CategoryDiscourse

Discourse publishes shorter articles that are timely, interdisciplinary, and novel. Discourse strives to serve as a platform for scholars, ideas, and discussions that have often been overlooked in traditional law review settings. Because we seek to publish pieces that are accessible to legal and non-legal audiences alike, Discourse articles are generally between 3,000 and 10,000 words. Like our print journal, Discourse articles are published on Westlaw, Lexis, and in other legal databases, as well as our own website. Beginning with Volume 68, Discourse began publishing special issues of Law Meets World.

Discipline Outside the Schoolhouse Doors: Anti-Black Racism and the Exclusion of Black Caregivers

Abstract This Essay calls upon the civil rights and education justice communities to expand their vision of school discipline law and policy reform to include the often ignored, yet deeply impacted lives of parents, caregivers, and families.  Deploying what critical race theorists define as storytelling or counternarratives, we share Nyla’s story to bring forward an all too common deployment of...

Judges, Lawyers, Legal Theorists, and the Law in Nazi Germany (1933–1938); Kristallnacht; and My Parents’ Escapes from the Nazis

I. Introduction How did the legal system in Germany enable the deprivation of the rights of Jews and, ultimately, the Holocaust in which six million Jews, including 1.5 million children, were murdered? How could state-sponsored and legalized evil be permitted in a civilized country in the twentieth century? The core answer, as this Essay will explain, is that German society—including, shamefully...

Critical Race Theory: Inside and Beyond the Ivory Tower

Abstract The history of Critical Race Theory (CRT) is inextricably intertwined with the history of student activism on law school campuses.  This activism was sparked in resistance to the dominant legal education system and done with the goal of cultivating alternative spaces where law students could learn how to tackle and dismantle the seemingly permanent structures of subordination in the...

Connecting Race and Empire: What Critical Race Theory Offers Outside the U.S. Legal Context

Abstract The renewed solidarity across movements and borders in recent years underscores the importance of transnational understandings of racial justice.  This is particularly true in the current moment, in which global crises such as migration and climate change are laying bare the persistent impacts of structural racism and colonial subordination around the world.  In this Essay, I argue that...

Yes, Critical Race Theory Should Be Taught in Your School: Undoing Racism in K–12 Schooling and Classrooms Through CRT

Abstract Despite panicked calls from the right to keep Critical Race Theory (CRT) out of the K–12 classroom, the authors assert that CRT, one of many theoretical frameworks used in ethnic studies, is needed to address the entrenched status quo of well-documented inequity through racism in schooling.  Rather than deny CRT is being taught in schools, the authors embrace CRT as a tool to disrupt the...

Protect Black Girls

Abstract At its core, Critical Race Theory (CRT) provides us with a panoply of necessary tools and a lens through which to analyze the multilayered relationship between Black girls, their education, and the criminal legal system.  Florida’s history, especially the historical landscape of Central Florida, distinctly highlights the grave importance of CRT when attempting to understand how society...

Critical Race Theory: Another Casualty in the Attack on Facts

Abstract The attack on Critical Race Theory is the latest attempt to undermine the interracial coalition that has been building over the last twenty years.  In the wake of the murder of George Floyd in May of 2020, a global movement for Black lives ensued, which in turn motivated a calculated resistance that mobilized around education.  Not unlike the attempts of the past to stall racial...

Professionalism as a Racial Construct

Abstract This Essay examines professionalism as a tool to subjugate people of color in the legal field.  Professionalism is a standard with a set of beliefs about how one should operate in the workplace.  While professionalism seemingly applies to everyone, it is used to widely police and regulate people of color in various ways including hair, tone, and food scents.  Thus, it is not merely that...

Whiteness as Guilt: Attacking Critical Race Theory to Redeem the Racial Contract

Abstract The year of racial justice awakening following George Floyd’s 2020 murder have been accompanied by a rise in attacks on Black thought, including Critical Race Theory, led by far-right activists who are invested in maintenance of a white supremacist status quo in the United States.  This Essay uses artist Kara Walker’s 2014 Sugar Sphinx to contextualize the critiques on Critical Race...

The Mandate for Critical Race Theory in This Time

Abstract A necessary conclusion from Critical Race Theory (CRT) is that Black people cannot look to the law for justice because racism is baked into the law.  As a result, the movement for Black liberation cannot rely on the law for just outcomes.  This result does not, however, mean that we have to abandon legal interventions altogether.  Instead, for those of us who are lawyers working...

Coroporate Accountability and Worker Empowerment

Book Review An Equal Place: Lawyers in the Struggle for Los Angeles. By Scott Cummings. Oxford University Press. 2020. Pp. ix, 688. Introduction Scott Cummings’s An Equal Place is a monumental rendition of the history of Los Angeles’s social movements with a multifaceted set of actors working together to obtain equality for low-wage workers.  At just over 500 pages long, the book is a brilliant...

The Jurisprudence of Trousered Apes

Abstract This Essay uses scholarly debate about the U.S. Supreme Court’s September 2021 decision on the Centers for Disease Control’s pandemic eviction ban to argue that legal elites’ view of the law is useless as it fails to capture the law’s social reality.  As a more accurate lens, the Essay uplifts and sketches an alternative perspective on law it calls, “The Jurisprudence of Trousered Apes...

Becoming a Law Teacher: Three Stories - 2021 Rutter Award Acceptance Speech

Abstract Each year, the UCLA School of Law presents the Rutter Award for Excellence in Teaching to an outstanding law professor. On April 28, 2021, this honor was given to Professor Hiroshi Motomura. UCLA Law Review Discourse is proud to continue its tradition of publishing a modified version of the ceremony speech delivered by the award recipient. *  *  * Thank you very much, Dean Mnookin, and...

Monuments of American Sorrow

Abstract The COVID-19 pandemic not only exposed the socio-political and economic hardships that plague vulnerable communities across the United States, but it also challenged academicians with caregiving responsibilities.  Teaching from home threatened the very notion of work-life balance.  Compounding these pressures, faculty members were tasked with teaching online amidst the traumas of the...