This Note applies social identity threat literature to the legal context in order to improve access to justice. Social identity threat literature indicates that stereotypes, associations, and similar methods center environments on particular identities. Social identity threat occurs when an individual who does not have the centered identity enters the environment, implicitly perceives marginalization, and thereby experiences psycho-physiological effects that burden engagement. Social identity threat, as it applies to litigants of marginalized identities inside the courtroom, is termed the “implicit pushback burden” because the social identity threat implicitly repels or pushes the individual back from the courtroom and its proceedings. While this burden may limit access to justice for people of various identities, this Note explains how it affects working-class pro se plaintiffs in employment law cases. The limited amount of literature concerning social identity threat as it applies to the legal context and the working-class identity makes drawing solutions difficult. Still, this Note provides an overview of solutions outlined in the most relevant literature, and suggests how those solutions may be applied in the courtroom.
The California Law Review is delighted to honor Herma Hill Kay, path-breaking scholar, teacher, and leader, and recipient of the Association of American Law Schools’ Section on Women in Legal Education Lifetime Achievement Award. Professor Kay’s commitment to Berkeley, the legal academy, and the cause of women’s social progress continues to this day. This festschrift […]
In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a stand-alone resolution tackling the international problem of child marriage for the first time. Such a historic gesture by the international community was a welcome step, but not necessarily a surprise. Efforts to promote women’s empowerment have rapidly gained traction on the international stage in recent years, […]
Sentencing law and practice in the United States can be characterized as an argument about rules and standards. Whereas in the decades prior to the 1980s when sentencing was largely a discretionary activity governed only by broad sentencing standards, a sentencing reform movement in the 1980s transformed sentencing practice through the advent of sentencing guidelines […]
This Article explores the phenomenon of organized copwatching—groups of local residents who wear uniforms, carry visible recording devices, patrol neighborhoods, and film police- citizen interactions in an effort to hold police departments accountable to the populations they police. The Article argues that the practice of copwatching illustrates both the promise of adversarialism as a form […]
Which classes are considered suspect under equal protection doctrine? The answer determines whether courts will defer to legislatures and other government actors when they single out a group for special burdens or intervene to protect that group from such treatment. Laws burdening suspect classes receive the strictest scrutiny possible and, under current doctrine, whether a […]
Good faith purchasers for value—individuals who unknowingly and in good faith purchase property from a seller whose own actions in obtaining the property are of questionable legality—have long obtained special protection under the common law. Despite the seller’s own actions being tainted, these purchasers obtain valid title and are free to transfer the property without […]