LPE Field Guide: A Brief Reading List

LPE Field Guide: A Brief Reading List

As we promised in our post on Monday, below is a list of recommended readings—mostly, but not entirely, from the blog—that helped orient us to the critical and constructive moves of LPE. Our choices are highly partial and subjective, and there is a vast literature on the Blog and elsewhere that can help to orient…

K-Sue Park on How She Teaches Property

K-Sue Park on How She Teaches Property

This past semester, Emily Prifogle hosted a series of conversations on “Race and Property in Historical Perspective”. As part of that series, she talked with K-Sue Park about her article discussing how she teaches property. This conversation seems likely to be of interest to LPE-ers who teach or study property (and others!).

Teaching Trusts & Estate as Critical Wealth Genealogy

Teaching Trusts & Estate as Critical Wealth Genealogy

Step into a Trusts & Estates classroom and you’ll find the first thing most students learn is that the guiding principle in U.S. wealth transfer law is freedom of disposition. As the Restatement (Third) of Property tells us: “The organizing principle of the American law of donative transfers is freedom of disposition. Property owners have…

Teaching Penal Abolition

Teaching Penal Abolition

In April, the New York Times ran a profile on abolitionist visionary and scholar Ruth Wilson Gilmore, and the Harvard Law Review published an entire issue on prison abolition. This fall, the University of Texas Law School Human Rights Center is hosting a conference on abolition. The new journalistic outlet The Appeal runs abolitionist pieces…

Against the Economic Pie:  How “Redistribution” Limits Political Economic Analysis

Against the Economic Pie: How “Redistribution” Limits Political Economic Analysis

What gets lost when we describe social or environmental justice as redistribution?   This retrenches a fundamental binary—maximization versus distribution—in which maximizing logically comes first. By initially producing a bigger “economic pie,” law will be able to provide more generous slices to those who currently receive too little. The term “re-distribution” makes explicit the hierarchical, temporal…

Contextualizing Contract Law: An LPE 101 Reading List

Contextualizing Contract Law: An LPE 101 Reading List

Contract is, of course, part of the core legal infrastructure that makes markets possible. But it is more than that. As an ideal type, it is at the core of all individualist social, moral, and political theories that seek to account for human sociality while avoiding social structure. Contract represents the ideal of being able…

Labor Relationships & and the Legal Vision of 1L Contracts

Labor Relationships & and the Legal Vision of 1L Contracts

Contracts is more than an area of law; it is a key piece of the vision we lawyers bring to many other areas of law. The 1L Contracts course supplies a foundation-stone of the “pre-analytic vision” with which lawyers will eventually think about many other things, including labor relationships. Labor regulation as such is addressed…

It’s Mine, and Yours

It’s Mine, and Yours

I teach in a law school where most students and faculty pride themselves on falling somewhere along a spectrum of progressive, extremely progressive, socialist, and left anarchist. Thus, every year, usually within the first month of starting my first-semester property law course, I find myself surprised that the vast majority of my students appear to…

The Racial Wealth Gap and the Question of Time Zero

The Racial Wealth Gap and the Question of Time Zero

Each year teaching Property Law, I have taught many of the big cases and topics on race and property law, such as M’Intosh and Dred Scott; segregationist turbulence in rights of reasonable access; public accommodations law; racially restrictive covenants; the Fair Housing Act. I never quite had a cohesive idea about this—they each seemed formative.…

Property Law as Poverty Law

Property Law as Poverty Law

I recently interviewed a man in a weakened rural town who makes sausages for a local meat packing business on the 3am shift. He told me about a homeless woman who had come to the meat shop one dark morning with blood-soaked hands. Delirious with cold and exhaustion, she had punched in the glass on…

Teaching from Narrative in Property Law – Part II of II

Teaching from Narrative in Property Law – Part II of II

In my last post, I argued that property law needs to tell new stories, and in doing so, a key benefit would be that we would “uncover” the relationship between property and equality.  In this second post, I will turn to another benefit to using narrative as a teaching tool–the ability to “frame” abstract concepts…

Teaching from Narrative in Property Law – Part I of II

Teaching from Narrative in Property Law – Part I of II

My teaching in Property Law is shaped by stories (if I am feeling fancy, I call them narratives). Whether true, false, or fictive (to borrow Carlos Ginzburg’s wonderful delineation), narratives enrich my teaching in property law because they offer a way to interrogate how property regimes manifest political, social and economic hierarchies within different societies.…