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Critical Justice equips students and teachers with a framework for confronting systemic injustice by developing systemic advocacy projects rooted in insights of the critical schools of legal knowledge and field-based advocacy approaches. The textbook describes both law’s complicity in maintaining injustice and its importance as a tool in struggles to advance equal justice. Drawing on iconic and cutting-edge writings, the textbook outlines the “Critical Challenge” for advocates: how to translate the noble promise of equal justice into lived social realities for all—how to use law for justice.

The textbook prepares students to use law for justice by developing systemic advocacy projects that overcome the “blindfolds” and “handcuffs” of traditional legal education and practice. Critical Justice’s conceptual and practical toolkit focuses on four key missing elements—social identities, groups, interests, and power—to explain the persistence of systemic injustice, and on redesigned professional norms to promote collaboration with subordinated communities. The textbook defines and illustrates systemic advocacy: systemic advocates craft ameliorative fixes to discrete problems while also transforming the playing field by building the organized power of subordinated groups and shifting consciousness and culture to undermine supremacist ideologies. Critical Justice also presents a template for designing advocacy projects to help students craft fellowship projects and pursue dream jobs. The textbook is accompanied by a teacher’s manual filled with examples and explanations.

Critical Justice fills a gap in racial and social justice curriculum that connects the dots among systems and oppressions that persist across time and borders. With all author proceeds going to an academic nonprofit with antisubordination aims, this textbook is truly a collective undertaking in praxis toward equal justice for all.

Imprint: West Academic Publishing
Series: American Casebook Series
Publication Date: 05/24/2021
Related Subject(s): Lawyering Skills, Poverty/Welfare Law, Social Justice

Francisco Valdes, University of Miami School of Law

Steven W. Bender, Seattle University School of Law

Jennifer J. Hill, University of Miami School of Law


This title is available in our CasebookPlus format. CasebookPlus provides support beyond your classroom lectures and materials by offering additional digital resources to you and your students. Anchored by faculty-authored formative self-assessments keyed to our most popular casebooks, CasebookPlus allows students to test their understanding of core concepts as they are learning them in class – on their own, outside of the classroom, with no extra work on your part. CasebookPlus combines three important elements:

  • A new print or digital casebook
  • Access to a downloadable eBook with the ability to highlight and add notes
  • 12-month access to a digital Learning Library complete with:
Multiple-choice self-assessment questions, including:
  • Chapter questions keyed to the casebook
  • Black Letter Law questions (available in select subjects)
  • Subject area review questions for end of semester use
Essay and short answer questions with sample answers and expert commentary, in 1L and select upper-level subjects

Leading digital study aids, an outline starter, and audio lectures in select subjects

Students can still utilize CasebookPlus digital resources if they’ve purchased a used book or are renting their text by purchasing the Learning Library at

With CasebookPlus, you can customize your students’ learning experience and monitor their performance. The quiz editor allows you to create your own custom quiz set, suppress specific quiz questions or quiz sets, and time-release quiz questions. Additionally, the flexible, customized reporting capability helps you evaluate your students’ understanding of the material and can also help your school demonstrate compliance with the new ABA Assessment and Learning Outcomes standards.

Learn more about this series.