Cause Lawyering: Political Commitments and Professional Responsibilities

Paperback | October 1, 1997

EditorAustin Sarat, Stuart Scheingold

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Why do some lawyers devote themselves to a given social movement or political cause? How are such deeds of individual commitment and personal belief justly executed, given the ideals of disinterested professional service to which lawyers are (in theory, at least) supposed to adhere? What canwe learn from such lawyers about the relationship between law and politics?Cause Lawyering is a wise and varied collection of responses to these questions, featuring a number of distinguished legal scholars concerned with anti-poverty lawyers, lawyers who work against capital punishment, immigration lawyers, and other lawyers working to end oppression. Editors Austin Saratand Stuart Scheingold have assembled here a valuable cross-national portrait of lawyers compelled to sacrifice financial gain so as to use their legal skills in the promotion of a more just society. These telling and important essays fully explore the relationship between cause lawyering and theorganized legal professions of many different countries--the US, England, South Africa, Israel, Cuba, and so forth. They describe the utility of law as a resource in political struggles and, conversely, highlight the constraints under which lawyers necessarily operate when they turn to politics.Some provide broad theoretical overviews; others present rich case studies.Advancing a fundamental argument about the very nature of the legal profession, this book explains the strategies that cause lawyers deploy, as well as the challenges they face in trying to be legally astute and effective while remaining politically devoted and aware. Although it is a controversialway of practicing law, cause lawyering, as explicated in the essays in this volume, is indeed indispensable to the legitimization of professional authority.

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From Our Editors

Why do some lawyers devote themsevles to a specific social movement or political cause? What can we learn from such lawyers about the relationship between law and politics. CAUSE LAWYERING offers an insightful portrait of lawyers who sacrifice financial advantage in the name of a more just society. These telling essays show how cause l...

From the Publisher

Why do some lawyers devote themselves to a given social movement or political cause? How are such deeds of individual commitment and personal belief justly executed, given the ideals of disinterested professional service to which lawyers are (in theory, at least) supposed to adhere? What canwe learn from such lawyers about the relation...

Austin Sarat is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science at Amherst College. He has written and edited many books and articles on the theory and practice of law, including Race, Law, and Culture (OUP, 1997) and Divorce Lawyers and Their Clients (OUP, 1995). Stuart Scheingold is Professor of Political Sc...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:576 pages, 9.09 × 5.98 × 1.61 inPublished:October 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195113209

ISBN - 13:9780195113204

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Table of Contents

Austin Sarat and Stuart Scheingold: Cause Lawyering and the Reproduction of Professional Authority: An IntroductionCONTEXTS AND CONDITIONS OF CAUSE LAWYERINGCarrie Menkel-Meadow: The Causes of Cause Lawyering: Toward an Understanding of the Motivation and Commitment of Social Justice LawyersRichard Abel: Speaking Law to Power: Occasions for Cause LawyeringStuart Scheingold: The Struggle to Politicize Legal Practice: A Case Study of Left-Activist Lawyering in SeattleCAUSE LAWYERING AND THE ORGANIZATION OF PRACTICEAaron Porter: Norris, Schmidt, Green, Harris, Higginbotham and Associates: The Socio-Legal Impact of Philadelphia Cause LawyersJohn Kilwein: Still Trying: Cause Lawyering for the Poor and Disadvantaged in Pittsburg, PALouise Trubek and M. Elizabeth Kransberger: Critical Lawyers: Social Justice and the Structure of Private PracticeRonen Shamir and Sara Chinski: Destruction of Houses and Construction of a Cause: Lawyers and Bedouins in the Israeli CourtsSTRATEGIES OF CAUSE LAWYERING UNDER LIBERAL LEGALISMMichael McCann and Helena Silverstein: Rethinking Law's Allurements: A Relational Analysis of Social Movement Lawyers in the United StatesSusan Street: Caring about Individual Cases: Immigration Lawyering in BritainAustin Sarat: Between (the Presence of) Violence and (the Possibility of) Justice: Lawyering against Capital PunishmentTHE POSSIBILITIES OF CAUSE LAWYERING BEYOND LIBERAL LEGALISMStephen Ellmann: Cause Lawyering in the Third WorldDaniel Lev: Lawyers' Causes in Indonesia and MalaysiaGeorge Bisharat: Attorneys for the People, Attorneys for the Land: The Emergence of Cause Lawyering in the Israel-Occupied TerritoriesStephen Meili: Cause Lawyers and Social Movements: A Comparative Perspective on Democratic Change in Argentina and BrazilRaymond Michalowski: All or Nothing: An Inquiry into the (Im)Possibility of Cause Lawyering under Cuban SocialismREFERENCES

From Our Editors

Why do some lawyers devote themsevles to a specific social movement or political cause? What can we learn from such lawyers about the relationship between law and politics. CAUSE LAWYERING offers an insightful portrait of lawyers who sacrifice financial advantage in the name of a more just society. These telling essays show how cause lawyering is indispensable to the legitimization of professional authority.

Editorial Reviews

"Offers much sophisticated analysis, a good deal of contingent (historical, comparative, institutional) theory, and a plethora of empirical propositions that could set a research agenda for legions of scholars...There is a tremendous value in bringing this variety of research into a commonframe. It stimulates cross-fertilization of ideas on one of the most critical policy matters of contemporary times." Law and Social Inquiry