By Austin Sarat, Stuart A. Scheingold

reason attorneys and Social activities seeks to reorient scholarship on reason legal professionals, inviting students to contemplate reason lawyering from the point of view of these political activists with whom reason legal professionals paintings and whom they search to serve. It demonstrates that whereas all reason lawyering cuts opposed to the grain of traditional understandings of criminal perform and professionalism, social circulation lawyering poses distinctively thorny difficulties.

The editors and authors of this quantity discover the next questions: What do reason attorneys do for, and to, social routine? How, whilst, and why do social activities flip to and use legal professionals and felony innovations? Does their use of attorneys and felony ideas increase or constrain the success in their objectives? And, how do hobbies form the legal professionals who serve them and the way do attorneys form the activities?

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Sample text

First, while many sociolegal scholars view conservative rights mobilization as “simply a status quo reaction to . . ” In other words, evangelical cause lawyers reconstrued and redeployed progressive rights talk. Den Dulk acknowledges that it is “somewhat surprising . . ” The agenda of lawyers for the evangelical movement was, however, broader and more ambitious than can be captured by comparisons to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the battle against the legal discrimination suffered by AfricanAmericans.

But, with a few exceptions, these movements had declined or shifted to mostly defensive action by the 1980s. And, indeed, few would dispute that contemporary America is both more hostile to most familiar types of progressive democratic rights movements and more supportive of neoconservative or reactionary movements. These reflections on context lead us to a two-part conclusion. Empirically, we note how the shifts in the contemporary American landscape, in spite of their generally reactionary direction, may nevertheless be opening up new sites of struggle for progressive movements.

We aim, first, to provide historical backdrop for many of the other essays in this volume. But in so doing, we shall also argue, second, for greater scholarly attention to the social context of cause lawyering activity in general. Although our empirical focus is on the United States, we nevertheless intend our contribution to be relevant also for studies of cause lawyering and social movements in other nations. It is appropriate in this regard that most social movement scholarship is selfconsciously comparative in character; it aims to develop general conceptual and analytical categories that are useful for comparing different contexts.

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