Stanford Law School's faculty continues to engage in scholarly work that is both important and relevant. From their pioneering research on vexing constitutional and intellectual property issues to their historical inquiries that upend conventional wisdom, our faculty members continue to push legal frontiers and influence policymakers and leaders throughout the world. Equally notable is how much of the work is located at the intersection of different disciplines political science, sociology, computer science, education, and neuroscience, to name only a few-advancing the law school's commitment to exploring multidisciplinary approaches to complex legal problems. A full listing of this scholarship can be found on individual faculty bio pages from the Faculty Directory. Here, we offer a mere glimpse into their many endeavors.
Recently in the Stanford Lawyer
By Michele Landis Dauber , Professor of Law and Bernard D. Bergreen Faculty Scholar
Even as unemployment rates soared during the Great Depression, FDR’s relief and social security programs faced attacks in Congress and the courts on the legitimacy of federal aid to the growing population of poor. In response, New Dealers pointed to a long tradition—dating back to 1790 and now largely forgotten—of federal aid to victims of disaster. In The Sympathetic State, Michele Landis Dauber recovers this crucial aspect of American history, tracing the roots of the modern American welfare state beyond the New Deal and the Progressive Era back to the earliest days of the republic when relief was forthcoming for the victims of wars, fires, floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes. Read more »
By Lawrence C. Marshall, Professor of Law, Associate Dean for Clinical Education, and David & Stephanie Mills Director of the Mills Legal Clinic
It is easy to talk about the growth of Stanford Law School’s clinical program by focusing on numbers. We now have 10 clinical programs; 10 faculty members leading clinics; 9 clinical instructors; 7 support staff; 130 students enrolled in clinics each year; and 20,000 square feet of dedicated clinical space. These numbers reflect staggering growth over the past decade. But the numbers themselves don’t tell the whole story. Rather, the significance of these numbers is what they say about the ways in which clinical education has emerged as a central part of our curriculum and our vision for what it means to educate our students.
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By Randee Fenner (BA ’75)
Qui tam—It’s not a term that many people can confidently pronounce, let alone define. But if Associate Professor David Freeman Engstrom, JD ’02, has his way, the qui tam lawsuit, which has enjoyed a recent renaissance, will soon be a serious topic of academic and policy debate. Engstrom has undertaken a trio of articles on the subject, employing empirical methods to paint a comprehensive portrait of this increasingly controversial type of litigation. Read more »
By Sharon Driscoll
The last two months of 2000 were unusually busy for Pamela Karlan. The November 7 presidential race between Al Gore and George W. Bush was too tight to call, the final election result hanging in the balance while politicians and courts debated the pivotal Florida vote count. The American public—and much of the world—watched and waited as one of the greatest voting dramas in history played out in newspaper headlines and television discussions, with the U.S. Supreme Court case, Bush v. Gore, taking central stage. A full month of uncertainty and legal haranguing passed before the case and the election were decided on December 12, 2000, and Bush was named the winner. Just two years earlier, Karlan’s seminal casebook, The Law of Democracy: Legal Structure of the Political Process (co-authored with Samuel Issacharoff and Richard H. Pildes, in 1998), firmly placed her at the center of voting rights law and spawned an interest in that scholarly specialty in the academy and beyond. One of a few voting rights law scholars in the country, Karlan was thrust into the spotlight, putting legal jargon deftly into understandable language for popular consumption as Bush v. Gore held the attention of the nation. By her count, she appeared on Nightline 7 times and the PBS NewsHour 11 times—all in a 20-day period. Read more »
By Sharon Driscoll
Richard Thompson Ford’s opinion piece in The New York Times last fall was something of a cat among the pigeons. In the essay, based on his book Rights Gone Wrong: How Law Corrupts the Struggle for Equality, Ford suggested that civil rights litigation was hurting the cause.
“But civil rights have barely made a dent in today’s most severe and persistent social injustices, such as the disproportionate incarceration of African-Americans, the glass ceiling that blocks career advancement for many women, and high unemployment among the elderly; in fact, some of these problems have gotten worse despite civil rights laws intended to address them,” wrote Ford (BA ’88), George E. Osborne Professor of Law, in the October 27, 2011, piece. “Today’s most pressing injustices require comprehensive changes in the practices of the police, schools, and employers—not simply responses to individual injuries." Read more »
By Randee Fenner (BA ’75)
John J. Donohue III, C. Wendell and Edith M. Carlsmith Professor of Law, has brought his economic expertise and empirical techniques to bear on a number of cutting-edge social issues. In stark contrast to many legal academics, whose work deals largely with the historical or theoretical, Donohue is renowned for his use of large-scale statistical studies that estimate the impact of law and public policy on a variety of areas, including everything from employment discrimination to school funding to crime control. Among his highly acclaimed articles are “Shooting Down the ‘More Guns, Less Crime’ Hypothesis” (with Ian Ayres) and “The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime” (with Freakonomics co-author Steven D. Levitt). Read more »
Alison D. Morantz has an orange hardhat and a block of bituminous coal in her office—keepsakes from visits she made to a gold mine and a coal mine several years ago. "I found it interesting," she says, responding to a question about whether she was scared. The underground worlds were, she recalls, like underground cities—dark labyrinths of tunnels and off–shoots, extending for miles, hundreds of feet below the earth's surface. Read more »
Should black women be held hostage to the failings of black men? That’s the provocative question at the heart of a new book by Ralph Richard Banks (BA '87, MA '87), the Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor of Law. His book–Is Marriage for White People?: How the African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone–has attracted attention from an extraordinary range of media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal and ESSENCE magazine, each publishing exclusive essays or excerpts just prior to the book's release. Read more »
Jenny S. Martinez, Professor of Law and Justin M. Roach, Jr. Faculty Scholar, shares an exerpt from her forthcoming book on slavery and the evolution of International Human Rights Law: "In the year 1800, slavery was normal. European countries used international law to authorize and justify the ownership of human beings. In the first decade of the nineteenth century, an estimated 609,000 slaves arrived in the New World. Within a relatively short time span, however, things began to change." Read more »
Stanford Law Welcomes Four New Faculty Members
Find out more about the new faculty members at Stanford Law by clicking on their names.
New York City's Special Services for Children was in the midst of a severe financial crisis in 1976, with shrinking resources and rising need. Mark Kelman, fresh out of law school, was the director of criminal justice projects for the Fund for the City of New York. Read more »
Barbara Babcock feels very close to Clara Foltz, though the two have never met. Foltz was famous in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century as a jury lawyer, public intellectual, leader of the women's movement, inventor of the role of public defender, and legal reformer.
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Uncomfortable shoes trouble Deborah Rhode. And not only because they hurt. She's concerned that ninety years after women got the vote and almost five decades after The Feminine Mystique was published—in a time dubbed "post-feminist" when women are now in the majority at universities and in the workforce (if not the boardroom)—there is a surgery specifically designed to sculpt a woman's foot so that it fits into pointed shoes. Read more »
Barbara van Schewick's recently published book Internet Architecture and Innovation is a modern-day Christmas Carol, with the ghost of the Internet past meeting a present and future much constrained by tinkering. Written for a broad, interdisciplinary audience, this is not an overly technical text. Read more »