The main purpose of this site is to provide former students with easy access to my recommendations for upcoming Supreme Court cases. But I suppose if I’m to post a webpage, I should add some filler…
I hold a law degree from the George Washington University (and a B.A. in politics from the University of California at Santa Cruz) and I practiced public interest law for several years prior to coming to the University Writing Program and developing a course on the theme of “law as a force for social change.” In my scholarly research, I am particularly interested in the relationships among law, protest, and considered social discourse.
My first job out of law school was at the Partnership for Civil Justice, which litigates the most significant First Amendment cases in Washington, DC. In 2003, I started a small nonprofit, the People’s Law Resource Center, to focus more on economic justice litigation and advocacy, including producing analyses of legal developments that will impact the rights of low-income people.
However, I have always been interested in the law primarily as a means of critiquing social developments. Respected constitutional provisions and thoughtful judicial opinions form common ground and part of our collective consciousness, reflecting principles that we are not always sure how to realize. At its best, the legal system can be a venue for informed public debate, where we recall and develop our most basic principles of what we want from organized society and determine the course of action that those values dictate. Getting it to serve this high purpose, however, frequently can be effected only through broad social justice movements and the progressive development of ideas and societal attitudes. It is this belief and abiding hope that brings me to undergraduate education.
In addition to teaching and writing for journals and a treatise, I still write for courts from time to time, primarily in my capacity as Chair of the Amicus Committee of the National Lawyers Guild. For more information about my background, please see my publications and course information.