ATKINSON Berkeley Law, University of California
The US Congress’ reliance on “credit”
as a tool of liberation and equality following the Civil Rights and Women’s
Right Movements of the 1960’s and 1970’s suggests that Congress viewed credit
as a reliable and viable social good.
This valorization of credit,
however, explicitly excluded any meaningful consideration of the countervailing
force of debt. Given that debt necessarily accompanies credit as extended
and then used, in order for credit to be a social good, debt also has to be a
reliable and viable social good.
Yet debt has itself functioned as a mechanism of the very subordination in marginalized communities that Congress’ invocation of “credit” hoped to address. Credit cannot, in fact, meaningfully function as a social good without due attention to and solution for the work of debt as a social ill.
Professor Abbye Atkinson’s research focuses on the law of debtors and creditors as it affects economically disenfranchised communities. Her work examines how certain legal institutions—such as consumer bankruptcy—that were created with a purpose of improving economic health do not attend to and may actually exacerbate existing inequalities experienced by economically disenfranchised groups. Her recent work has explored structural inequality in the Bankruptcy Code, and whether and how bankruptcy law might serve as a back-stop against debt that results from social problems such as intractable mortgage discrimination and policing for profit. Her work is forthcoming in the Stanford Law Review and has been published in the Vanderbilt Law Review, the Arizona Law Review, and the Michigan Journal of Race and Law.
Berkeley Law, Atkinson was a Thomas C. Grey Fellow and Lecturer in Law at
Stanford Law School and the Reginald F. Lewis Fellow at Harvard Law
School. Previously she worked as an associate attorney in the San
Francisco office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, and she served as a law clerk
to the Honorable Ronald M. Gould of the United States Court of Appeals for the
Ninth Circuit and for the Honorable Marilyn Hall Patel of the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California. She
graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School and earned her undergraduate
degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to attending
law school, she worked as a special education teacher in California public
Carlos A. Ball is Distinguished Professor of Law and Judge Frederick Lacey Research Scholar at Rutgers University. He has published several book on LGBT rights, including The First Amendment and LGBT Equality (Harvard University Press, 2017), After Marriage Equality (NYU Press, 2016), and Same-Sex Marriage and Children (Oxford University Press, 2014). He is currently serving as Senior Editor of Oxford University Press’s LGBT Politics and Policy Research Encyclopedia.He teaches courses on Constitutional Law, the First Amendment, and Sexuality, Gender Identity, and the Law.
In this Hennick/IFLS co sponsored talk, Professor Ball will outline his arguments, to be published as “The Queering of Corporate America: How Big Business Went from LGBT Adversary to Ally” (Beacon Press, forthcoming 2019), and answer questions about his arguments and their implications. He will explore the largely untold story of how the U.S. LGBT rights movement, in the decades following Stonewall, helped to turn large American companies from pervasive discriminators against sexual minorities and transgender individuals to defenders of LGBT equality. Big businesses are essentially conservative institutions that do not usually weigh in on controversial “culture war” issues. His talk will argue that corporate support for LGBT equality—as manifested, for example, recently in corporate America’s vehement opposition to so-called transgender bathroom laws—is an exception to that general rule. At a time when the LGBT rights movement in the U.S. is facing considerable political backlash following crucial victories such as the attainment of marriage equality across the country, corporate America has become a crucial ally of LGBT people.
For those who liked the original “How to be a better Chair of an academic panel” handout, here’s version 2, enriched via crowdsourcing. New thoughts about keeping time (we’ve got signs for you, download here) some science (“calling on a woman to ask the first question will increase the number of women who ask questions: Carter, Croft, Lukas & Sandstrom, Women’s visibility in academic seminars: women ask fewer questions than men. Available at http://bit.ly/2JQfhiw”) and a gentle reminder that you don’t have to call on people in order, nor do you have to let the first person with their hand up ask the first question.
Thanks to all of you who chimed in via twitter and other modes! And to those of you who wondered why we don’t take on the whole organization of academic conferences, we agree there is space for someone out there to do a “Just have a better CONFERENCE” tipsheet. We’re looking forward to it.
“Vulnerability, Equality and Environmental Justice: The Potential and Limits of Law” Professor Sheila Foster,
Sheila R. Foster is University Professor and the Albert A. Walsh Professor of Real Estate, Land Use and Property Law at Fordham University. She is also the faculty co-director of the Fordham Urban Law Center. She served as Vice Dean of the Law School from 2011-2014 and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2008-2011. Professor Foster is the author of numerous publications on land use, environmental law, and antidiscrimination law. Her early work was dedicated to exploring the intersection of civil rights and environmental law, in a field called “environmental justice.” Her most recent work explores the legal and theoretical frameworks in which urban land use decisions are made. Land use scholars voted her article on Collective Action and the Urban Commons (Notre Dame Law Review, 2011) as one of the 5 best (out of 100) articles on land use published that year. Professor Foster is the recipient of two Ford Foundation grants for her on environmental justice and urban development. Professor Foster is also the coauthor of a recent groundbreaking casebook, Comparative Equality and Antidiscrimination Law: Cases, Codes, Constitutions and Commentary (Foundation Press, 2012). She has taught and conducted research internationally in Switzerland, Italy, France, England, Austria, Colombia, Panama, and Cuba.
In this paper and talk, Prof. Foster suggests that one way to “to better integrate equality norms into environmental decision making — is through the lens of vulnerability. From an equality standpoint, legal theorists have advanced vulnerability as an alternative to the limitations of anti discrimination law and as a more robust conception of the role of the state in protecting vulnerable populations. In the environmental context, social vulnerability analysis and metrics have long been employed to assess and address the ways that some subpopulations are more susceptible to the harms from climate change and environmental hazard events like hurricanes and floods. The use of vulnerability, either as a policy framework or as social science, has not been utilized much in the pollution context to capture the array of factors that shape the susceptibility of certain places and populations to disproportionate environmental hazard exposure. This limitation suggests that a fertile area of research is how to utilize vulnerability metrics in regulatory and legal analysis to better protect these populations and communities.”
All are welcome to join us for this talk. Lunch will be available, so please do RSVP so that we can ensure sufficient quantity