LPE Originals

Democratizing the Workplace

This post opens a symposium on Elizabeth Anderson's Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don't Talk about It).

LPE Originals

Techno-utopian, Cyclical, Political: Reconsidering the Path of Legal Employment

About a decade ago, when legal employment dipped sharply, there was a raging debate on the future of the legal profession. Some said the drop reflected a permanent decrease in legal work. The logic here was simple: computers were increasingly capable of completing more sophisticated projects. Having eclipsed paralegals in some document review tasks, they…

LPE Originals

The Uneasy Case Against Occupational Licensing (Part 2)

Successful ideological entrepreneurs change policy-makers’ focus and their presumptions. Those on the right, in particular, have been very effective at shifting attention from core confrontations of capital and labor to peripheral conflicts among laborers. We see this repeatedly in inequality policy, where fundamental tensions between capital and labor are ignored, obfuscated, or trivialized by a…

LPE Originals

The Uneasy Case Against Occupational Licensing (Part 1)

Obama-era technocrats and Trump cronies may not agree on much, but they have made common cause against occupational licensing. That focus undermines important social objectives while obscuring far more important problems in the labor market. In this post, we cover the basics of licensing, and then reframe current attacks on it. In our next post,…

LPE Originals

The Real Barriers to Access to Justice: A Labor Market Perspective

There is a vast literature on access to justice in the United States. In what Sameer Asher has diagnosed as a broadly neoliberal discourse, the legal profession itself stars as the key barrier to access to justice: It is slow to adopt technology, restricts entry with excessive licensure requirements, and bogs down in technicalities. Let’s…