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The Cultural Lives of Cause Lawyers

  • Date Published: March 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521884488

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About the Authors
  • This book seeks to illuminate what we call the cultural lives of cause lawyers by examining their representation in various popular media (including film, fiction, mass-marketed non-fiction, television, and journalism), the work they do as creators of cultural products, and the way those representations and products are received and consumed by various audiences. By attending to media representations and the culture work done by cause lawyers, we can see what material is available for citizens and others to use in fashioning understandings of those lawyers. This book also provides a vehicle for determining whether, how, and to what extent cause lawyering is embedded in the discourses and symbolic practice around which ordinary citizens organize their understanding of social, political, and legal life. This book brings together research on the legal profession with work that takes up the analysis of popular culture. Contributors to this work include scholars of popular culture who turn their attention to cause lawyers and experts on cause lawyering who in turn focus their attention on popular culture. This is a joining of perspectives that is both long overdue and fruitful for both kinds of scholarship.

    • Combines research on the legal profession and work which takes up the analysis of popular culture
    • Contributors include scholars of popular culture who focus on cause lawyers and experts on cause lawyering who in turn focus on pop culture
    • Joining of perspectives that is both long overdue and fruitful
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… a series that almost single-handedly, quickly and efficiently helped define, as well as develop, this exciting new field.' International Journal of Law in Context

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2008
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521884488
    • length: 416 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 156 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.66kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Cultural Work of Cause Lawyers:
    1. No sacrifice is too great for the cause!: cause(less) lawyering and the legal trials and tribulations of Gone with the Wind
    2. Purpose driven lawyers: evangelical cause lawyering and the culture war
    3. Cause lawyers and cracker culture at the constructive edge: a 'band of brothers' defeats big tobacco
    Part II. The Cultural Construction of Lawyers and Their Causes:
    4. 'They all have different policies, so of course they have to give different news': images of human rights lawyers in the British press
    5. Ed Fagan and the ethics of causes: who stole identity politics?
    6. Of windmills and wetlands: the press and the romance of property rights
    7. 'The kids are alright': cause lawyering on television in 1960s America
    8. Nothing to believe in: lawyers in contemporary films about public interest litigation
    9. 'Of course he just stood there
    he's the law': two depictions of cause lawyers in post-authoritarian Chile
    10. Paulina Escobar as cause lawyer: 'litigating' human rights in the shadows of Death and the Maiden
    Part III. The Cultural Reception of Lawyers and Their Causes:
    11. Cause lawyering 'English style': reading Rumpole of the Bailey
    12. Now you see it, now you don't: cause lawyering, popular culture, and a civil action
    13. Not what they expected: legal services lawyers in the eyes of legal services clients.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Public Interest Advocacy Seminar
  • Editors

    Austin Sarat, Amherst College, Massachusetts
    Austin Sarat is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence Political Science at Amherst College and Five College Fortieth Anniversary Professor. He received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin and JD from Yale Law School. He is former President of the Law and Society Association; former President of the Association for the Study of the Law, Culture and the Humanities; and President of the Consortium of Undergraduate Law and Justice Programs. He is author or editor of more than fifty books, including Mercy on Trial: What It Means to Stop an Execution; When the State Kills: Capital Punishment and the American Condition; Something to Believe in: Politics, Professionalism, and Cause Lawyers (with Stuart Scheingold); and The Blackwell Companion to Law and Society, amongst many others. Sarat is editor of the journal Law, Culture and the Humanities and of Studies in Law, Politics and Society. His public writing has appeared in such places as the Los Angeles Times and the American Prospect, and he has been a guest on National Public Radio, The News Hour, Odyssey, The Abrams Report on MSNBC, World News Tonight on ABC, and The O'Reilly Factor. His teaching has been featured in the New York Times and on The Today Show. In 1997, Sarat received the Harry Kalven Award given by the Law Society Association for distinguished research on law and society. In 2004, he received the 2004 Reginald Heber Smith Award, given biennially to honor the best scholarship on the subject of equal access to justice. It was given in recognition of his work on cause lawyering and the three books he has produced on the subject. In 2006, the Association for the Study of Law Culture and the Humanities awarded him the James Boyd White Prize for distinguished scholarly achievement in recognition of his 'innovative and outstanding' work in the humanistic study of law.

    Stuart Scheingold, University of Washington
    Stuart Scheingold, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, has written widely on rights, the politics of crime and punishment, cause lawyering, and, early in his career, on law and politics in the European Union. Given this range of interests, the CLASS program, with its comparative focus and interdisciplinary resources, provides a unique setting for intellectual engagement. He is co-director (with Austin Sarat) of the International Cause Lawyering Project, whose most recent volume, Cause Lawyering and the State in the Global Era, was published in 2001. In addition, Scheingold (with William Lyons) also contributed a chapter entitled, 'The Politics of Crime and Punishment' to the National Institute of Justice volume The Nature of Crime: Continuity and Change, Volume 1 of the Criminal Justice 2000 series. Among his books are The Politics of Rights, The Politics of Law and Order, The Politics of Street Crime, and Europe's Would-Be Polity (with Leon Lindberg). In 2001 he was awarded the Harry J. Kalven Jr. Prize by the Law and Society Association for 'empirical scholarship that has contributed most effectively to the advancement of research in law and society'. He was Walter S. Owen Visiting Chair in Law, University of British Columbia, 1998, and in 1999 was appointed an Associate at the Centre for Urban and Community Research at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

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