legal research. However, his generosity proved controversial and eventually very litigious. Margaret A. Leary places Cook's story in the rich social and cultural context of his time and paints a fascinating portrait of a complex figure whose legacy continues to shape the University of Michigan.

Cover photographs: (left) Gregory Fox Photography; (right) Ann B. Cook collection, photo by Russell R. Serbay

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High Priests Of American Politics
The Role Of Lawyers In American Political Institutions
Mark C. Miller
University of Tennessee Press, 1995
Using a multidisciplinary approach, Mark C. Miller draws in large part on interviews he conducted with members of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Ohio legislature, and the Massachusetts legislature. From this rich data, he shows how American lawyers are socialized into a common legal ideology, which in turn shapes the behavior of individual lawyer-politicians, legislative committees dominated by lawyers, and the entire legislative institutions of government.
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Honorable Lives
Lawyers, Family, and Politics in Colombia, 1780–1850
Victor M. Uribe-Uran
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2000
The first work in English to discuss the social and political history of lawyers in a Latin American country, Honorable Lives presents a portrait of lawyers in late colonial and early modern Colombia. Uribe-Uran focuses on the social origins, education, and careers of those qualified to practice law before the highest colonial courts—Audiencias—and the republican courts after the 1820s. In the course of his study, Uribe-Uran answers many questions about this elite group of professionals. What were the social origins and families of lawyers? Their relation to the state? Their participation in political movements and parties, revolutions, civil wars, and other political processes? Their ideas, education, and training? By exploring the lives of lawyers, Uribe-Uran is also able to present a general history of Latin America while examining the key social and political changes and continuities from 1780 to 1850—particularly the elites and state managers.


Honorable Lives features three genealogical charts detailing bureaucratic networks established by families of lawyers in different historical periods. The text also contains an abundant series of statistical tables and charts, and concise biographical information on approximately 150 Latin American lawyers. This book will appeal to Latin Americanists, students of law, and anyone interested in the lives and histories of lawyers.
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How Lawyers Lose Their Way
A Profession Fails Its Creative Minds
Jean Stefancic and Richard Delgado
Duke University Press, 2005
In this penetrating book, Jean Stefancic and Richard Delgado use historical investigation and critical analysis to diagnose the cause of the pervasive unhappiness among practicing lawyers. Most previous writers have blamed the high rate of burnout, depression, divorce, and drug and alcohol dependency among these highly paid professionals on the narrow specialization, long hours, and intense pressures of modern legal practice. Stefancic and Delgado argue that these professional demands are only symptoms of a deeper problem: the way lawyers are taught to think and reason. They show how legal education and practice have been rendered arid and dull by formalism, a way of thinking that values precedent and doctrine above all, exalting consistency over ambiguity, rationality over emotion, and rules over social context and narrative.

Stefancic and Delgado dramatize the plight of modern lawyers by exploring the unlikely friendship between Archibald MacLeish, who gave up a successful but unsatisfying law career to pursue his literary yearnings, and Ezra Pound. Reading the forty-year correspondence between MacLeish and Pound, Stefancic and Delgado draw lessons about the difficulties of attorneys trapped in worlds that give them power, prestige, and affluence but not personal satisfaction, much less creative fulfillment. Long after Pound had embraced fascism, descended into lunacy, and been institutionalized, MacLeish took up his old mentor’s cause, turning his own lack of fulfillment with the law into a meaningful crusade and ultimately securing Pound’s release from St. Elizabeths Hospital. Drawing on MacLeish’s story, Stefancic and Delgado contend that literature, public interest work, and critical legal theory offer tools to contemporary attorneys for finding meaning and overcoming professional dissatisfaction.

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If It Takes All Summer
Martin Luther King, the KKK, and States' Rights in St. Augustine, 1964
Dan R. Warren, with foreword by Morris Dees
University of Alabama Press, 2008
This memoir recounts the struggle against segregation in St. Augustine, Florida, in the early and mid-1960s. In the summer of 1964 the nation’s oldest city became the center of the civil rights movement as Martin Luther King Jr., encouraged by President Johnson, a southerner, who made the civil rights bill the center piece of his domestic policy, chose this tourism-driven community as an ideal location to demonstrate the injustice of discrimination and the complicity of southern leaders in its enforcement.
 
St. Augustine was planning an elaborate celebration of its founding, and expected generous federal and state support. But when the kick-off dinner was announced only whites were invited, and local black leaders protested. The affair alerted the national civil rights leadership to the St. Augustine situation as well as fueling local black resentment.
 
Ferment in the city grew, convincing King to bring his influence to the leadership of the local struggle. As King and his allies fought for the right to demonstrate, a locally powerful Ku Klux Klan counter-demonstrated. Conflict ensued between civil rights activists, local and from out-of-town, and segregationists, also home-grown and imported. The escalating violence of the Klan led Florida’s Governor to appoint State Attorney Dan Warren as his personal representative in St. Augustine. Warren’s crack down on the Klan and his innovative use of the Grand Jury to appoint a bi-racial committee against the intransigence of the Mayor and other officials, is a fascinating story of moral courage. This is an insider view of a sympathetic middleman in the difficult position of attempting to bring reason and dialog into a volatile situation.
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In Pursuit of Justice
The Life of John Albion Andrew
Stephen D. Engle
University of Massachusetts Press, 2023

Widely known as the “poor man’s lawyer” in antebellum Boston, John Albion Andrew (1818–1867) was involved in nearly every cause and case that advanced social and racial justice in Boston in the years preceding the Civil War. Inspired by the legacies of John Quincy Adams and Ralph Waldo Emerson, and mentored by Charles Sumner, Andrew devoted himself to the battle for equality. By day, he fought to protect those condemned to the death penalty, women seeking divorce, and fugitives ensnared by the Fugitive Slave Law. By night, he coordinated logistics and funding for the Underground Railroad as it ferried enslaved African Americans northward.

In this revealing and accessible biography, Stephen D. Engle traces Andrew’s life and legacy, giving this important, but largely forgotten, figure his due. Rising to national prominence during the Civil War years as the governor of Massachusetts, Andrew raised the African American regiment known as the Glorious 54th and rallied thousands of soldiers to the Union cause. Upon his sudden death in 1867, a correspondent for Harper’s Weekly wrote, “Not since the news came of Abraham Lincoln’s death were so many hearts truly smitten.”

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The Internationalization of Palace Wars
Lawyers, Economists, and the Contest to Transform Latin American States
Yves Dezalay and Bryant G. Garth
University of Chicago Press, 2002
How does globalization work? Focusing on Latin America, Yves Dezalay and Bryant G. Garth show that exports of expertise and ideals from the United States to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico have played a crucial role in transforming their state forms and economies since World War II.

Based on more than 300 extensive interviews with major players in governments, foundations, law firms, universities, and think tanks, Dezalay and Garth examine both the production of northern exports such as neoliberal economics and international human rights law and the ways they are received south of the United States. They find that the content of what is exported and how it fares are profoundly shaped by domestic struggles for power and influence—"palace wars"—in the nations involved. For instance, challenges to the eastern intellectual establishment influenced the Reagan-era export of University of Chicago-style neoliberal economics to Chile, where it enjoyed a warm reception from Pinochet and his allies because they could use it to discredit the previous regime.

Innovative and sophisticated, The Internationalization of Palace Wars offers much needed concrete information about the transnational processes that shape our world.
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The Invincible Duff Green
Whig of the West
W. Stephen Belko
University of Missouri Press, 2006
He made a name for himself in the Missouri territory as a land speculator, entrepreneur, lawyer, militia officer, politician, and newspaper editor. He went on to take part in many of the events that shaped the young republic, and his name became a household word. But Duff Green has not found his rightful place in history—until now. W. Stephen Belko has written the first full-scale political investigation of this important figure, examining Green’s fundamental role in the politics, society, and economy of Jacksonian America.
Duff Green emerged on the national stage when he became editor of the United States Telegraph, an organizer of the fledgling Democratic Party, and one of Andrew Jackson’s chief advisers. He broke bitterly with Jackson over his feud with Vice President John C. Calhoun, then later found a place as a diplomat in John Tyler’s administration and emerged as a key figure in the popularization of Manifest Destiny and the annexation of Texas. Green also played a major role in the transportation revolution as a developer of canal and railroad projects.
Belko presents a balanced appraisal of Green’s career, particularly from 1815 to 1850, delving into his personality to tease out the motivations for his pursuit of such wide-ranging ventures. Drawing on a wealth of previously unexploited primary sources, he not only chronicles Green’s labyrinthine career but also illuminates Green’s rise in the Democratic Party; his role in the creation and development of the Whig Party; and his considerable influence on national debates regarding slavery, nullification, the National Bank, territorial expansion, and foreign relations.
For all his influence, Green has until now been either ignored or portrayed as a Calhoun minion and proslavery sectionalist in the Fireater mold. Belko revises these assessments of Green’s role in the making of Jacksonian America, showing him to be an independent westerner who was politically moderate—even less fanatical on the slavery issue than many have supposed. Belko’s research uncovers a Duff Green who was an aggressive and buoyant person, to be sure, but a democratic man of principle who is rightly called a quintessential Jacksonian.
The story of Jacksonian America cannot be fully told without Duff Green. This long-awaited study is a compelling narrative for scholars and aficionados of political or Missouri history, offering a fresh view of his crucial contributions to the antebellum era and shedding new light on the true nature of Jacksonian democracy.
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James M. Landis
Dean of the Regulators
Donald Ritchie
Harvard University Press, 1980

Like many of his generation, James M. Landis was motivated by a passion for public service. From the New Deal to the New Frontier, he devoted his life to shaping the many federal regulatory commissions and to making capitalism “live up to its pretensions.” Attacked by conservatives and liberals alike, he became the most important and most controversial figure in the history of the regulatory process. Donald A. Ritchie offers a superbly documented study of the man that analyzes the contributions of Landis's public career and the personal weaknesses that eventually undermined it, leading to his disbarment and disgrace.

Landis's story is really that of two men. One was a founder and New Deal Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, a major writer and enforcer of regulatory legislation, youngest Dean of the Harvard Law School, and economic troubleshooter for Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, and Kennedy. The other was a private man unsure of his success and incapable of handling his own problems. His repeated failure to file his federal income tax returns, astonishing for a lawyer, was the most obvious—and most destructive—symptom of Landis's tumultuous inner confusion.

Ritchie's exhaustive research into Landis' papers—at Harvard University, the Library of Congress, and the Roosevelt, Truman, and Kennedy libraries—and interviews with Landis's family, associates, and psychiatrist help to unravel the mystery of this problematical man. The result is an outstanding biography of a major force behind business and government policy in the twentieth century.

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Justice for All
Selected Writings of Lloyd A. Barbee
Lloyd A Barbee
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2017

Civil rights leader and legislator Lloyd A. Barbee frequently signed his correspondence with "Justice for All," a phrase that embodied his life’s work of fighting for equality and fairness. An attorney most remembered for the landmark case that desegregated Milwaukee Public Schools in 1972, Barbee stood up for justice throughout his career, from defending University of Wisconsin students who were expelled after pushing the school to offer black history courses, to representing a famous comedian who was arrested after stepping out of a line at a protest march. As the only African American in the Wisconsin legislature from 1965 to 1977, Barbee advocated for fair housing, criminal justice reform, equal employment opportunities, women’s rights, and access to quality education for all, as well as being an early advocate for gay rights and abortion access.

This collection features Barbee’s writings from the front lines of the civil rights movement, along with his reflections from later in life on the challenges of legislating as a minority, the logistics of coalition building, and the value of moving the needle on issues that would outlast him. Edited by his daughter, civil rights lawyer Daphne E. Barbee-Wooten, these documents are both a record of a significant period of conflict and progress, as well as a resource on issues that continue to be relevant to activists, lawmakers, and educators.

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Justice Imperiled
The Anti-Nazi Lawyer Max Hirschberg in Weimar Germany
Douglas G. Morris
University of Michigan Press, 2005
"This book reads like a legal thriller; it will leave you thinking about the nature of justice and inspired by the human spirit."
-Sister Helen Prejean

Justice Imperiled is the story of the brilliant lawyer Max Hirschberg, one of Germany's most courageous defenders of justice in the face of Hitler's rise to power.

Hirschberg lived an extraordinary life at a defining moment in German and European history. By the time he fled Nazi Germany in 1934, he had argued a series of cases in Munich's courtrooms that shed light on the history of political justice in pre-Nazi Germany and, by extension, the miscarriage of justice in all Western democracies.

Hirschberg was a rare figure: he fought for cases that reflected the new democracy rather than the old monarchy, that valued equality rather than hierarchy, and that showed respect for workers as well as aristocrats.

Throughout the Weimar period Hirschberg squared off in court against Munich's conservatives, reactionaries, and Nazis-twice facing Hitler himself. As he litigated politically charged disputes, he also began fighting to reverse the criminal convictions of innocent defendants and to study what mistaken verdicts teach us about the criminal justice system as a whole.

In a unique blend of biography and courtroom drama, Justice Imperiled captures the excitement of Hirschberg's actual cases and presents legal battles that still rage, in different circumstances, to this day.
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The Last Great Colonial Lawyer
The Life and Legacy of Jeremiah Gridley
Charles R. McKirdy
University of Massachusetts Press, 2018
Jeremiah Gridley (1702–1767) is considered "the greatest New England lawyer of his generation," yet we know little about him. Most of his renown is a product of the fame of his students, most notably John Adams. Gridley deserves more. He was an active participant in the Writs of Assistance trial and the Stamp Act controversy, and as a leader of the Boston bar, an editor, speculator, legislator, and politician, his life touched and was touched by much that was integral to eighteenth-century Massachusetts.

The Last Great Colonial Lawyer presents a portrait of Gridley against the background of his times. Religious controversies enter into this narrative, as do colonial wars and the increasing strains with Great Britain, but Charles R. McKirdy also rescues from the footnotes of time subjects such as the smallpox epidemic of 1721 and the currency crisis of the 1740s. Because Gridley was above all a lawyer, the primary focus is on his cases, which illuminate in a unique and very human way attitudes regarding race, status, commerce, property, and power.
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Law Stories
Gary Bellow and Martha Minow, Editors
University of Michigan Press, 1998
"War stories" is the phrase used by academic lawyers to disparage the ways practicing lawyers talk about their experiences. Gary Bellow and Martha Minow in Law Stories have gathered a group of stories that explore the actual experiences of clients and lawyers in concrete legal contexts.
The essays in Law Stories are all first-person accounts of law problems and the way they were handled, written by lawyers involved in the problems. They offer the voice and insight of the self-reflective practitioner. As such they provide us with a dimension missing from many third-person accounts of cases, a layer of emotion and perspective on legal institutions experienced by people caught or working within them.
Focusing on cases arising in public interest practices, the stories deal with problems arising from child custody, parental rights in a Head Start program, the consequences of large corporate bankruptcy for the corporation's retirees, juvenile crime, unemployment benefits, the rights of a victim of crime, the rights of welfare recipients, and the rights of small shareholders. These stories raise a variety of questions, including the nature and extent of the lawyer's role, the way the system listens to certain kinds of stories told in certain ways and refuses to hear other stories, how participation in the legal system affects the identity of those who are involved in it and how the popular image of law and legal processes differs from the reality depicted in these cases.
This book will appeal to both practitioners and teachers of law as well as social scientists interested in studying the role and place of law in the system.
The contributors include Anthony Alfieri, Gary Bellow, Lenora M. Lapidus, Alice and Staughton Lynd, Martha Minow, Nell Minow, Charles Ogletree, Abbe Smith, Lynne Weaver, and Lucie E. White.
"[Law Stories will] enlighten not only law students but the general and professional public who will find these accounts as compelling as any work of popular fiction. Unhappily, these accounts of law's inadequacy as a vehicle for social justice are not fictions. . . ." --Law and Politics Book Review
Gary Bellow and Martha Minow are Professors of Law, Harvard Law School.
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The Lawyer Myth
A Defense of the American Legal Profession
Frank T. Rennard and Read Stickland
Ohio University Press, 2008
Lawyers and the legal profession have become scapegoats for many of the problems of our age. In The Lawyer Myth: A Defense of the American Legal Profession, Rennard Strickland and Frank T. Read look behind current antilawyer media images to explore the historical role of lawyers as a balancing force in times of social, economic, and political change. One source of this disjunction of perception and reality, they find, is that American society has lost touch with the need for the lawyer’s skill and has come to blame unrelated social problems on the legal profession. This highly personal and impassioned book is their defense of lawyers and the rule of law in the United States. The Lawyer Myth confronts the hypocrisy of critics from both the right and the left who attempt to exploit popular misperceptions about lawyers and judges to further their own social and political agendas. By revealing the facts and reasoning behind the decisions in such cases as the infamous McDonald’s coffee spill, the authors provide a clear explanation of the operation of the law while addressing misconceptions about the number of lawsuits, runaway jury verdicts, and legal “technicalities” that turn criminals out on the street. Acknowledging that no system is perfect, the authors propose a slate of reforms for the bar, the judiciary, and law schools that will enable today’s lawyers—and tomorrow’s—to live up to the noble potential of their profession. Whether one thinks of lawyers as keepers of the springs of democracy, foot soldiers of the Constitution, architects and carpenters of commerce, umpires and field levelers, healers of the body politic, or simply bridge builders, The Lawyer Myth reminds us that lawyers are essential to American democracy.
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Lawyers in Practice
Ethical Decision Making in Context
Edited by Leslie C. Levin and Lynn Mather
University of Chicago Press, 2012

How do lawyers resolve ethical dilemmas in the everyday context of their practice? What are the issues that commonly arise, and how do lawyers determine the best ways to resolve them? Until recently, efforts to answer these questions have focused primarily on rules and legal doctrine rather than the real-life situations lawyers face in legal practice.

The first book to present empirical research on ethical decision making in a variety of practice contexts, including corporate litigation, securities, immigration, and divorce law, Lawyers in Practice fills a substantial gap in the existing literature. Following an introduction emphasizing the increasing importance of understanding context in the legal profession, contributions focus on ethical dilemmas ranging from relatively narrow ethical issues to broader problems of professionalism, including the prosecutor’s obligation to disclose evidence, the management of conflicts of interest, and loyalty to clients and the court. Each chapter details the resolution of a dilemma from the practitioner’s point of view that is, in turn, set within a particular community of practice. Timely and practical, this book should be required reading for law students as well as students and scholars of law and society.

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The Lawyer's Myth
Reviving Ideals in the Legal Profession
Walter Bennett
University of Chicago Press, 2001
Lawyers today are in a moral crisis. The popular perception of the lawyer, both within the legal community and beyond, is no longer the Abe Lincoln of American mythology, but is often a greedy, cynical manipulator of access and power. In The Lawyer's Myth, Walter Bennett goes beyond the caricatures to explore the deeper causes of why lawyers are losing their profession and what it will take to bring it back.

Bennett draws on his experience as a lawyer, judge, and law teacher, as well as upon oral histories of lawyers and judges, in his exploration of how and why the legal profession has lost its ennobling mythology. Effectively using examples from history, philosophy, psychology, mythology, and literature, Bennett shows that the loss of professionalism is more than merely the emergence of win-at-all-cost strategies and a scramble for personal wealth. It is something more profound—a loss of professional community and soul. Bennett identifies the old heroic myths of American lawyers and shows how they informed the values of professionalism through the middle of the last century. He shows why, in our more diverse society, those myths are inadequate guides for today's lawyers. And he also discusses the profession's agony over its trickster image and demonstrates how that archetype is not only a psychological reality, but a necessary component of a vibrant professional mythology for lawyers.

At the heart of Bennett's eloquently written book is a call to reinvigorate the legal professional community. To do this, lawyers must revive their creative capacities and develop a meaningful, professional mythology—one based on a deeper understanding of professionalism and a broader, more compassionate ideal of justice.
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Lawyers of the Right
Professionalizing the Conservative Coalition
Ann Southworth
University of Chicago Press, 2008
A timely and multifaceted portrait of the lawyers who serve the diverse constituencies of the conservative movement, Lawyers of the Right explains what unites and divides lawyers for the three major groups—social conservatives, libertarians, and business advocates—that have coalesced in recent decades behind the Republican Party. 
            Drawing on in-depth interviews with more than seventy lawyers who represent conservative and libertarian nonprofit organizations, Ann Southworth explores their values and identities and traces the implications of their shared interest in promoting political strategies that give lawyers leading roles. She goes on to illuminate the function of mediator organizations—such as the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy—that have succeeded in promoting cooperation among different factions of conservative lawyers. Such cooperation, she finds, has aided efforts to drive law and the legal profession politically rightward and to give lawyers greater prominence in the conservative movement. Southworth concludes, though, that tensions between the conservative law movement’s elite and populist elements may ultimately lead to its undoing.
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Lawyers, Swamps, and Money
U.S. Wetland Law, Policy, and Politics
Royal C. Gardner
Island Press, 2011

Lawyers, Swamps, and Money is an accessible, engaging guide to the complex set of laws governing America's wetlands. After explaining the importance of these critical natural areas, the book examines the evolution of federal law, principally the Clean Water Act, designed to protect them.

Readers will first learn the basics of administrative law: how agencies receive and exercise their authority, how they actually make laws, and how stakeholders can influence their behavior through the Executive Branch, Congress, the courts, and the media. These core concepts provide a base of knowledge for successive discussions of:

  • the geographic scope and activities covered by the Clean Water Act
  • the curious relationship between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency
  • the goal of no net loss of wetlands
  • the role of entrepreneurial wetland mitigation banking
  • the tension between wetland mitigation bankers and in-lieu fee mitigation programs
  • wetland regulation and private property rights.

The book concludes with insightful policy recommendations to make wetlands law less ambiguous and more effective.
A prominent legal scholar and wetlands expert, professor Royal C. Gardner has a rare knack for describing landmark cases and key statutes with uncommon clarity and even humor. Students of environmental law and policy and natural resource professionals will gain the thorough understanding of administrative law needed to navigate wetlands policy-and they may even enjoy it.

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Legal Advocacy
Lawyers and Nonlawyers at Work
Herbert M. Kritzer
University of Michigan Press, 1998
Because of concern over the cost and quality of legal representation in this country many have argued that formally trained lawyers are not the best advocates in many situations. However, the professional bar has fought to maintain its monopoly on the provision of legal services. Can nonlawyers be effective legal advocates? Herbert Kritzer provides the first systematic comparative study of the work of lawyers and nonlawyers that evaluates the quality of representation provided by lawyers and nonlawyers. The book describes lawyers and nonlawyer advocates at work in four different legal settings: unemployment compensation claims appeals, Social Security disability appeals, state tax appeals, and labor grievance arbitrations.
The analysis shows clearly that nonlawyers can be effective advocates and, in some situations, more effective than many lawyers. Kritzer combines an examination of case outcomes with a systematic observation of advocates in the hearing room, providing a compelling portrait of their work and a solid basis for understanding the differences in the effectiveness of advocates with different training. The author's findings have important implications for our policies toward restrictions on those who can provide legal assistance, specialization in training and practice, and the meaning of professional monopolies in a world of increasing complexity.
This book will appeal to student of the legal process, the sociology of professions, and all concerned with the operation of the U.S. legal system.
Herbert M. Kritzer is Professor of Political Science and Law, University of Wisconsin--Madison. He is the author of Let's Make a Deal and The Justice Broker.
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The Letters and the Law
Legal and Literary Culture in Late Imperial Russia
Anna Schur
Northwestern University Press, 2022
The Letters and the Law explores the fraught relationship between writers and lawyers in the four decades following Alexander II’s judicial reforms. Nineteenth-century Russian literature abounds in negative images of lawyers and the law. Literary scholars have typically interpreted these representations either as the common, cross‑cultural critique of lawyerly unscrupulousness and greed or as an expression of Russian hostility toward Western legalism, seen as antithetical to traditional Russian values. The Letters and the Law is the first book to frame the conflict in terms of the two professions’ competition for cultural authority.
 
Anna Schur combines historical research and literary analysis to argue that the first generations of Russian trial lawyers shaped their professional identity with an eye to the celebrated figure of the writer and that they considered their own activities to be a form of verbal art. A fuller understanding of writers’ antipathy to the law, Schur contends, must take into account this overlooked cultural backdrop. Laced with the better‑known critique of the lawyer’s legalistic proclivities and lack of moral principle are the writer’s reactions to a whole network of explicit and implicit claims of similarity between the two professions’ goals, methods, and missions that were central to the lawyer’s professional ideal. Viewed in this light, writers’ critiques of the law and lawyers emerge as a concerted effort at protecting literature’s exclusive cultural status in the context of modernization and the rapidly expanding public sphere.
 
The study draws upon a mix of well-known and rarely studied nineteenth-century authors and texts—with particular attention paid to Fyodor Dostoevsky and Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin—and on a wide range of nonliterary sources, including courtroom speeches, guides to forensic oratory, legal treatises, and specialized press.
 
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A Life of Albert Pike
Walter Lee Brown
University of Arkansas Press, 1997
A Life of Albert Pike, originally published in 1997, is as much a study of antebellum Arkansas as it is a portrait of the former general. A native of Massachusetts, Pike settled in Arkansas Territory in 1832 after wandering the Great Plains of Texas and New Mexico for two years. In Arkansas he became a schoolteacher, newspaperman, lawyer, Whig leader, poet, Freemason, and Confederate general who championed secession and fought against Black suffrage. During his tenure as Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite—a position he held for more than thirty years beginning in 1859—Pike popularized the Masonic movement in the American South and Far West. In the wake of the Civil War, Pike left Arkansas, ultimately settling in Washington, D.C., where he lived out his last years in the Mason's House of the Temple.

Drawing on original documents, Pike’s copious writings, and interviews with Pike’s descendants, Walter Lee Brown presents a fascinating personal history that also serves as a rich compendium of Arkansas’s antebellum history.
 
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Lincoln, the Law, and Presidential Leadership
Edited by Charles M. Hubbard
Southern Illinois University Press, 2015
From his early years as a small-town lawyer through his rise to the presidency, Abraham Lincoln respected the rule of law. Secession and the Civil War, however, led him to expand presidential power in ways that, over time, transformed American society. In this incisive essay collection, recognized scholars from a variety of academic disciplines—including history, political science, legal studies, and journalism—explore Lincoln’s actions as president and identify within his decision-making process his commitment to law and the principles of the Constitution. In so doing, they demonstrate how wartime pressures and problems required that Lincoln confront the constitutional limitations imposed on the chief executive, and they expose the difficulty and ambiguity associated with the protection of civil rights during the Civil War.
 
The volume’s contributors not only address specific situations and issues that assisted in Lincoln’s development of a new understanding of law and its application but also show Lincoln’s remarkable presidential leadership. Among the topics covered are civil liberties during wartime; presidential pardons; the law and Lincoln’s decision-making process; Lincoln’s political ideology and its influence on his approach to citizenship; Lincoln’s defense of the Constitution, the Union, and popular government; constitutional restraints on Lincoln as he dealt with slavery and emancipation; the Lieber codes, which set forth how the military should deal with civilians and with prisoners of war; the loyalty (or treason) of government employees, including Lincoln’s domestic staff; and how Lincoln’s image has been used in presidential rhetoric. Although varied in their strategies and methodologies, these essays expand the understanding of Lincoln’s vision for a united nation grounded in the Constitution.
 
Lincoln, the Law, and Presidential Leadership shows how the sixteenth president’s handling of complicated legal issues during the Civil War, which often put him at odds with the Supreme Court and Congress, brought the nation through the war intact and led to a transformation of the executive branch and American society.
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Lincoln the Lawyer
Brian Dirck
University of Illinois Press, 2006
What the law did to and for Abraham Lincoln, and its important impact on his future presidency

Despite historians' focus on the man as president and politician, Abraham Lincoln lived most of his adult life as a practicing lawyer. It was as a lawyer that he fed his family, made his reputation, bonded with Illinois, and began his political career. Lawyering was also how Lincoln learned to become an expert mediator between angry antagonists, as he applied his knowledge of the law and of human nature to settle one dispute after another. Frontier lawyers worked hard to establish respect for the law and encourage people to resolve their differences without intimidation or violence. These were the very skills Lincoln used so deftly to hold a crumbling nation together during his presidency.

The growth of Lincoln's practice attests to the trust he was able to inspire, and his travels from court to court taught him much about the people and land of Illinois. Lincoln the Lawyer explores the origins of Lincoln's desire to practice law, his legal education, his partnerships with John Stuart, Stephen Logan, and William Herndon, and the maturation of his far-flung practice in the 1840s and 1850s. Brian Dirck provides a context for law as it was practiced in mid-century Illinois and evaluates Lincoln's merits as an attorney by comparison with his peers. He examines Lincoln's clientele, his circuit practice, his views on legal ethics, and the supposition that he never defended a client he knew to be guilty. This approach allows readers not only to consider Lincoln as he lived his life--it also shows them how the law was used and developed in Lincoln's lifetime, how Lincoln charged his clients, how he was paid, and how he addressed judge and jury.

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Lincoln's Forgotten Friend, Leonard Swett
Robert S. Eckley
Southern Illinois University Press, 2012

In 1849, while traveling as an attorney on the Eighth Judicial Circuit in Illinois, Abraham Lincoln befriended Leonard Swett (1825–89), a fellow attorney sixteen years his junior.  Despite this age difference, the two men built an enduring friendship that continued until Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. Until now, no historian has explored Swett’s life or his remarkable relationship with the sixteenth president. In this welcome volume, Robert S. Eckley provides the first biography of Swett, crafting an intimate portrait of his experiences as a loyal member of Lincoln’s inner circle. 

Eckley chronicles Swett’s early life and the part he played in Lincoln’s political campaigns, including his role as an essential member of the team behind Lincoln’s two nominations and elections for the presidency. Swett counseled Lincoln during the formation of his cabinet and served as an unofficial advisor and sounding board during Lincoln’s time in office. Throughout his life, Swett wrote a great deal on Lincoln, and planned to write a biography about him, but Swett’s death preempted the project. His eloquent and interesting writings about Lincoln are described and reproduced in this volume, some for the first time.

With Lincoln’s Forgotten Friend, Eckley removes Swett from the shadows of history and sheds new light on Lincoln’s personal relationships and their valuable contributions to his career. 


Superior Achievement from the Illinois State Historical Society, 2013

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Lives of Lawyers
Journeys in the Organizations of Practice
Michael Kelly
University of Michigan Press, 1994
America has long enjoyed a love/hate relationship with its attorneys; jokes equating lawyers with vermin abound at the same time that our love of litigation is reflected in a doubling of the ranks of lawyers since the 1960s. Though we often see the lawyer as a crusading lone wolf of justice, the illuminating Lives of Lawyers demonstrates that the integrity of individual lawyers is fundamentally influenced by the nature of the legal organizations that have come to dominate the field. In fleshing out these agencies of legal expertise, Kelly offers important insights into the personal ideals of lawyers, the struggle to clarify professionalism as interpreted by the legal origination, and the effects of these factors on society's perceptions of law and lawyering.
Lives of Lawyers paints an intimate portrait of five legal entities: two corporate firms, an in-house corporate counsel's office, and a public interest agency. Each is viewed through a kaleidoscope of client/colleague relationships, connections to civic and community life, income levels and career satisfaction of attorneys, the social status of the organization, and the character of the particular law practiced. These detailed portrayals vividly reveal the diversity inherent to the profession and the wealth of responses to the question of what shapes the values of today's legal practices. The author's deft use of narrative and debt to the discipline of biography and sociology make his five stores a first-rate read.
Kelly gets into the trenches with lawyers comprising these organizations; they don't mince words in passing judgment on themselves, their employers, or the state of the profession--particularly its growing commercialism. Nonetheless, Lives of Lawyers reminds us of the constantly renewed dedication by lawyers to the principles of legal professionalism.
Michael J. Kelly is University Vice President and Professor of Law, Georgetown University.
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Lives of Lawyers Revisited
Transformation and Resilience in the Organizations of Practice
Michael J. Kelly
University of Michigan Press, 2009

The past two decades have seen profound changes in the legal profession. Lives of Lawyers Revisited extends Michael Kelly’s work in the original Lives of Lawyers, offering unique insights into the nature of these changes, examined through stories of five extraordinarily varied law practices. By placing the spotlight on organizations as phenomena that generate their own logic and tensions, Lives of Lawyers Revisited speaks to the experience of many lawyers and anticipates important issues on the professional horizon.

"Michael Kelly has done it again! His Lives of Lawyers Revisited is a very easy read about some very difficult notions like 'litigation blindness' and law as a business. It presents some fascinating perspectives on our profession."
—J. Michael McWilliams, Past President, American Bar Association

"The best single book about the American realities and possibilities of the American legal profession, combining an empathic and insightful account of law practice with a penetrating analysis of the wider context of professional work."
—Marc Galanter, University of Wisconsin

"Michael Kelly believes that professional values and conduct are not realized in codes, but in the experiences of practice, and that practice draws its routines and ideals from organizations. Through his studies of lawyers in various firms, closely observed and sympathetically described, Kelly reveals how differently organizations adapt to the intense pressures of today's practice environment. His method of linking individual life-experiences to organizational strategies and the external constraints of competition and client demands infuses realism and richness into the concept of professionalism and makes this one of the most interesting and original books on professions and professionalism to appear in years."
—Robert W. Gordon, Yale Law School

"In his two volumes of Lives of Lawyers, Michael Kelly explores legal ethics in an unusual, and unusually rewarding, way. Rather than focusing on rules or arguments, Kelly looks at the kind of lives lawyers lead. Ethics, Socrates thought, is about how to live one's life, and Kelly takes the Socratic question to heart. He explores the institutions lawyers work in and the choices they make. He writes with intelligence, great insight, and above all with heart. This is a superb book."

—David Luban, Georgetown University

Michael J. Kelly is President and Chairman of the Board of the National Senior Citizens Law Center, an advocacy group for older Americans of limited means.

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Looking for Lincoln in Illinois
A Guide to Lincoln's Eighth Judicial Circuit
Guy C. Fraker
Southern Illinois University Press, 2017
Winner, ISHS Annual Award for a Scholarly Publication, 2018

For twenty-three years Abraham Lincoln practiced law on the Eighth Judicial Circuit in east central Illinois, and his legal career is explored in Looking for Lincoln in Illinois: A Guide to Lincoln’s Eighth Judicial Circuit. Guy C. Fraker directs readers and travelers through the prairies to the towns Lincoln visited regularly. Twice a year, spring and fall, Lincoln’s work took him on a journey covering more than four hundred miles. As his stature as a lawyer grew, east central Illinois grew in population and influence, and the Circuit provided Lincoln with clients, friends, and associates who became part of the network that ultimately elevated him to the presidency.
 
This guidebook to the Circuit features Illinois courthouses, Looking for Lincoln Wayside Exhibits, and other Lincoln points of interest. Fraker guides travelers down the long stretches of quiet country roads that gave Lincoln time to read and think to the locations where Lincoln’s broad range of cases expanded his sense of the economic and social forces changing America.
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The Lost Lawyer
Failing Ideals of the Legal Profession
Anthony Kronman
Harvard University Press, 1993

Anthony Kronman describes a spiritual crisis affecting the American legal profession, and attributes it to the collapse of what he calls the ideal of the lawyer-statesman: a set of values that prizes good judgment above technical competence and encourages a public-spirited devotion to the law.

For nearly two centuries, Kronman argues, the aspirations of American lawyers were shaped by their allegiance to a distinctive ideal of professional excellence. In the last generation, however, this ideal has failed, undermining the identity of lawyers as a group and making it unclear to those in the profession what it means for them personally to have chosen a life in the law.

A variety of factors have contributed to the declining prestige of prudence and public-spiritedness within the legal profession. Partly, Kronman asserts, it is the result of the triumph, in legal thought, of a counterideal that denigrates the importance of wisdom and character as professional virtues. Partly, it is due to an array of institutional forces, including the explosive growth of the country’s leading law firms and the bureaucratization of our courts. The Lost Lawyer examines each of these developments and illuminates their common tendency to compromise the values from which the ideal of the lawyer-statesman draws strength. It is the most important critique of the American legal profession in some time, and an an enduring restatement of its ideals.

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Lowering the Bar
Lawyer Jokes and Legal Culture
Marc Galanter
University of Wisconsin Press, 2006
What do you call 600 lawyers at the bottom of the sea? Marc Galanter calls it an opportunity to investigate the meanings of a rich and time-honored genre of American humor: lawyer jokes. Lowering the Bar analyzes hundreds of jokes from Mark Twain classics to contemporary anecdotes about Dan Quayle, Johnnie Cochran, and Kenneth Starr. Drawing on representations of law and lawyers in the mass media, political discourse, and public opinion surveys, Galanter finds that the increasing reliance on law has coexisted uneasily with anxiety about the “legalization” of society. Informative and always entertaining, his book explores the tensions between Americans’ deep-seated belief in the law and their ambivalence about lawyers.
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The Making of Lawyers' Careers
Inequality and Opportunity in the American Legal Profession
Robert L. Nelson, Ronit Dinovitzer, Bryant G. Garth, Joyce S. Sterling, David B. Wilkins, Meghan Dawe, and Ethan Michelson
University of Chicago Press, 2023

An unprecedented account of social stratification within the US legal profession.

How do race, class, gender, and law school status condition the career trajectories of lawyers? And how do professionals then navigate these parameters?

The Making of Lawyers’ Careers provides an unprecedented account of the last two decades of the legal profession in the US, offering a data-backed look at the structure of the profession and the inequalities that early-career lawyers face across race, gender, and class distinctions. Starting in 2000, the authors collected over 10,000 survey responses from more than 5,000 lawyers, following these lawyers through the first twenty years of their careers. They also interviewed more than two hundred lawyers and drew insights from their individual stories, contextualizing data with theory and close attention to the features of a market-driven legal profession.

Their findings show that lawyers’ careers both reflect and reproduce inequalities within society writ large. They also reveal how individuals exercise agency despite these constraints.

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The McLaurys in Tombstone, Arizona
An O.K. Corral Obituary
Paul Lee Johnson
University of North Texas Press, 2012

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Noble Purposes
Nine Champions of the Rule of Law
Norman Gross
Ohio University Press, 2007
Throughout the history of the United States, the acts of a few have proved to be turning points in the way our legal system has treated the least of us. The nine individuals whose deeds are recounted have compelling stories, and though they remain unknown to the general public, their commitment to the rule of law has had a lasting impact on our nation.Noble Purposes brings their stories to life. It describes the contributions of such individuals as James Alexander, the guiding and central force in the colonial-era trial of John Peter Zenger, which sowed the seeds for the American Revolution and the constitutional guarantee of a free press.In the 1870s, Hugh Lennox Bond stared down threats as judge in the trials of the South Carolina Ku Klux Klan, while Clara Shortridge Foltz overcametremendous resistance during her fifty-year law practice, which included advocacy of public defender offices.Early last century, Louis Marshall paved the way for the rights of minorities in America and abroad, while Francis Biddle, FDR’s attorney general, soughtto maintain civil liberties during World War II, arguing against the internment of Japanese Americans and later serving as the American judge in the Nuremberg trials.Edited by legal scholar Norman Gross and written by leading legal historians from around the country, the profiles presented in Noble Purposes tell the stories of these and other individuals who stood firmly in support of the rule of law, often against great odds.
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Not from Here, Not from There/No Soy de Aquí ni de Allá
The Autobiography of Nelson Díaz
Nelson A. Díaz
Temple University Press, 2018

Raised in the squalor of a New York tenement until he was 10 years old, Nelson Díaz saw his life change when his family moved to a brand-new high-rise project in West Harlem in the 1950s. That experience, along with lessons learned as the only Latino law student at Temple University, would drive him throughout his life as a lawyer and activist, fighting for the expansion of rights for all Americans.

“No soy de aquí ni de allá” is a mantra for Puerto Ricans who feel like foreigners wherever they are and who seek a place for themselves. In his inspiring autobiography, Not from Here, Not from There, Díaz tells the story of his struggles and triumphs as his perspective widened from the New York streets and law school classrooms to the halls of power in Philadelphia and Washington, DC. Whether as a leader in economic development, a pioneer in court reform, or a champion of fair housing, Díaz has never stopped advocating for others. Díaz was happy to be the first Latino to “do something,” but he never wanted to be the last. This story of an outsider who worked his way to the inside offers powerful lessons on finding a place in the world by creating spaces where everyone is welcome.

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On the Way
My Life and Times
By Frank Denius
University of Texas Press, 2016

Frank Denius was not yet twenty-one when he fought his way across Europe and was awarded four Silver Stars, a Presidential Unit Citation, and two Purple Hearts. On the Way describes Denius’s formative experiences during World War II in gripping detail and will cause any reader to wonder how he or she might have held up under similar pressure. The powerful opening chapters are followed by a detailed account of Denius’s life and career after the war, assembled into a first-person memoir from conversations between Denius and Thomas Hatfield, and published by the Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin.

Discharged from the army in October 1945, Denius enrolled at the University of Texas within a week. He is a lifelong supporter of the university: as part of the Texas Exes, as a donor to numerous academic programs, and as a fan of Longhorn football. Former UT football coach Mack Brown liked to say, “Frank has been to more practices than I have.”

Denius graduated from the University of Texas School of Law and joined one of Austin’s leading law firms in the late 1940s. Denius recounts how Texas operated in Lyndon Johnson’s prime, observes power plays in the Texas energy industry, and describes his role in building a regional university into a global leader.

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The Only Woman in the Room
The Norma Paulus Story
Norma Paulus
Oregon State University Press, 2017
Norma Petersen Paulus grew up Depression-poor in Eastern Oregon, survived a bout with polio in her teens, taught herself to be a legal secretary, and graduated from law school with honors despite not attending college first. Anyone with such a story would be remarkable, but she was just getting started.
 
Paulus came from a family of Roosevelt Democrats, but when a friend campaigned for a Republican seat in the state legislature, she switched parties. As she put it, “The Republicans were in politics for all the right reasons.” Amid the nationwide political upheavals of the late 1960s, Oregon’s Republicans, led by popular governor Tom McCall, seemed to be her kind of people—principled, pragmatic, and committed to education, the environment, and equality for all citizens under the law.
 
Paulus’s appointment by Governor McCall to the Marion-Polk Boundary Commission in 1969, a precursor to Oregon’s urban growth boundaries, helped launched her on a long and distinguished career of public service. She ran successfully for the Oregon House of Representatives in 1970, the first women to do so in the district. After three terms in the House, where she championed environmental causes, women’s rights and government transparency, she was elected Oregon’s Secretary of State in 1976—the first woman to hold that office and be elected to a statewide office in Oregon. She was the Republican candidate for governor in 1986, served a stint on the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, went on to become Oregon’s superintendent of public instruction, and headed the Oregon Historical Society.
 
During her years of public service, spanning the 1970s through the early 2000s, Norma Paulus occupied a distinctive niche in Oregon’s progressive political ecosystem. Her vivid personality and strong convictions endeared her to a broad swath of citizens. Beautiful and opinionated, charming and forceful, Paulus was widely covered in statewide and national newspapers and television during her eventful, sometimes controversial career. Now, The Only Woman in the Room sums up her life and work in a lively, anecdotal history that will appeal to historians, political scientists, newshounds, and ordinary citizens alike.
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The Original Rush Limbaugh
Lawyer, Legislator, and Civil Libertarian
Dennis K. Boman
University of Missouri Press, 2012
            Born at the end of the nineteenth century into a farming family of modest means in southeastern Missouri, Rush Hudson Limbaugh Sr. led a distinguished professional life as an attorney, legislator, and special ambassadorial representative of the United States. Today his descendants benefit from his reputation for integrity and public-spiritedness as a lawyer and member of his community, a legacy that lives on in his family in the careers of two federal district court judges, Stephen Limbaugh Sr. and Jr., and David Limbaugh, a practicing attorney and a nationally known author and political commentator. Moreover, Limbaugh’s character and life has gained wider renown on the radio talk show of his grandson and namesake.
            In this biography, Dennis K. Boman recounts Limbaugh’s legal career, which spanned most of the twentieth century and included a number of important events in Missouri history. His legal prowess first came to wider public notice when he managed the impeachment trial of state treasurer Larry Brunk, who was accused of misconduct in office. Among his later achievements was presiding over the infamous 1935 case Ware vs. Muench, in which a young woman sued for the return of her infant son. The case gained widespread attention, and the daily courtroom proceedings were reported in detail by newspapers across the United States. His legal opinion in the case was widely quoted and upheld by the Supreme Court of Missouri.
            In the midst of the Great Depression, as a state legislator, although a member of the minority party, Limbaugh led the effort to pass significant legislation, including the more fair distribution of the state tax burden, the founding of the Missouri state highway patrol, and the construction of state roads. In the late 1950s, President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Limbaugh to represent the United States as a goodwill ambassador to India.
            As a respected lawyer, Limbaugh was selected to serve on different civil rights commissions. First a member of the American Bar Association’s Special Committee on the Bill of Rights, he later was appointed its chair. This committee investigated the circumstances of African Americans, especially in the South, and sought to find practical ways to end racial discrimination and segregation. Moreover, he served as a member of the Special Committee on Civil Rights and Social Unrest in 1964 and 1965, as well as a commissioner on the Missouri Commission on Human Rights and Responsibilities, which examined violations of civil rights and led to legislation to protect non-whites from discrimination.
            Boman conducted personal interviews with many members of the Limbaugh family, whose candid answers add invaluable insights into Limbaugh’s character and career. Boman delves into Limbaugh’s memoirs, family correspondence, and personal papers, as well as newspaper accounts, to chronicle the life of a man who served his state and country until his death at the age of 104.
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Palestinian Lawyers and Israeli Rule
Law and Disorder in the West Bank
By George Emile Bisharat
University of Texas Press, 1989

As frequent intermediaries between Israeli military authorities and Palestinian citizens, Palestinian lawyers stand close to the fault line dividing Israeli and Palestinian societies. The conflicts and tensions they experience in their profession mirror the larger conflicts between the two societies. Thus, as George Bisharat reveals in Palestinian Lawyers and Israeli Rule, a careful study of the work and lives of Palestinian lawyers ultimately helps to illuminate the causes of the intifada, or uprising, that began in December 1987.

The study revolves around the central question of why the Palestinian legal profession declined during twenty years of Israeli occupation when, in other Third World countries, the legal profession has often reached its peak during a period of Western colonization. Bisharat answers this question with a wide-ranging inquiry into the historical origins of the legal profession and court system in Palestine, the tenuous grounding of these institutions in Palestinian society and culture, and the structure, style, and policies of the late-twentieth-century Israeli military government in the West Bank.

For general readers interested in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as well as specialists in such fields as legal anthropology, sociology of the professions, Third World law and development, and Middle Eastern studies, Palestinian Lawyers and Israeli Rule will be required reading.

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The Parisian Order of Barristers and the French Revolution
Michael P. Fitzsimmons
Harvard University Press, 1987

Did barristers as a professional group support the French Revolution, or were they most often “in flight from politics”? A close inquiry into the Order of Barristers at Paris—the largest and most important in France, with over six hundred members in 1789—reveals that the vast majority within the Order did not support the Revolution. Unsympathetic to the ideal of the nation asserted by the National Assembly, most members of the Order instead remained loyal to the traditional corporate paradigm that the National Assembly had specifically repudiated. Dismayed by the abolition of their Order, they were disillusioned with the Revolution even before the advent of the Terror, which, along with the arbitrariness of the Directory, deepened their disaffection. The manner in which Bonaparte ultimately restored the Order in 1811 completed their alienation from the Revolution and, as a result, they warmly welcomed the return of the Bourbons in 1814.

This investigation not only revises what historians have long thought of the attitude of barristers toward the French Revolution, but also offers insights into the corporate character of Old Regime society and how the Revolution affected it. Fitzsimmons’s study suggests that many propertied commoners during the Revolution were not politically engaged, that they were not necessarily associated with a party or cause simply because of their place within a set of social relationships. Most of the barristers to the Parlement simply reacted timidly to events and yearned for an ideal that was irretrievably lost, tending to view the Revolution more in terms of an end than of a beginning.

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Patriots and Cosmopolitans
Hidden Histories of American Law
John Fabian Witt
Harvard University Press, 2007

Ranging widely from the founding era to Reconstruction, from the making of the modern state to its post-New Deal limits, John Fabian Witt illuminates the legal and constitutional foundations of American nationhood through the little-known stories of five patriots and critics. He shows how law and constitutionalism have powerfully shaped and been shaped by the experience of nationhood at key moments in American history.

Founding Father James Wilson's star-crossed life is testament to the capacity of American nationhood to capture the imagination of those who have lived within its orbit. For South Carolina freedman Elias Hill, the nineteenth-century saga of black citizenship in the United States gave way to a quest for a black nationhood of his own on the West African coast. Greenwich Village radical Crystal Eastman became one of the most articulate critics of American nationhood, advocating world federation and other forms of supranational government and establishing the modern American civil liberties movement. By contrast, the self-conscious patriotism of Dean Roscoe Pound of Harvard Law School and trial lawyer Melvin Belli aimed to stave off what Pound and Belli saw as the dangerous growth of a foreign administrative state.

In their own way, each of these individuals came up against the power of American national institutions to shape and constrain the directions of legal change. Yet their engagements with American nationhood remade the institutions and ideals of the United States even as the national tradition shaped and constrained the course of their lives.

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Patterson for Alabama
The Life and Career of John Patterson
Gene Howard
University of Alabama Press, 2013
John Patterson, Alabama governor from 1959 to 1963, was thrust into the Alabama political arena after the brutal murder of his father, attorney general Albert Patterson in 1954. Allowed by the Democratic Party to take his father’s place and to complete the elder’s goal of cleaning up corruption in his hometown Phenix City, Patterson made a young, attractive, and sympathetic candidate. Patterson for Alabama details his efforts to clean up his hometown, oppose corruption in the administration of Governor Big Jim Folsom, and to resist school desegregation. Popular on all three counts, Patterson went on to defeat rising populist George Wallace for governor.
 
Patterson’s term as governor was marked by rising violence as segregationists violently resisted integration.  His role as a champion of resistance has clouded his reputation to this day. Patterson left office with little to show for f his efforts and opposed for one reason or another by nearly all sectors of Alabama. Stymied in efforts to reclaim the governorship or a seat on the Alabama state Supreme Court, Patterson was appointed by Wallace to the state court of criminal appeals in 1984 and served on that body until retiring in 1997. In 2004, he served as one of the justices who removed the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Roy Moore for ignoring a federal court order.
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Philadelphia Freedom
Memoir of a Civil Rights Lawyer
David Kairys
University of Michigan Press, 2008

"David Kairys is one of the grand long-distance runners in the struggle for justice in America. His brilliant legal mind and superb lawyerly skills are legendary. This marvelous book is his gift to us!"
---Cornel West, Professor of Religion and African American Studies, Princeton University, and award-winning author of Race Matters

Philadelphia Freedom is the spellbinding tale of an idealistic young lawyer coming of age in the political cauldron of the 1960s and 1970s. From his immersion in the civil rights movement to his determined court battles to quell criminal violence by Philadelphia police, Kairys recounts how he helped make history in the city of brotherly love."
---William K. Marimow, Editor and Executive Vice President, Philadelphia Inquirer, and recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes

"In the current climate of political deception and the trampling of our civil rights, Kairys's compelling book is a clenched fist, a prayer for social justice and a call to conscience."
---Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times columnist and former Philadelphia Inquirer columnist

"With engaging, insider stories of innovative legal strategies of a truly creative lawyer, this book evokes the ebullient spirit of progressive social change launched in the 1960s and should be read by aspiring and practicing lawyers as well as anyone interested in American social history. Philadelphia Freedom reads like a suspense novel and reveals how novel legal and political thinking can and does make a real difference to individuals and to the quality of justice."
---Martha L. Minow, Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law, Harvard University

"David Kairys's compelling book properly explains the vital role that civil rights attorneys play in our system of justice."
---Judge John E. Jones III, United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, and presiding judge in the landmark Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case

A memoir that is also a compelling page-turner, Philadelphia Freedom is the poignant, informative, often inspiring account of renowned civil-rights lawyer David Kairys's personal quest for achieving social justice during the turbulent 1960s and 70s.

Philadelphia Freedom brings us intimately and directly into Kairys's burgeoning law career and the struggles of the 60s as his professional and private life navigated the turmoil and promise of the civil rights and antiwar movements.

Many of the cases Kairys took on involved discrimination and equal protection, freedom of speech, and government malfeasance. Kairys is perhaps most well known for his victory in the Camden 28 draft board case, in which the FBI set up a sting of the Catholic anti-war left at the behest of the highest levels of government.

The stories and cases range from nationally important and recognizable---the family of the scientist the CIA unwittingly gave LSD in the 1950s; the leading race discrimination case against the FBI; Dr. Benjamin Spock's First Amendment case before the Supreme Court; the city handgun lawsuits Kairys conceived---to those he encountered in his early work as a public defender. The characters include public figures such as FBI Directors J. Edgar Hoover and Louis Freeh; CIA Director William Colby; Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter; New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer; U.S. Attorneys General Edward Levi and John Mitchell; Georgia Governor Lester Maddox; Pennsylvania Governor, former Philadelphia Mayor, and Democratic National Committee chair Ed Rendell; Philadelphia Mayor and Police Commissioner Frank Rizzo. But some of the most memorable are not well known, involving regular people caught up in the often heartless machinery of the courts and legal system.

Though it reads like a novel, with all the elements of character, plot, and suspense, Philadelphia Freedom also has historical significance as a firsthand account of the 1960s and 70s and contains social commentary about race as well as insights and major perspectives on the nature and social role of law.

David Kairys is Professor of Law at Beasley School of Law, Temple University. He was a full-time civil rights lawyer from 1968 to 1990.

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Pillars of Justice
Lawyers and the Liberal Tradition
Owen Fiss
Harvard University Press, 2017

Pillars of Justice explores the purpose and possibilities of life in the law through moving accounts of thirteen lawyers who shaped the legal world during the past half century.

Some, such as Thurgood Marshall, were Supreme Court Justices. Others, like John Doar and Burke Marshall, set the civil rights policies of the federal government during the 1960s. Some, including Harry Kalven and Catharine MacKinnon, have taught at the greatest law schools of the nation and nourished the liberalism rooted in the civil rights era. Jurists from abroad—Aharon Barak, for example—were responsible for the rise of the human rights movement that today carries the burden of advancing liberal values. These lawyers came from diverse backgrounds and held various political views. What unites them is a deep, abiding commitment to Brown v. Board of Education as an exceptional moment in the life of the law—a willingness to move mountains, if need be, to ensure that we are living up to our best selves. In tracing how these lawyers over a period of fifty years used the Brown ruling and its spirit as a beacon to guide their endeavors, this history tells the epic story of the liberal tradition in the law.

For Owen Fiss, one of the country’s leading constitutional theorists, the people described were mentors, colleagues, friends. In his portraits, Fiss tries to identify the unique qualities of mind and character that made these individuals so important to the institutions and legal principles they served.

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Poetry of the Law
From Chaucer to the Present
David Kader
University of Iowa Press, 2010

Since the time of Blackstone's "Farewell," poetry has been seen as celestial, pastoral, solitary, and mellifluous; law as venerable, social, urban, and cacophonous. This perception has persisted even to the present, with the bourgeoning field of law and literature focusing almost exclusively on fiction and drama. Poetry of the Law, however, reveals the richness of poetry about the law.

Poetry of the Law is the first serious anthology of law-related poetry ever published in the United States. As the editors make clear, though, serious need not imply solemn. Instead, David Kader and Michael Stanford have assembled a surprisingly capacious collection of 100 poems from the 1300s to the present.

Set in courtrooms, lawyers’ offices, law-school classrooms, and judges’ chambers; peopled with attorneys, the imprisoned (both innocent and guilty), judges, jurors, witnesses, and law-enforcement officers; based on real events (think “Scottsboro”) or exploring the complexity of abstract legal ideas; the poems celebrate justice or decry the lack of it, ranging in tone from witty to wry, sad to celebratory, funny to infuriating. Poetry of the Law is destined to become an authoritative source for years to come.

 
Contributors Include:

W. H. Auden

Robert Burns

Lewis Carroll

John Ciardi

Daniel Defoe

Emily Dickinson

John Donne

Rita Dove

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Martín Espada

Thomas Hardy

Seamus Heaney

A. E. Housman

Langston Hughes

Ben Jonson

X. J. Kennedy

Yusef Komunyakaa

Ted Kooser

D. H. Lawrence

Edgar Lee Masters

W. S. Merwin

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Sir Walter Raleigh

Muriel Rukeyser

Carl Sandburg

William Shakespeare

Jonathan Swift

Mona Van Duyn

Oscar Wilde

William Carlos Williams

from “The Hanging Judge” by Eavan Boland

Come to the country where justice is seen to be done,

Done daily. Come to the country where

Sentence is passed by word of mouth and raw

Boys split like infinitives. Look, here

We hanged our son, our only son

And hang him still and still we call it law.

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The Politics of Patronage
Lawyers, Philanthropy, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
By Benjamin Márquez
University of Texas Press, 2021

Co-winner, Latino Politics Best Book Award, American Political Science Association

The first book about the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the influential work it has done for the Latina/o community, and the issues stemming from its dependence on large philanthropic organizations.

Founded in 1968, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) is the Latino equivalent to the NAACP: a source of legal defense for the Latina/o community in cases centered on education, state immigration laws, redistricting, employment discrimination, and immigrant rights. Unlike the NAACP, however, MALDEF was founded by Mexican American activists in conjunction with the larger philanthropic structure of the Ford Foundation—a relationship that has opened it up to controversy and criticism.

In the first book to examine this little-known but highly influential organization, Benjamin Márquez explores MALDEF’s history and shows how it has thrived and served as a voice for the Latina/o community throughout its six decades of operation. But he also looks closely at large-scale investments of the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and others, considering how their ties to MALDEF have influenced Mexican American and Latinx politics. Its story crafted from copious research into MALDEF and its benefactors, this book brings to light the influence of outside funding on the articulation of minority identities and the problems that come with creating change through institutional means.

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The Politics of Rights
Lawyers, Public Policy, and Political Change
Stuart A. Scheingold
University of Michigan Press, 2004
Stuart A. Scheingold's landmark work introduced a new understanding of the contribution of rights to progressive social movements, and thirty years later it still stands as a pioneering and provocative work, bridging political science and sociolegal studies. In the preface to this new edition, the author provides a cogent analysis of the burgeoning scholarship that has been built on the foundations laid in his original volume. A new foreword from Malcolm Feeley of Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law traces the intellectual roots of The Politics of Rights to the classic texts of social theory and sociolegal studies.

"Scheingold presents a clear, thoughtful discussion of the ways in which rights can both empower and constrain those seeking change in American society. While much of the writing on rights is abstract and obscure, The Politics of Rights stands out as an accessible and engaging discussion."
-Gerald N. Rosenberg, University of Chicago

"This book has already exerted an enormous influence on two generations of scholars. It has had an enormous influence on political scientists, sociologists, and anthropologists, as well as historians and legal scholars. With this new edition, this influence is likely to continue for still more generations. The Politics of Rights has, I believe, become an American classic."
-Malcolm Feeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley, from the foreword

Stuart A. Scheingold is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Washington.

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Poor People's Lawyers in Transition
Katz, Jack
Rutgers University Press, 1982
Jack Katz has written the first case study of legal assistance lawyers—commonly known as poverty lawyers—and their agencies. Focusing on legal services for the poor over the last 100 years in Chicago, the city with the most experienced large staff of poverty reform lawyers in the nation, Katz examines what organizational and personal experiences make these lawyers either passive or entrepreneurial in their drive for equal justice for the poor. This historical and participant-observation study traces the social foundations of the aspiration for equal justice. In the 1880s, when lawyers were first hired by organizations specifically to assist the poor, the legal status of poverty was virtually non-existent. Today the legal status of the poor is defined affirmatively in scores of statues, in masses of highly differentiated administrative regulations, and in a rich case law of judicial decisions made in the last 20 years. During the rise and fall of the Progressive era, throughout the Depression and the New Deal, in the midst of the explosive public activism of the Sixties, and even after the internment of the War on Poverty, legal assistance lawyers have worked progressively toward the legalization of poverty. Recently, a disturbing irony has appeared in this progress. Legal assistance lawyers, especially the most aggressive and professionally creative, have proven less successful in eliminating poverty than in reorganizing the poor into a formal social category. This category is systematically, comprehensively, and predictably defined by law, and administratively maintained by the state in segregation from the working and middle classes.
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Power to Dissolve
Lawyers and Marriages in the Courts of the Roman Curia
John T. Noonan Jr.
Harvard University Press, 1972

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Promises Kept
A Memoir
Sidney S. McMath
University of Arkansas Press, 2003

Winner of the 2006 Booker Worthen Literary Prize and the 2004 Ragsdale Award.

Sidney Sanders McMath was a pivotal figure not only in Arkansas history but in the history of the Democratic Party and of American law. Still vibrant and engaged in his nineties, he sets out his story in full for the first time: how he rose and fell in public office, and rose again as a lawyer seeking justice for ordinary people.

McMath divides his story into four parts. In the first, he describes how his early life in rural Arkansas sparked his commitment to people. The second section describes his service to democracy in the military, including his commission in the U.S. Marines, a battlefield promotion in the Pacific and other honors, and his subsequent advancement to the rank of major general.

The revealing third section details McMath’s extraordinary life in politics, starting with his explosive debut in 1945, when he and other recent veterans dethroned one of Arkansas’s most powerful and corrupt political machines. Later, as a two-term governor, he fulfilled this promise of reform and modernization: he brought the first roads and electricity to rural areas, fought the poll tax, and built the state’s first medical center. He also helped change the party’s rules so that black citizens could vote in primaries. McMath describes how he worked with President Truman to keep the segregationist Dixiecrats from taking over the Democratic Party—and the presidency.

But here his story takes a dramatic turn: political opponents alleged bribery in his highway program, and although no indictments were handed down, McMath’s political career ended. Arguing his case for the first time in fifty years, he sets the facts straight.

McMath turned to the practice of law to fight for the people he had represented as governor. In the concluding section of the book he describes some of his most important cases, examples of how he put his life’s experience, knowledge, and integrity in the service of those who had few resources. These stories show exactly why he has been honored with membership in such exclusive groups as the Inner Circle of Advocates as well as the presidency of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.

Promises Kept shows us the excitement and the hard choices of real democracy, offering compelling human stories, new information on past conflicts, and the crucial perspective of a man at the center of history.

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The Prosecutor and the Judge
Benjamin Ferencz and Antonio Cassese, Interviews and Writings
Heikelina Verrijn Stuart and Marlise Simons
Amsterdam University Press, 2009
The prestigious Praemium Erasmianum 2009 was awarded to Benjamin Ferencz and Antonio Cassese, who embody the history of international criminal law from Nuremberg to The Hague. The Prosecutor and the Judge is a meeting with these two remarkable men through in depth interviews by Heikelina Verrijn Stuart and Marlise Simons about their work and ideas, about the war crimes trials, human cruelty, the self-interest of states; about remorse in the courtroom, about restitution and compensation for victims and about the strength and the limitations of the international courts.
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Resisting Brazil's Military Regime
An Account of the Battles of Sobral Pinto
By John W. F. Dulles
University of Texas Press, 2007

Praised by his many admirers as a "courageous and fearless" defender of human rights, Heráclito Fontoura Sobral Pinto (1893-1991) was the most consistently forceful opponent of the regime of Brazilian dictator Getúlio Vargas. John W. F. Dulles chronicled Sobral's battles with the Vargas government in Sobral Pinto, "The Conscience of Brazil": Leading the Attack against Vargas (1930-1945), which History: Reviews of New Books called "a must-read for anyone wanting to understand twentieth-century Brazil."

In this second and final volume of his biography of Sobral Pinto, Professor Dulles completes the story of the fiery crusader's fight for democracy, morality, and justice, particularly for the downtrodden. Drawing on Sobral's vast correspondence, Dulles offers an extensive account of Sobral's opposition to the military regime that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985. He describes how Sobral Pinto defended those who had been politically influential before April, 1964, as well as other victims of the regime, including Communists, once-powerful labor leaders, priests, militant journalists, and students. Because Sobral Pinto participated in so many of the struggles against the military regime, his experiences provide vivid new insights into this important period in recent Brazilian history. They also shed light on developments in the Catholic Church (Sobral, a devout Catholic, vigorously opposed liberation theology), as well as on Sobral's key role in preserving Brazil's commission for defending human rights.

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Rights on Trial
The Odyssey of a People's Lawyer
Arthur Kinoy
Harvard University Press, 1983

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The Rights Revolution
Lawyers, Activists, and Supreme Courts in Comparative Perspective
Charles R. Epp
University of Chicago Press, 1998
It is well known that the scope of individual rights has expanded dramatically in the United States over the last half-century. Less well known is that other countries have experienced "rights revolutions" as well. Charles R. Epp argues that, far from being the fruit of an activist judiciary, the ascendancy of civil rights and liberties has rested on the democratization of access to the courts—the influence of advocacy groups, the establishment of governmental enforcement agencies, the growth of financial and legal resources for ordinary citizens, and the strategic planning of grass roots organizations. In other words, the shift in the rights of individuals is best understood as a "bottom up," rather than a "top down," phenomenon.

The Rights Revolution is the first comprehensive and comparative analysis of the growth of civil rights, examining the high courts of the United States, Britain, Canada, and India within their specific constitutional and cultural contexts. It brilliantly revises our understanding of the relationship between courts and social change.

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The Rise and Fall of Morris Ernst, Free Speech Renegade
Samantha Barbas
University of Chicago Press, 2021
A long-overdue biography of the legendary civil liberties lawyer—a vital and contrary figure who both defended Ulysses and fawned over J. Edgar Hoover.

In the 1930s and ’40s, Morris Ernst was one of America’s best-known liberal lawyers. The ACLU’s general counsel for decades, Ernst was renowned for his audacious fights against artistic censorship. He successfully defended Ulysses against obscenity charges, litigated groundbreaking reproductive rights cases, and supported the widespread expansion of protections for sexual expression, union organizing, and public speech. Yet Ernst was also a man of stark contradictions, waging a personal battle against Communism, defending an autocrat, and aligning himself with J. Edgar Hoover’s inflammatory crusades.

Arriving at a moment when issues of privacy, artistic freedom, and personal expression are freshly relevant, The Rise and Fall of Morris Ernst, Free Speech Renegade brings this singularly complex figure into a timely new light. As Samantha Barbas’s eloquent and compelling biography makes ironically clear, Ernst both transformed free speech in America and inflicted damage to the cause of civil liberties. Drawing on Ernst’s voluminous cache of publications and papers, Barbas follows the life of this singular idealist from his pugnacious early career to his legal triumphs of the 1930s and ’40s and his later idiosyncratic zealotry. As she shows, today’s challenges to free speech and the exercise of political power make Morris Ernst’s battles as pertinent as ever.
 
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The Search for Justice
Lawyers in the Civil Rights Revolution, 1950–1975
Peter Charles Hoffer
University of Chicago Press, 2019
The civil rights era was a time of pervasive change in American political and social life. Among the decisive forces driving change were lawyers, who wielded the power of law to resolve competing concepts of order and equality and, in the end, to hold out the promise of a new and better nation.
           
The Search for Justice is a look the role of the lawyers throughout the period, focusing on one of the central issues of the time: school segregation. The most notable participants to address this issue were the public interest lawyers of the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund, whose counselors brought lawsuits and carried out appeals in state and federal courts over the course of twenty years. But also playing a part in the story were members of the bar who defended Jim Crow laws explicitly or implicitly and, in some cases, also served in state or federal government; lawyers who sat on state and federal benches and heard civil rights cases; and, finally, law professors who analyzed the reasoning of the courts in classrooms and public forums removed from the fray. With rich, copiously researched detail, Hoffer takes readers through the interactions of these groups, setting their activities not only in the context of the civil rights movement but also of their full political and legal legacies, including the growth of corporate private legal practice after World War II and the expansion of the role of law professors in public discourse, particularly with the New Deal. Seeing the civil rights era through the lens of law enables us to understand for the first time the many ways in which lawyers affected the course and outcome of the movement.
 
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The Secret Lives of Citizens
Pursuing the Promise of American Life
Thomas Geoghegan
University of Chicago Press, 2000
In this witty combination of memoir and observation, Thomas Geoghegan addresses the widespread cynicism about our government and explores what it means to be a "national" civil servant and a "local" citizen.

"This is unlike any public-policy book I've ever read: part Catcher in the Rye, part The Road to Wigan Pier, part The Federalist Papers, it is mesmerizing, rueful, painfully honest, and never, ever dull."—Nicholas Lemann, author of The Big Test

"Extraordinary. It has the essential trait of a memorable book, in that after reading it you look at daily life in a lastingly different way." —James Fallows, author of Breaking the News

"[Geoghegan] has written a book that is not only compelling to read but that provokes us to seriously reflect on the choices we make and how we spend our time." —Jonathan Coleman, Washington Post Book World

"Geoghegan's language is playful. . . . Personal reminiscence mixing with historical anecdote, dipping into complex themes . . . shifting from wistful nostalgia to dark comedy." —Robert B. Reich, New York Times Book Review

"A truly strange and wonderful book." — William Finnegan
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Slavish Shore
The Odyssey of Richard Henry Dana Jr.
Jeffrey L. Amestoy
Harvard University Press, 2015

In 1834 Harvard dropout Richard Henry Dana Jr. sailed to California as a common seaman. His account of the voyage, Two Years Before the Mast, quickly became an American classic. But literary acclaim could not erase the young lawyer’s memory of the brutal floggings he had witnessed aboard ship or undermine the vow he had made to combat injustice. In Slavish Shore, Jeffrey Amestoy tells the story of Dana’s unflagging determination to keep that vow in the face of nineteenth-century America’s most exclusive establishment: the Boston society in which he had been born and bred.

The drama of Dana’s life arises from the unresolved tension between the Brahmin he was expected to be on shore and the man he had become at sea. Dana’s sense of justice made him a lawyer who championed sailors and slaves, and his extraordinary advocacy put him at the center of some of the most consequential cases in American history: defending fugitive slave Anthony Burns, justifying President Lincoln’s war powers before the Supreme Court, and prosecuting Confederate president Jefferson Davis for treason. Yet Dana’s own promising political career remained unfulfilled as he struggled to reconcile his rigorous conscience with his restless spirit in public controversy and private life.

The first full-length biography of Dana in more than half a century, Slavish Shore reintroduces readers to one of America’s most zealous defenders of freedom and human dignity.

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Stanley Fish, America's Enfant Terrible
The Authorized Biography
Gary A. Olson
Southern Illinois University Press, 2016
One of the twentieth century’s most original and influential literary theorists, Stanley Fish is also known as a fascinatingly atypical, polarizing public intellectual; a loud, cigar-smoking contrarian; and a lightning rod for both the political right and left. The truth and the limitations of this reputation are explored in Stanley Fish, America’s Enfant Terrible by Gary A. Olson. At once a literary biography and a traditional life story, this engrossing volume details Fish’s vibrant personal life and his remarkably versatile career.
 
Born into a tumultuous family, Fish survived life with an emotionally absent father and a headstrong mother through street sports and troublemaking as much as through his success at a rigorous prep school. As Olson shows, Fish’s escape from the working-class neighborhoods of 1940s and 1950s Providence, Rhode Island, came with his departure for the university life at the University of Pennsylvania and then Yale. His meteoric rise through the academic ranks at a troubled Vietnam-era UC-Berkeley was complemented by a 1966 romp through Europe that included drag racing through the streets of Seville in his Alfa Romeo. He went on to become an internationally prominent scholar at Johns Hopkins before moving to Duke, where he built a star-studded academic department that became a key site in the culture and theory wars of the 1980s and 1990s. Olson discusses Fish’s tenure as a highly visible dean at the University of Illinois at Chicago who clashed publicly with the state legislature. He also covers Fish’s most remarkable and controversial books, including Fish’s masterpiece, Surprised by Sin: The Reader in "Paradise Lost," which was a critical sensation and forever changed the craft of literary criticism, as well as Professional Correctness and Save the World on Your Own Time, two books that alienated Fish from most liberal-minded professors in English studies.
 
Olson concludes his biography of Fish with an in-depth analysis of the contradictions between Fish’s public persona and his private personality, examining how impulses and events from Fish’s childhood shaped his lifelong practices and personality traits. Also included are a chronology of the major events of Fish’s life and never-before-published photos.
 
Based on hundreds of hours of recorded interviews with friends, enemies, colleagues, former students, family members, and Fish himself, along with material from the Stanley Fish archive, Stanley Fish, America’s Enfant Terrible is a clearly written narrative of the life of an important and controversial scholar. 
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Strong Advocate
The Life of a Trial Lawyer
Thomas Strong
University of Missouri Press, 2012

In Strong Advocate, Thomas Strong, one of the most successful trial lawyers in Missouri’s history, chronicles his adventures as a contemporary personal injury attorney. Though the profession is held in low esteem by the general public, Strong entered the field with the right motives: to help victims who have been injured by defective products or the negligence of others.

            As a twelve-year-old in rural southwest Missouri during the Great Depression, Strong bought a cow, then purchased others as he could afford them, and eventually financed his education with the milk he sold. After graduating law school and serving in the Army’s Counter Intelligence Corps, he rejected offers to practice in New York and San Francisco and returned to his hometown of Springfield.
Strong exhibited his lifelong passion to represent the underdog early in his practice, the “trial by ambush” days when neither side was required to disclose witnesses or exhibits. He quickly became known for his audacious approaches to trying cases, including asking a friend to ride on top of a moving car and hiring a local character called “Crazy Max” to recreate an automobile accident. One fraud case ended with Strong owning a bank and his opponent going to prison. When he sued a labor union for the wrongful death of his client’s spouse, he found his own life threatened.
With changes in the law that allowed discovery of information from an opponent’s files as well as the exhibits and witnesses to be used at trial, Strong and fellow personal injury attorneys forced a wide array of manufacturers to produce safer products. When witnesses at a terrible collision claimed both roadways had green lights simultaneously, Strong’s tenacity led to the purchase of the traffic light controllers. After three months of continuous testing at a university, the controller failed, showing four green lights, and Strong learned that fail-safe devices were available but had not been implemented. These fail-safe devices are now standard on traffic lights throughout the country.
In his last venture, Strong represented the state of Missouri in its case against the tobacco industry, culminating in a settlement totaling billions of dollars. He also reflects on the changes—not always for the better—in his oft-maligned profession since he entered the field in the 1950s. Thomas Strong’s story of survival, quick wits, and humor exemplify what made him such a creative and effective attorney. Lawyers and law students can learn much from this giant of the trial bar, but all readers will be entertained and heartened by his victories for the everyman.
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Taming Alabama
Lawyers and Reformers, 1804-1929
Paul M. Pruitt, introduction by G. Ward Hubbs
University of Alabama Press, 2010
Taming Alabama focuses on persons and groups who sought to bring about reforms in the political, legal, and social worlds of Alabama. Most of the subjects of these essays accepted the fundamental values of nineteenth and early twentieth century white southern society; and all believed, or came to believe, in the transforming power of law. As a starting point in creating the groundwork of genuine civility and progress in the state, these reformers insisted on equal treatment and due process in elections, allocation of resources, and legal proceedings.
 
To an educator like Julia Tutwiler or a clergyman like James F. Smith, due process was a question of simple fairness or Christian principle. To lawyers like Benjamin F. Porter, Thomas Goode Jones, or Henry D. Clayton, devotion to due process was part of the true religion of the common law. To a former Populist radical like Joseph C. Manning, due process and a free ballot were requisites for the transformation of society.
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Tangled Loyalties
Conflict of Interest in Legal Practice
Susan P. Shapiro
University of Michigan Press, 2002
In Tangled Loyalties, Susan P. Shapiro charts a journey across the state of Illinois. To explore the role of conflict-of-interest in the private practice of law she looks at a wide variety of law firms, including those located near lakes, rivers, and corn fields; in strip malls, storefronts, and historic landmarks; in town squares, residential neighborhoods, deteriorating downtown areas, and glittering high rises.
This unique, empirical study examines the actual attitudes and perceptions of legal practitioners. The author discusses the realities of the profession--what lawyers face day to day, how they deal with conflicts of interest, and how those experiences vary from LaSalle Street to Wall Street to Main Street, from megafirms to solo practices. In describing how conflicts arise in their daily work, Shapiro sheds light on the nature of legal work--on clients, colleagues, law firm power and politics, economics, markets, malpractice insurance, careers, ethics, values, business judgments, and lawyers' most anguishing moments. In short, we learn what it means to be a lawyer at the end of the twentieth century.
Tangled Loyalties also looks at how these conflicts in law affect other fiduciaries--accountants, doctors, psychotherapists, journalists, and academics--and the way in which they respond to competing interests and the honoring of those interests.
Tangled Loyalties will appeal to readers interested in the legal and other professions, social institutions and relations, and issues of trust, ethics, social control and regulation.
Susan P. Shapiro is Senior Research Fellow, American Bar Foundation.
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Thomas Ewing Jr.
Frontier Lawyer and Civil War General
Ronald D. Smith
University of Missouri Press, 2008
An Ohio family with roots in the South, the Ewings influenced the course of the Midwest for more than fifty years. Patriarch Thomas Ewing, a former Whig senator and cabinet member who made his fortune as a real estate lawyer, raised four major players in the nation’s history—including William Tecumseh “Cump” Sherman, taken into the family as a nine-year-old, who went on to marry his foster sister Ellen. Ronald D. Smith now tells of this extraordinary clan that played a role on the national stage through the illustrious career of one of its sons.
In Thomas Ewing Jr.: Frontier Lawyer and Civil War General, Smith introduces us to the Ewing family, little known except among scholars of Sherman, to show that Tom Jr. had a remarkable career of his own: first as a real estate lawyer, judge, soldier, and speculator in Kansas, then as a key figure in national politics. Smith takes readers back to Bleeding Kansas, with its border ruffians and land speculators, reconstructing the rough-and-tumble of its courtrooms to demonstrate that its turmoil was as much about claim-jumping as about slavery. He describes the seat-of-the-pants law practice in which Ewing worked with his brothers Hugh and Charlie and foster brother Cump. He then tells how Tom came to national prominence in the fight over the proslavery Lecompton Constitution, was instrumental in starting up the Union Pacific Railroad, and became the first chief justice of the Kansas Supreme Court.
Ewing obtained a commission in the Union Army—as did his brothers—and raised a regiment that saw significant action in Arkansas and Missouri. After William Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence, Kansas, he issued the dramatic General Order No. 11 that expelled residents from sections of western Missouri. Then this confidant of Abraham Lincoln’s went on to courageously defend three of the assassination conspirators—including the disingenuous Samuel Mudd—and lobbied the key vote to block the impeachment of Andrew Johnson.
Smith examines Ewing’s life in meticulous detail, mining family correspondence for informative quotes and digging deep into legal records to portray lawmaking on the frontier. And while Sherman has been the focus of most previous work on the Ewings, this book fills the gaps in an interlocking family of remarkable people—one that helped shape a nation’s development in its courtrooms and business suites. Thomas Ewing Jr.: Frontier Lawyer and Civil War General retells a chapter of Kansas history and opens up a panoramic view of antebellum America, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Gilded Age.
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Thomas Goode Jones
Race, Politics, and Justice in the New South
Brent J. Aucoin
University of Alabama Press, 2016
This first comprehensive biography of Thomas Goode Jones records the life of a man whose political career reflects the fascinating and unsettled history of Alabama and the Deep South at the turn of the twentieth century.
 
Often overshadowed by the pharaonic antebellum period, the Civil War, and the luminous heights of the civil rights movement, the deceptively placid decades at the turn of the century were, in fact, a period when southerners fiercely debated the course of the South’s future. In tracing Jones’s career, Brent J. Aucoin offers vivid accounts of the great events and trends of that pivotal period: Reconstruction, the birth of the “Solid South,” the Populist Revolt, and the establishment of racial disenfranchisement and segregation.
 
Born in 1844, Jones served in the Confederate army and after the war identified as a conservative “Bourbon” Democrat. He served as Alabama's governor from 1890 to 1894 and as a federal judge from 1901 until his death in 1914. As a veteran, politician, and judge, Jones embodied numerous roles in the shifting political landscape of the South.
 
Jones was not, however, a reflexive conformist and sometimes pursued policies at odds with his party. Jones’s rhetoric and support of African American civil rights were exceptional and earned him truculent criticism from unrepentant racist factions in his party. His support was so fearless that it inspired Booker T. Washington to recommend Jones to Republican president Theodore Roosevelt as a federal judge. On the bench, Jones garnered national attention for his efforts to end peonage and lynching, and yet he also enabled the establishment of legalized segregation in Alabama, confounding attempts easily to categorize him as an odious reactionary or fearless progressive.
 
A man who both represented and differed from his class, Thomas Goode Jones offers contemporary readers and scholars an ideal subject of study to understand a period of southern history that still shapes American life today.
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A Time to Speak
The Story of a Young American Lawyer's Struggle for His City—and Himself
Charles Morgan Jr., With a New Foreword by Senator Doug Jones
University of Alabama Press, 2022
Brings back into print a classic account of courage and calamity in the long march toward racial justice in the South, and the nation
 
On September 15, 1963, a bomb exploded at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four young Black girls. The very next day, a prominent white lawyer named Charles Morgan Jr. was scheduled to speak at a luncheon held by the Young Men’s Business Club of Birmingham. A well-regarded figure in the city’s legal and business establishment, Morgan had been mentioned frequently as a candidate for political office. To the shock of his longtime friends and associates, Morgan deviated from his planned remarks, instead using his platform to place the blame for the murder of the four young girls squarely on the shoulders of the city’s white middle-class establishment, those seated before him.
 
As much as his stand was admired nationally, in Birmingham the results were destructive for him personally. Threats against his life and the lives of his family poured in daily by phone and mail, his political career was finished, and he was faced with financial ruin. Within weeks, he moved his family out of the state, and thenceforward committed himself to legal action in the name of racial justice. In 1964, he established the regional office of the ACLU in Atlanta. In the 1964 Supreme Court case Reynolds v. Sims, Morgan successfully argued that districts in state legislatures needed to be of nearly equal size, establishing the principle of “one man, one vote” to effectively end the use of gerrymandering.
 
A Time to Speak was originally published in 1964, a mere year after Morgan and his family fled Birmingham. The memoir recounts not only his speech, but his entire upbringing and the political, cultural, and social milieus in which he was raised and which gave rise to the cowardice, institutional silence, fear, and hate that those conditions nursed. This new edition features a foreword from US Senator Doug Jones.
 
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To Life
The Story of a Chicago Lawyer
Elmer Gertz
Southern Illinois University Press, 1990

Elmer Gertz has defended famous people—including Henry Miller, Nathan Leopold, and Jack Ruby—and he has become famous in his own right through his struggle for civil liberties and personal rights.

Gertz has taken on a lengthy list of cases and causes over the six decades of his legal career. He fought successfully against the censorship of Henry Miller’s book Tropic of Cancer,which had been banned in Chicago for obscenity. He got Nathan Leopold released from prison after Leopold had served 34 years for his part in the death of 14-year-old Bobby Franks. An ardent foe of the death penalty, Gertz labored for years as part of a national team of lawyers that was finally able to overturn Jack Ruby’s death sentence for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. Gertz’s cases have helped make libel law in the nation.

For this edition, Gertz adds an afterword that covers the 15 years since the book’s first publication. Gertz talks of Henry Miller’s last days and his travels to the USSR on behalf of the Refuseniks.

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Tournament of Lawyers
The Transformation of the Big Law Firm
Marc Galanter and Thomas Palay
University of Chicago Press, 1991
Tournament of Lawyers traces in detail the rise of one hundred of the nation's top firms in order to diagnose the health of the business of American law. Galanter and Palay demonstrate that much of the large firm's organizational success stems from its ability to blend the talents of experienced partners with those of energetic junior lawyers driven by a powerful incentive—the race to win "the promotion-to-partner tournament." This calmly reasoned study reveals, however, that the very causes of the spiraling growth of the large law firm may lead to its undoing.

"Galanter and Palay pose questions and offer some answers which are certain to change the way big firm practice is regarded. To describe their work as challenging is something of an understatement: they at times delight, stimulate, frustrate and even depress the reader, but they never disappoint. Tournament of Lawyers is essential to the understanding of the business of the big law firms."—Jean and Colin Fergus, New York Law Journal
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Urban Lawyers
The New Social Structure of the Bar
John P. Heinz, Robert L. Nelson, Rebecca L. Sandefur, and Edward O. Laumann
University of Chicago Press, 2005
Over the past several decades, the number of lawyers in large cities has doubled, women have entered the bar at an unprecedented rate, and the scale of firms has greatly expanded. This immense growth has transformed the nature and social structure of the legal profession. In the most comprehensive analysis of the urban bar to date, Urban Lawyers presents a compelling portrait of how these changes continue to shape the field of law today.

Drawing on extensive interviews with Chicago lawyers, the authors demonstrate how developments in the profession have affected virtually every aspect of the work and careers of urban lawyers-their relationships with clients, job tenure and satisfaction, income, social and political values, networks of professional connections, and patterns of participation in the broader community. Yet despite the dramatic changes, much remains the same. Stratification of income and power based on gender, race, and religious background, for instance, still maintains inequality within the bar.

The authors of Urban Lawyers conclude that organizational priorities will likely determine the future direction of the legal profession. And with this landmark study as their guide, readers will be able to make their own informed predictions.
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A Very Private Public Citizen
The Life of Grenville Clark
Nancy Peterson Hill
University of Missouri Press, 2016
Grenville Clark was born to wealth and privilege in Manhattan, where his maternal grandfather, LeGrand Bouton Cannon, was an industry titan, retired Civil War colonel, and personal friend of Abraham Lincoln. Clark grew up on a first-name basis with both Presidents Roosevelt, and his close friends included Supreme Court justices. He was well known and respected in the inner circles of business, government, and education. In A Very Private Public Citizen: The Life of Grenville Clark, Nancy Peterson Hill gives life to the unsung account of this great and largely anonymous American hero and reveals how the scope of Clark’s life and career reflected his selfless passion for progress, equality, and peace.



As a member of the “Corporation,” Harvard’s elite governing board, Clark wrote a still-relevant treatise on academic freedom. He fought a successful public battle with his good friend President Franklin Roosevelt over FDR’s attempt to “pack” the Supreme Court in 1937. He refused pay while serving as a private advisor for the Secretary of War of the United States during the Second World War, and he worked closely with the NAACP to uphold civil rights for African Americans during the tumultuous 1950s and ‘60s. Clark devoted his last decades to a quest for world peace through limited but enforceable world law, rewriting the charter of the United Nations and traveling the globe to lobby the world’s leaders.



An enthusiastic husband, father, and friend, Clark was a lawyer, civil rights activist, traveler, advisor, and world citizen at large. Memories from Clark’s family and friends weave through the book, as do Clark’s own inimitable observations on his life and the world in which he lived. A Very Private Public Citizen brings Clark out of the shadows, offering readers an inspiring example of a true patriot and humanitarian, more concerned with the well-being of his country and his fellow man than with his own fame.
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With All Deliberate Speed
The Life of Philip Elman
Norman I. Silber
University of Michigan Press, 2004
"With All Deliberate Speed is just wonderful. It gives the reader fascinating insights into the Roosevelt era, the Supreme Court, the Justice Department. It is funny, and endearingly human. Three cheers!"
-Anthony Lewis, New York Times columnist, and Pulitzer Prize-winning
author of Gideon's Trumpet

"The fascinating, eloquent, and skillfully edited oral memoir of a distinguished public servant, who was at the epicenter of major legal controversies that his memoir illuminates. A major contribution to modern American legal history."
-Richard A. Posner

"With All Deliberate Speed provides an insider's rich account, spanning over thirty years, of the inner workings of the Supreme Court, the Solicitor General's Office and the Federal Trade Commission that anyone seriously interested in a frank behind-the-scenes view of the federal government should find exceptionally provocative and intriguing"
-Drew Days III, Alfred M. Rankin Professor of Law, Yale University, and former Solicitor General of the United States, 1993-96


From a modest childhood in Patterson, N. J., Philip Elman rose to become clerk for the great Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, and then to a position in the U.S. Solicitor General's Office. As a member of that office, Philip Elman had an exceptional vantage point on one of the most momentous cases in U.S. Supreme Court history: Brown v. Board of Education.

In this oral history memoir of Elman's life, With All Deliberate Speed, author Norman I. Silber reveals the maneuvering that led to the Court's overturning the doctrine of "separate but equal." Working behind the scenes, it was Justice Department attorney Elman who came up with the concept of gradual integration-an idea that worked its way into the final decision as the famous phrase "with all deliberate speed." Though this expression angered those pressing for immediate desegregation, Elman claims that it unified a divided Court, thus enabling them to stand together against the evil of segregation.

With All Deliberate Speed records a decisive moment in Supreme Court history, but it is also Philip Elman's unforgettable oral memoir-the story of his entire career in government service, including his work with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy as commissioner of the FTC, and his role in founding the modern consumer protection movement, which includes the antismoking campaign that put the Surgeon General's warning on cigarette packs.

At once rich historical testimony and a gripping read, With All Deliberate Speed offers a rarely glimpsed insider's understanding of the politics of the American legal system.

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The Women of CourtWatch
Reforming a Corrupt Family Court System
By Carole Bell Ford
University of Texas Press, 2005

Houston was a terrible place to divorce or seek child custody in the 1980s and early 1990s. Family court judges routinely rendered verdicts that damaged the interests of women and children. In some especially shocking cases, they even granted custody to fathers who had been accused of molesting their own children. Yet despite persistent allegations of cronyism, incompetence, sexism, racism, bribery, and fraud, the judges wielded such political power and influence that removing them seemed all but impossible. The family court system was clearly broken, but there appeared to be no way to fix it.

This book recounts the inspiring and courageous story of women activists who came together to oppose Houston's family court judges and whose political action committee, CourtWatch, played a crucial role in defeating five of the judges in the 1994 judicial election. Carole Bell Ford draws on extensive interviews with Florence Kusnetz, the attorney who led the reform effort, and other CourtWatch veterans, as well as news accounts, to provide a full history of the formation, struggles, and successes of a women's grassroots organization that overcame powerful political interests to improve Houston's family courts. More than just a local story, however, this history of CourtWatch provides a model that can be used by activists in other communities in which legal and social institutions have gone astray. It also honors the heroism of Florence Kusnetz, whose commitment to the Jewish concept of tikkun olam ("repairing and improving the world") brought her out of a comfortable retirement to fight for justice for women and children.

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