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John Robinson Wilkins and the Resources of the Law: Testing the Limits of Race, Law and Development, and the American Legal Profession

In the fall of 1964, my uncle John Robinson Wilkins joined the Berkeley Law School faculty. He was the first black professor in the school’s illustrious history and only the second in the entire UC Berkeley system. Tragically, my uncle’s time on the Berkeley faculty would be short. In 1970, he was diagnosed with an […]

Shadow Governance

Corporations have something to say about some of the most important social and economic issues of our time—and one way they say it is through shadow governance. This Article spotlights a group of influential corporate policies comprising what we call “shadow governance.” These non-charter, non-bylaw governance documents express a corporation’s commitment to and process on […]

The Title IX Paradox

When Christine Blasey Ford explained to the Senate Judiciary Committee why she had not reported her sexual assault at age fifteen, she captured the struggle of many children who must decide whether to make such reports: “For a very long time, I was too afraid and ashamed to tell anyone the details.” Thousands of sexual […]

Theories of Prosecution

For decades, legal commentators sounded the alarm about the tremendous power wielded by prosecutors. Scholars went so far as to identify uncurbed prosecutorial discretion as the primary source of the criminal justice system’s many flaws. Over the past two years, however, the conversation shifted. With the emergence of a new wave of “progressive prosecutors,” scholars […]

The Conscience Defense to Malpractice

This Article presents the first empirical study of state conscience laws that establish explicit procedural protections for medical providers who refuse to participate in providing reproductive health services, including abortion, sterilization, contraception, and emergency contraception. Scholarship and public debate about law’s role in protecting health care providers’ conscience rights typically focus on who should be […]

Fleeing for Their Lives: Domestic Violence Asylum and Matter of A-B-

This Note argues that it is a mistake to classify domestic violence as a primarily “private” crime given its widespread and gendered nature. Further, in some cases, the infliction of domestic violence is ignored—if not condoned—by state actors, casting doubt upon Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s claim in Matter of A-B-that such violence does not involve […]

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When the Cure is Worse than the Disease

The dirty little secret of the juvenile delinquency system—or what its apologists insist on calling the juvenile “justice” system—is not actually particularly secret. In study after study, independent researchers arrive at the same, discomfiting conclusion: the delinquency system fails at its core function of preventing youth who have committed crimes from doing it again. This sobering conclusion is one that bears repeating—the very system tasked with rehabilitating our youth is actually doing exactly the opposite. […]

Watch Where You Walk: Law Enforcement Surveillance and Protester Privacy

Law enforcement has a responsibility to facilitate the rights of civilians, including the First Amendment right to peaceful protest—not to quash expression of those rights. Those who protest and advocate for equality and justice should not have to risk being the victim of the extensive reach of the state while merely exercising their constitutionally mandated rights. […]

The Troubling Alliance Between Feminism and Policing

[…] Recently, White women have placed their bodies between riot officers and Blacks Lives Matter protesters, capitalizing on their privileged position with police. But once the protests end, it is likely fearful women will continue to reflexively call the cops, and police departments will continue to tout their role as women’s protectors. The time to end the feminist-police alliance is now.

COVID-19, Compassionate Release, and the Harms of the Criminal Legal System

The COVID-specific resentencing found under compassionate release offers a unique opportunity for humanizing a defendant. It is important to recognize, however, that humanizing defendants in a dehumanizing system will never solve pervasive structural problems like anti-Black racism, mandatory minimums, society’s refusal to examine prisons, or the global pandemic. […]

Reforming Law Enforcement Labor Relations

As law professors and legal professionals, we felt compelled to respond to the current moment by bringing our collective experience in labor and civil rights law to bear on urgently needed reforms in policing. We formed a study group to consider possible changes to law enforcement labor relations with the goal of proposing politically feasible reforms that could be quickly implemented and would meaningfully address some of the grave problems in policing. […]