This casebook provides materials on law, lawyers, and social justice and helps students understand the complicated relationship between law and activism. Now used in law school classrooms, clinics, and undergraduate courses, this text enriches students’ view of the legal profession and stimulates them to think broadly about the roles of lawyers who work for social change. In three parts – a system of lawyers, a system of law, and a system of politics – the book provides both historic perspective and a modern blueprint. Students will explore the meaning of rights and the ways in which movements and lawyers defend existing rights and mobilize for new rights claims.

The second edition preserves the organization and coverage of the popular first edition, with new notes, citations to recent literature, and excerpts that address cutting edge issues. Revisions and additions include recent federal reforms that reduce the burden of student loan repayment, work toward a right to counsel in civil cases, "low bono" legal services, the economic crisis and recession, Hurricane Katrina, the impact of foreclosures on inner cities, and gains and challenges in the struggle for equality for sexual minorities. The campaign for marriage equality provides new opportunities to address effective methods for achieving social change and the impact of temporary setbacks on movements, tactics, and law. Sections of the book are suitable for use in courses on professional responsibility, community lawyering, law and social change, and clinical skills. The teachers’ manual provides a discussion guide, sample syllabi, and writing exercises.


Imprint: West Academic Publishing
Series: American Casebook Series
Publication Date: 01/29/2013
Related Subject(s): Social Science

Martha R. Mahoney, University of Miami School of Law

John O. Calmore

Stephanie M. Wildman, Santa Clara University School of Law

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The new edition brings the book up to date and addresses the major cases after the book appeared. For the most part, the changes involve adding new notes to existing materials. The new edition also includes an extensively rewritten section in the area of gay rights to reflect the fact the law and the social movement have changed more for gay rights in the years since the last edition than any other single area.

Learn more about this series.