ClassCrits Workshop III: Rethinking Economics and Law After the Great Recession

Rethinking Economics and Law After the Great Recession

A conference cosponsored by
the University at Buffalo Law School and the Baldy Center for Law & Social Policy
Co-Organized by Angela Harris, Martha McCluskey and Athena Mutua 

May 17-18, 2010



We are living in interesting times indeed. Richard Posner, father of the law and economics movement and tireless cheerleader for the propositions that common law distributions are always efficient and government regulation is usually for the worse, now admits in a new book that financial markets ought to be regulated. Who is at fault for his earlier misapprehension? Shockingly, Judge Posner points the finger at economists. Even economists themselves, normally a self-satisfied bunch, are experiencing a crisis of confidence as the human world experiences an unprecedented disturbance in the force. The Great Recession, many economists agree, has forced a rethinking of basic assumptions about markets and about economic analysis itself.

In this changed material and intellectual climate, what should become of law and economics? Will laissez-faire, rational man classic economic ideology and analysis rebound like the Dow? Or have the fundamentals changed? And what is the place of radical analysis of political economy in this time of upheaval? Is a critical law and economics or economics and law (more) thinkable?

The Rethinking Economics and Law After the Great Recession workshop will feature presentations and discussion of heterodox economic theory and its implications for law in the wake of the crisis within economic theory. Our goal is to engage with the rich scholarship of non-neoclassical economists, whose work is largely ignored in contemporary legal scholarship. Progressive economists will give an overview of their alternative perspectives on theory and policy. These discussions are meant to aid us in further developing a critical, interdisciplinary analysis of law and economic inequality.

Program Schedule

Monday, May 17, 2010

Opening Comments

Dean Makau Mutua

Organizers: Angela Harris, Martha McCluskey, and Athena D. Mutua

Heterodox Economics: Is There a “There” There? Athena D. Mutua, Moderator

The opening session introduces the economists among us. Each will take about five to seven minutes to address the following two questions after which our discussion will begin:

1. What does “heterodox economics” mean to you? Is there a “there” there in heterodox economics, or is the field too splintered into multiple fragments to matter?

2. In what tradition or traditions would you situate your own work? What are the assumptions of that tradition?

Remarks: Randy Albelda, Jane D’Arista, Doug Koritz, Carol Heim, Julie Matthaei, Charles Whalen, Randall Wray

Thinking Through How the Market Actually Works, Angela Harris, Moderator

Lynne Dallas & Martha McCluskey, Lead Discussants

Discussion: Shared Readings

  • Frederic S. Lee, “Heterodox Economics,” in Palgrave Dictionary of Economics (2008)
  • Julie Matthaei, “Confession of a Radical Economics Prof,” in AdBusters No. 85 (2009)
  • Randy Albelda, Robert W. Drago, Steven Shulman, “The Basics of Political Economy” in Unlevel Playing Fields: Understanding Wage Inequality and Discrimination (2001)
  • Marc Lavoie, “The Characteristics of Heterodox Economics” in Introduction to Post Keynesian Economics (2009)

Making Sense of the Financial Crisis

Part I: Financial, Political and Regulatory Institutions Martha McCluskey, Moderator

Remarks: Jane D’Arista, Jennifer Taub, Randall Wray

Roundtable: Tim Canova, James Hackney, Tayyab Mahmud, Steven Ramirez

Making Sense of the Financial Crisis

Part II: Racial, Heteropatriarchal, and Class Dynamics – Insights for an Integrated Theory? Athena D. Mutua, Moderator

Remarks: Randy Albelda, Julie Matthaei, Charles Whalen

Roundtable: Anthony Farley, Emma Jordan, Vicki Schultz

Dinner: Monday Night at the Movies: Excerpts, “American Casino,” “Capitalism: A Love Affair” Comments: andré douglas pond cummings, Lisa Pruitt

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Engaging the Narratives of Economics and Class in Law, Angela Harris, Moderator

In this session, several of the legal scholars will discuss the ways in which economic arguments and economic class features in their areas of law or research.

Remarks: Ken Casebeer, César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, Martha Mahoney, James Pope

Roundtable: Jane D’Arista, Julie Matthaei, Randall Wray

Engaging the Narratives of Law in Economic Development – Local, National, and Global, Martha McCluskey, Moderator

Remarks: Randy Albelda, Fran Ansley, Shalanda Baker, Rashmi Dyal-Chand, Carol Heim, Charles Whalen

Concluding Thoughts: From “Law and Economics” to (Heterodox) “Economics and Law?”

Special Session: Planning the Future

Participant Biographies

Randy Albelda is a professor of economics and Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Social Policy at University of Massachusetts Boston. She has worked as research director of the Massachusetts State Senate’s Taxation Committee and the legislature’s Special Commission on Tax Reform. Her research and teaching covers a broad range of economic policies affecting low-income women and families. She is the coauthor of the books Glass Ceilings and Bottomless Pits: Women’s Work, Women’s Poverty, Unlevel Playing Fields: Understanding Wage Inequality and Wage Discrimination, and The War on the Poor: A Defense Manual. Albelda co-led the Bridging the Gaps project bringing together researchers and advocates from nine states and Washington DC to examine the gaps between basic needs and earnings in light of welfare reform in the 1990s.


Fran Ansley lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, and has been engaged with issues of social and economic justice there for many years. She is Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of Tennessee College of Law.

Primary concerns of Ansley’s present research and activism are two: first, the situation of low-wage immigrant workers and the terms of their encounter with local economies, communities and movements; and second, the prospects for building new forms of solidarity among working class people across lines of race and nation.


Shalanda Baker received her B.S. from the United States Air Force Academy and her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law. She served as an Air Force officer prior to her discharge under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and has since advocated for repeal of the policy. During law school, Shalanda was awarded a Rappaport Honors Program in Law and Public Policy Fellowship, and in conjunction therewith conducted research regarding Massachusetts’s education policies and the No Child Left Behind Act. Thereafter, she served as a legal extern to federal district court judge Martin Jenkins in the Northern District of California; worked as a summer associate in the Boston office of Bingham McCutchen LLP; and interned at the Peter Cicchino Youth Project of the Urban Justice Center of New York, where she provided advocacy services to low-income and homeless LGBTQ youth.

Shalanda received the Massachusetts Black Judges Award for her law school achievements, and upon graduating she clerked for Justice Roderick Ireland of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. She worked as a corporate and project finance associate in the Boston office of Bingham McCutchen LLP for two years prior to being assigned to the firm’s Tokyo office.

Shalanda will join the LL.M. class of 2011 at Columbia Law School this fall. Her scholarly interests include examining issues at the intersection of sustainable development and finance.


Timothy A. Canova is the Betty Hutton Williams Professor of International Economic Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California. Prior to Chapman, he was a tenured professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law. He has also taught as a visitor at the University of Arizona College of Law and the University of Miami School of Law.

Canova received his B.A. from Franklin & Marshall College, J.D. degree cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center, and master’s diploma in graduate legal studies from the University of Stockholm where he was a Swedish Institute Visiting Scholar. He previously served as a legislative assistant to the late U.S. Senator Paul E. Tsongas and practiced law with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in New York City.

Canova’s research crosses the disciplines of international monetary law, public finance, and economic history. He was an early critic of financial deregulation and warned early of the dangers of the bubble economy. He has authored more than two dozen articles and book chapters from an institutional law and Keynesian economics perspective, including articles in the Harvard Law & Policy Review, American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Brooklyn Law Review, Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy, and UC Davis Law Review.

“My research takes a critical law and economics approach to central banking and financial regulation, focusing on the Federal Reserve in particular as an agency that by legislative design has been captured by private financial interests. I consider constitutional challenges to delegated concentrations of financial power in historical perspective and as an unaddressed rule of law problem. I am interested in what heterodox economics can teach us about the many policy implications of central bank capture and the flawed historical narratives and myths which provide legitimacy for these institutions that remain largely unaccountable to elected branches of government.”


Ken Casebeer

Kenneth M. Casebeer, Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law, earned an A.B., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University in 1971 and a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1974. In 1975-76, he held the position of legal scholar at the Kennedy Institute for Bio-Ethics at Georgetown University, where he taught in the Department of Philosophy. A professor at the University of Miami School of Law since 1974, he served as Associate Dean during 1986-87. Professor Casebeer teaches courses in constitutional law, jurisprudence, and work law: the law governing employment relations and collective bargaining.

“Hello, My brief presentation of interest/provocation is titled “Is an Economic Method Based on an Ontology and Epistemology of Human Nature as Interdependent and Mutually Constructed Possible?” In this I am channeling my inner Sen and possibly Roemer, but I want to take social construction, freedom as authentic egalitarian participation, and truly democratic practice further. Is there an empirical methodology of maximizing (?) mutual rationality? The PROUT and Social Currency people don’t have it, Bowles is trying conceptually with non-Walrasian ideas, the Marxians I’ve found I don’t see as proceeding from the same claims about human nature. Is it a lost cause?”


andré douglas pond cummings is a Professor of Law at the West Virginia University College of Law where he teaches Business Organizations, Civil Procedure, Entertainment Law, Securities Regulation, and Sports Law. Professor cummings is currently a Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Iowa College of Law, Spring semester 2010. Prior to joining the West Virginia University College of Law faculty, Professor cummings worked as a judicial law clerk for Associate Chief Justice Christine M. Durham of the Utah Supreme Court and for Chief Judge Joseph W. Hatchett of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. In addition, he worked at the Chicago, IL based law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, focusing his practice on complex business transactions including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and securities offerings of publicly traded corporations. Simultaneously, cummings represented clients in the sports and entertainment industries, including athletes in the National Football League, record labels, and a variety of authors, including Hollywood screenwriters and novelists.

cummings has written extensively on issues regarding investor protection, racial justice, and affirmative action, publishing in the Indiana Law Journal, Santa Clara Law Review, Nebraska Law Review, Fordham Journal of Corporate Law, Harvard BlackLetter Law Review, Brandeis Law Journal, Marquette Sports Law Review, and Thurgood Marshall Law Review amongst many others. cummings is currently completing work on a book entitled Reversing Field: Examining Commercialization, Labor, Gender, and Race in 21st Century Sports Law (West Virginia University Press) (with Anne Marie Lofaso) and will publish The Evolution of Street Knowledge: Hip Hop’s Influence on Law and Culture in 2010. Noted public intellectual Dr. Cornel West has recently stated that cummings’ scholarly “reputation goes far beyond . . . the nation, and [is] heard in every corner of the globe, wrestling with legacies of legal thinking on one hand and popular culture on the other.”

cummings has taught as a Visiting Professor at Syracuse University College of Law, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law, Japan Campus and as a Visiting Lecturer at Fundação Getulio Vargas, Direito Rio (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Universidad de Guanajuato (Guanajuato, Mexico), and Centro Universitário Vila Velha (Vila Velha, Brazil). cummings has been recognized as Professor of the Year on three occasions since 2004, including the University Distinguished Professor Award by the West Virginia University Foundation. cummings holds a J.D. from Howard University School of Law where he graduated cum laude and with high distinction.


Professor Lynne L. Dallas is a progressive corporate law scholar who has developed an interdisciplinary perspective on corporate behavior and performance, referred to as the power coalition model, which has influenced her writing on a variety of corporate governance topics. She has published law review articles and book chapters that, among other matters, make forward-looking proposals for reform of shareholder voting rights and the structure of corporate boards of directors. She has also published writings on Enron and how corporations may develop ethical climates.

She is a founding member of the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law School’s Section on Law and Socio-Economics and has written a textbook for law students on law and public policy from a socio-economic perspective. She currently teaches and writes in the areas of corporations, securities regulation, comparative corporation law, and law and socio-economics. She has made presentations on corporate governance and law and socioeconomic topics at a number of law and business conferences in the United States and abroad, including Amsterdam, Vancouver, Geneva, London, Montreal, and Melbourne, and has taught courses in Paris and Florence as well as at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Miami, St. John’s University School of Law and American University Washington College of Law.

Prior to her decision to teach, Professor Dallas was an associate at the Wall Street law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell where she practiced as a securities, antitrust and corporate law litigator and corporate practitioner. She is a founding member of the Women’s Corporation Law Professor Group which organizes presentations at the Law and Society Annual Meetings and provides support to female corporate law professors. Professor Dallas has volunteered her time to the gay community to promote equal rights and neighborhood groups to oppose the installation of cell towers in their neighborhoods. She has been honored by the University of San Diego as a Herzog Endowed Scholar 1999-2000 and 2008-2009 and a University Professor 2002-2003.

I have been interested in heterodox economics for many years. I was a founding member of the Executive Committee of the AALS Section on Socio-Economics and wrote a textbook, Law and Public Policy: A Socioeconomic Perspective (Carolina Academic Press 2005) and other articles on the subject, notably “Law and Socioeconomics in Legal Education” 55 Rutgers Law Review 855 (2003). I have benefitted greatly over the years by what I have learned from heterodox economists, particularly A. Alan Schmid, who graciously commented on my book prior to its publication. I am very interested in discussing the financial crisis with heterodox economists at the workshop. I am particularly interested in the topic of short termism which I am currently researching.


Jane D’Arista writes and lectures on economics and finance and is a Research Associate at the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the Financial Markets Center. She served as a staff economist for the Banking and Commerce Committees of the U.S. House of Representatives, as a principal analyst in the international division of the Congressional Budget Office and has lectured in graduate programs at Boston University School of Law, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the University of Utah and the New School University. Her publications include a two volume history of U.S. monetary policy and financial regulation as well as studies of international and domestic monetary systems, financial restructuring, the U.S. international investment position and capital flows to emerging economies.


Professor Rashmi Dyal-Chand‘s research and teaching focus on property law, poverty and economic development. Her recent projects examine credit, including microlending and credit card lending, as a means of economic development. Her current research explores property formalization and wealth accumulation by the poor in the United States. Professor Dyal-Chand’s article, “Human Worth as Collateral,” won the 2006 Association of American Law Schools scholarly papers competition for new law teachers. She teaches a Property, Intellectual Property and a seminar on Sustainable Income Development. She is also an editor of the law school’s SSRN online publication, Human Rights and the Global Economy.


Anthony Paul Farley

Anthony Paul Farley is the James Campbell Matthews Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence at Albany Law School. Farley has been professor of law at Boston College, honored as the 11th Holder of the Haywood Burns Chair in Civil Rights at CUNY School of Law, and visiting professor at Northeastern and Golden Gate Universities. Farley’s work has appeared in After the Storm: Black Intellectuals Explore the Meaning of Hurricane Katrina (Troutt ed., 2006); Cultural Analysis, Cultural Studies & the Law (Sarat & Simon eds., 2003); Crossroads, Directions & a New Critical Race Theory (Valdes et. al. eds., 2002); Black Men on Race, Gender & Sexuality (Carbado ed., 1999); and Urgent Times: Policing and Rights in Inner-City Communities (Meares & Kahan eds., 1999). His work has also appeared in the Yale Journal of Law & Humanities, the NYU Review of Law & Social Change, the Cardozo Law Review,Law & Literature, the Michigan Journal of Race & Law and other journals. Farley is a former Assistant United States Attorney for the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia and a former Corporate/Securities Associate with Shearman & Sterling in New York City. He received his BA from the University of Virginia and his JD from Harvard Law School.


Professor James Hackney is on the Northeastern University School of Law Faculty. He has an economics bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California where he graduated magna cum laude. He has a Juris Doctorate degree from the Yale Law School, and was a book review and comment editor for the Yale Law Journal.

Professor Hackney’s scholarly focus is intellectual history. His major publication is Under Cover of Science: American Legal-Economic Theory and the Quest for Objectivity (Duke University Press, 2007). He is currently working on research projects linking the intellectual history of corporate finance theory to the most recent financial crisis. He has an article forthcoming entitled “The Enlightenment and the Financial Crisis of 2008: An Intellectual History of Corporate Finance Theory”, which will be published by the St. Louis University Law Journal as part of a symposium. Professor hackney teaches torts, corporate finance, and financial institutions regulation.

I am currently embarked on a research project that involves examining the relationship between developments in corporate finance theory, financial engineering, and the recent financial crisis. As part of this research, I am interested in the ways in which behavioral economists and finance theorists have acted as a countervailing force against the prevailing corporate finance orthodoxy. I would like to convene with heterodox economist in order to further explore the ways in which serious economic thinkers articulate alternative visions to the free market ethos.


Angela Harris is a visiting professor and Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy Distinguished Scholar for the 2009-10 academic year. A legal scholar in the fields of critical race theory, feminist legal scholarship, and criminal law, Harris is a professor of law and Executive Committee Member for the Center for Social Justice at Berkeley Law School at the University of California.

She received her J.D. (1986) and M.A. (1983) from the University of Chicago and B.A. from the University of Michigan (1981).

Her publications include Race and Races: Cases and Resources for a Diverse America (with Juan Perea, Richard Delgado and Stephanie Wildman) (West Group Publishing (2000)) and Gender and Law: Theory, Doctrine, Commentary (with Katherine Bartlett) (Aspen Law & Business (1998)).

Harris has served as a law clerk to Judge Joel M. Flaum of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, and as an attorney in the San Francisco office of Morrison & Foerster. She was a visiting professor at Stanford Law School (1991), Yale Law School (1997) and Georgetown Law Center (2000).

In 2003 Harris received Berkeley Law School’s Rutter Award for Teaching Distinction, an annual award that honors a Boalt Hall professor who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to teaching. She also received the 2003 Mathew O. Tobriner Public Service Award, an annual prize that recognizes Bay Area law school professors for their commitment to academic diversity and for mentoring the next generation of lawyers.

“I think and write a lot about social subordination on the grounds of race, gender, and sexuality, and am interested in finding a way to talk about economic institutions and practices that makes room for theories of subordination. “Political economy” seems to be one such rubric. However, traditional economic theory seems disconnected from and uninterested in social identity and I am hoping that heterodox economics provides a way in to link these different approaches to social analysis. I am also interested in the economics and law project because of my leftist political commitments and my desire to see economics become the study of the institutional conditions necessary and sufficient to promote human flourishing, rather than the study of allocation of scarce resources.

In addition to thinking and writing about the relationships between race and class, gender and class, and sexuality and class, I have taught seminars on economic justice and environmental justice, and a course on law, markets, and culture. In each of these classes I have looked for ways to bridge the seeming chasm between economics-minded students who have no interest in “politics” or moral analysis, and social-justice-minded students who have no knowledge or interest in markets, economic analysis, or market institutions. Without a common language I worry that “equity” and “efficiency” will continue to be seen as at odds with one another, or at best belonging to entirely separate worlds.”


Carol E. Heim is a Professor of Economics and also affiliated with the Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her primary fields are economic history and urban and regional economics. She received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 1982.

Her current research is on urban growth and property development in nineteenth-century Chicago and twentieth-century Phoenix. She is especially interested in how economic value is created (or lost) in urban areas and how it is distributed among relevant agents: landowners, developers and builders, business firms, financial institutions, governments, homeowners, and other urban residents. Recent research also has focused on municipal fiscal policy. Her work has appeared in the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Cambridge Journal of Economics, Economic History Review, International Regional Science Review, Journal of Economic History, and Regional Studies. She has been involved with local, regional, and state-level policymaking related to regional planning, growth management, and affordable housing.


César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Tulsa College of Law. He will join the faculty of Capital University Law School in the fall of 2010 as an Assistant Professor. His research focuses on race and immigration policing. His articles have appeared in the Albany Law Review, Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics, and Public Policy, St. Thomas Law Review, among other academic journals, and various magazines, newspapers, and web sites.

“Currently, my research is on immigration prisons and their voracious appetite for inmates. The largest of these prisons are typically located in extremely out of the way small towns (or, often, outside out of the way small towns). As with “standard” prisons where criminal offenders are housed, immigration prisons are frequently operated by private prison contractors and sought by local politicians’ who desire revenue and jobs. Though my focus has been on the constitutionally questionable practices necessary to populate these prisons (i.e., transferring folks from one part of the country to another to fill bed space that costs less money in the rural South and Southwest than the Northeast), I’m interested in economic approaches that challenge the prevailing wisdom that detaining ever increasing numbers of immigrants is sound public policy.”


Emma Coleman Jordan

Professor Emma Coleman Jordan is best known for establishing the field of economic justice in legal theory, and for her work in financial services and civil rights. Her most recent book is Economic Justice: Race, Gender, Identity and Economics, the capstone to a series of articles, chapters, and books she has written on the subject. Her forthcoming projects concern economic justice, in addition to a highly anticipated book on lynching. At the Law Center she teaches courses in Economic Justice, Commercial Law, Torts, and Financial Services.

Before coming to Georgetown, she taught for twelve years at the University of California, Davis. She began her teaching career at Stanford Law School as a teaching fellow. She has been active in the financial services field, serving as chair of the Financial Institutions Committee of the California State Bar, drafter of the statute to regulate bank check holding practices, and co-counsel in class actions challenging bank stop-payment fee charges. Her article, “Ending the Floating Check Game” (1985), grew out of this involvement. She organized the Financial Institutions and Consumer Financial Services section of the AALS.

She is a past-president of both the Association of American Law Schools and the Society of American Law Teachers. She was elected to membership in the American Law Institute in 1984. Professor Jordan is no stranger to Washington; she was a law student here, serving as editor-in-chief of the Howard Law Journal and worked summers here at Covington & Burling and the State Department Legal Advisors Office. She was a White House Fellow in 1980-81, serving as special assistant to the Attorney General. She was counsel to Professor Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. Her recent writings include, Economic Justice: Race, Gender, Identity and Economics (with Angela P. Harris, Foundation Press, 2005), “A History Lesson, Reparations for What?” 58 New York Univ, Annual Survey of American Law (2003), and Lynching the Dark Metaphor of American Law (forthcoming).


Martha Mahoney is a Professor of Law at the University of Miami, where she has taught since 1990. She has published extensively in the fields of racial and economic inequality and feminist legal theory. Her most recent article is “What’s Left of Solidarity? Reflections on Law, Race, and Labor History,” 57 Buffalo L. Rev. 1515 (2009). She is co-author of a casebook with John Calmore and Stephanie Wildman, Social Justice: Professionals, Communities, and Law (West 2003, 2d ed. forthcoming 2011). A former labor and community organizer, Professor Mahoney received a B.A. from Regents College, an M.A. in History from Tulane University, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. She has served as Chair of both the Poverty Law and Property Law sections of the Association of American Law Schools. From 2000-2004, she was a member of the Board of Governors of the Society of American Law Teachers.

After the collapse of electronic voting machines during the September 10 2002 primary in Florida, Professor Mahoney became a founding member of the Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition. She has done extensive research on electronic voting issues, racial justice, and the particular interests of minority language voters.

My current work on property and economic inequality focuses on mortgage foreclosures and rights to counsel. My current work on voting includes an article-in-progress on internet voting as well as continuing research on planning and implementation of alternative language access.


Tayyab Mahmud is a professor of law and Director of the Center for Global Justice at Seattle University School. He served as the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development from 2007-2009. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science, and before going to law school taught International Relations and Political Science at various universities in Pakistan and the United States. A graduate of University of California Hastings College of the Law, he is licensed to practice in California and Pakistan. His legal experience includes working with the California Attorney General’s Office, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, the San Francisco-based firm Pettit & Martin, and the Pakistan-based firm Walker Martineau Saleem. He started his career as a law professor at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1989. He was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School in 1997-1998, and a Visiting Professor at Seattle University School of Law in 2003-2004. Between 2004-2006, he was Professor of Law and Chair, Global Perspectives Group, at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

From 2006-2008, he was Co-President of the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT), an organization of progressive law teachers working for justice, diversity, and academic excellence. Currently, he serves on the Advisory Committee of the Board of Governors of SALT, and the Steering Committee of Latina/o Critical Legal Studies, Inc. (LatCrit). He has served on the editorial boards of The American Journal of Comparative Law, Hastings Int’l & Comparative Law Review, Journal of Third World Legal Studies, and the Journal of Humanities Research.

He has published extensively in the areas of comparative constitutional law, human rights, international law, legal history and legal theory. His primary research areas are critical legal theory, colonial legal regimes, international law, and post-colonial legal systems.

“I quit studying economics taught at college when the indifference curve appeared completely indifferent to the socio-economic reality around me. Marxist political economy spoke to my concerns more effectively. In graduate school, I gained familiarity with global political economy of underdevelopment and imperialism. Over the past two years, my interest in political economy was rekindled during my exploration of the problem of urban slums. I have posted a draft of the paper on slums that I am working on. I am particularly interested in further exploring the concept and process of accumulation by dispossession and am currently working on a paper that is looking at the global financial system and the recurrent sovereign crises through that prism.”


Julie Matthaei is Professor of Economics at Wellesley College where she teaches courses in introductory microeconomics, the political economy of gender, race, and class, and feminist economics. Prior to joining the Wellesley faculty in 1978, she taught at Yale University and Quinnipiac College.

Professor Matthaei attended Stanford University and received a Diplome d’Etudes Economiques Generales from the University of Paris (1973), a B.A. from the University of Michigan (1974) and an M.A. (1975) and Ph.D. (1978) from Yale University.

Julie is the author of An Economic History of Women in America: Women’s Work, the Sexual Division of Labor, and the Development of Capitalism (Schocken Books, 1982), which was selected as an “Outstanding Academic Book, 1983” by Choice Magazine. With Teresa Amott, she is also the author of Race, Gender and Work: A Multicultural Economic History of Women in the United States (South End Press, 1991; revised edition, 1996). She co-edited (with Jenna Allard ’07 and Carl Davidson), Solidarity Economy: Building Alternatives for People and Planet (Changemaker Publishing, 2008). She has been published in numerous journals, including the American Economic Review, Eastern Economic Journal, Radical America, Review of Radical Political Economics, Feminist Economics, Social Concept, Socialist Review, and Science, as well as in popular journals such as Adbusters and Dollars & Sense.

At Wellesley, Professor Matthaei has served as Chair of the Economics Department (1984-86), Co-Director of the Women’s Studies Program (1980-81), Chair of the Committee on Extra-Mural Graduate Fellowships and Scholarships (1982-83), and Co-Chair of the Committee Against Racism and Discrimination (1997-1999). Currently, she serves on the Committee for Minority Recruitment, Hiring, and Retention.

Since 2007, Julie has been researching and organizing the solidarity economy in the U.S. She has co-planned sessions at the U.S. Social Forum (Atlanta, June 2007), and the Forum on the Solidarity Economy (Amherst, March 2009), and is co-founder and board member of the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network (


Martha T. McCluskey is Professor of Law at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Along with Athena Mutua, I’ve co-organized a series of ClassCrits workshops and panels aimed at bringing together scholars interested in critical analysis of economic inequality. My writing broadly tackles the connections between equality, economics and law, and has addressed topics such as feminist analysis of family care policy, workers’ compensation retrenchment, insurance regulation, disability theory, welfare reform, corporate power and class in constitutional law, and left legal theory.

I’ve been exploring how the “law and economics” movement has been a major intellectual force rationalizing and promoting growing inequality (tied to race, gender, economic class, and more). Despite much talk of backtracking from free-market fundamentalism, and despite a move toward more technical and less overtly ideological strands of “law and economics,” I’m concerned that neoclassical and neoliberal assumptions still dominate U.S. policy and legal theory and sharply constrain visions of justice. How can the work of heterodox economists better inform efforts by progressive law scholars and practitioners to push against free-market ideology and policy and open up space for discussion and advocacy of more far-reaching change? And how can legal academics help apply, promote and develop the work of heterodox economists? Ideas about law have been central to the intellectual ground of free-market theory and policy, and the institutional resources of law schools have been vital to increasing the political power of neoliberalism. Why might critical legal scholarship be important to “new economic thinking”?

My interest is particularly collaborations between progressive economists and law scholars that would go beyond discrete technical discussion of specific policy areas, as important as that is. In particular, I’m interested in how progressive economists could help us break out of the basic conceptual boxes that perpetuate and legitimate low expectations about the possibilities for using law to promote meaningful equality. Much of the power of “law and economics” has been its ability to put a pseudo-scientific guise on moral and political arguments and assumptions so that conservative or anti-egalitarian policies appear to represent superior logic or inevitable fact, and so that progressive policies appear naive and impractical. Expanding what counts as “economics” and emphasizing the conflicting ideologies and interests within “economics,” is important to recapturing and redirecting discussion of law and economics. How might we analyze and strategize around the daunting material and institutional barriers to progressive economics and law, when law schools and think tanks are awash in funding for orthodox economic policy?

I’m beginning work on a book project tentatively titled a Field Guide to Law, Economics and Justice that aims to provide a relatively accessible critique of the master inequality narrative of law and economics and analytical steps for critiquing mainstream economic arguments about law. It will include a compendium of economic concepts often used in law, such as transaction costs, moral hazard, externalities, unintended consequences, efficiency. For each concept, I aim to give a short critical explanation of how it is used to promote inequality and how to deconstruct and counter that use. I will also discuss how law and economics has shaped the assumptions, arguments and framework for various areas of law, and how various strands of law and economics and challenges to law and economics affect how we think about economic justice.

I’d like to include some basic concepts and assumptions from heterodox economics that could be made accessible to lawyers. I’d also like to better gear this project to the current political and intellectual context. Now that Posner, Greenspan and other law-and-economics folks claim to have moved beyond free market fundamentalism what really are the intellectual stumbling blocks to robust theories and arguments for economic justice?


Frank W. Munger

A scholar of public law and a specialist in social science research, Frank W. Munger is Professor of Law at New York Law School where he teaches Constitutional Law, Social Welfare Policy, Local Government, Land Use Planning and seminars on contemporary justice, poverty, and globalization issues.

Currently he is using his expertise in social science research to study the poverty of low-wage workers, global human rights, and America’s rapidly evolving social welfare policies.

He has conducted research in the United States, Europe, and Southeast Asia, and his recent books include Laboring Below the Line: The New Ethnography of Poverty, Low-wage Work, and Survival in the Global Economy (2002), a collection of essays by leading poverty scholars, economists, historians, and lawyers on the future of low-wage work and poverty in a globalizing economy, based on papers delivered at a conference he organized with funding from the Russell Sage Foundation. Rights of Inclusion: Law and Identity in the Lives of Americans with Disabilities (2003), is coauthored with Professor David Engel (SUNY Buffalo) and received the Gustavus Meyers Human Rights Award in 2003. An earlier coauthored article, “Rights, Remembrance and the Reconciliation of Difference,” published in the Law & Society Review, received the first annual Law and Society Article Award in 1997. Rights of Inclusion describes the subtle and informal influence of rights on the everyday lives of persons with disabilities. His most recent book, Law and Poverty (2006) is an edited collection of classic interdisciplinary essays published in 2006 intended as a resource for teachers and poverty scholars. He is currently writing a book about his empirical research on the effects devolution and privatization of welfare administration. He is also conducting fieldwork in Southeast Asia (Thailand) through interviews with lawyers, law teachers, and ordinary people about the impact of recent constitutional reforms and global pressure for legal change.


Athena D. Mutua is a Professor of Law at the State University of New York at Buffalo. She teaches courses in banking law and regulation, civil rights law, corporations, and critical race theory; and writes in the areas of critical race and feminist legal theory. Some of her recent work includes the edited collection entitled, Progressive Black Masculinities (Routledge, 2006); and articles entitled, “Restoring Justice to Civil Rights Movement Activists: New Historiography and the ‘Long Civil Rights Era’” (2008); “The Rise, Development, and Future Directions of Critical Race Theory,” (Denver University Law Review, 2006); and “Gender Equality and Women’s Solidarity across Religious, Ethnic, and Class Difference in the Kenya Constitutional Review Process” (William and Mary Journal of Women and Law, 2006). The latter article involved activism and research for which she received the UB Exceptional Scholars Young Investigator’s Award. One of her latest pieces explores issues of race and gender as they relate to class structures and introduces some of the concepts and boundaries of a project she helped to found called ClassCrits. It is entitled, “Introducing ClassCrits: From Class Blindness to a Critical Legal Analysis of Economic Inequality,” (Buffalo Law Review, 2008).

“I am interested in exploring whether heterodox eonomics offers some tools that might aid in disrupting the ways in which current economic structures and mainstream economic analyses seem to facilitate and reproduce elite control over the economy and racialized and gendered allocations of material wealth, power, and well-being.”


Jim Pope is Professor of Law and Sidney Reitman Scholar at the Rutgers University School of Law, Newark, New Jersey. Before entering the legal profession, he worked as a welder at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts, where he was an active member of the Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers.

His articles on worker lawmaking and workers’ rights have appeared in a variety of publications including the Buffalo Law Review, Columbia Law Review, Labor History, New Labor Forum (with Peter Kellman & Ed Bruno), and the Yale Law Journal.

“I tend to draw on economic theory in fairly short bursts, so — instead of a full essay — I am submitting two short excerpts that are representative of my (admittedly low-level) use of economics.

The first is from Class Conflicts of Law II: Solidarity, Entrepreneurship, and the Deep Agenda of the Obama NLRB, 56 BUFF. L. REV. 653, 663-67 (2009). The basic idea of the essay is that the Obama Board will have to confront, reject, and replace the rational choice model that has pervaded NLRB doctrine for the past several decades.

The second is from Contract, Race, and Freedom of Labor, 119 YALE L.J. 1474, 1554-56 (forthcoming 2010). It summarizes the reasons why the labor “market” is unlike other markets. The context is an argument that the workers’ rights to organize and strike are protected under the involuntary servitude clause of the Thirteenth Amendment.” [Read Exerpts]


Lisa R. Pruitt is Professor of Law at the University of California, Davis, School of Law (King Hall). Her recent scholarship is about the intersection of law with rural livelihoods, considering a range of ways in which rural places are distinct from what has become the implicit urban norm in legal scholarship. Pruitt reveals, for example, how the economic, spatial, and social features of rural locales profoundly shape the lives of residents, including the junctures at which they encounter the law. She challenges the association of the rural with the local by revealing the ways in which rural lives and rural places are enmeshed with national and global forces including legal ones.

Professor Pruitt clerked for Judge Morris Sheppard Arnold of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in 1992-93 and was a legal assistant to Judge George H. Aldrich at the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, The Hague, The Netherlands, from 1993-96. She served as a consultant to the International Criminal Tribunal, Rwanda, in Kigali in 1996. There she focused on improving the investigation and prosecution of sexual assaults that had been committed as part of the 1994 genocide. Prior to joining the U.C. Davis law faculty in 1999, Pruitt practiced law in the London office of Covington & Burling. She holds a PhD (Laws) from University College London where she studied as a Marshall Scholar. Her B.A. and J.D. degrees are from the University of Arkansas.

Professor Pruitt has also taught as a visiting assistant professor at Northwestern University Law School, Chicago, and she has lectured on the law faculties of the University of Amsterdam and Leiden University in The Netherlands.

Professor Pruitt is chair of the AALS Section on Women in Legal Education for 2010. She teaches and writes in the fields of feminist legal theory, law and rural livelihoods, torts, and sociology of the legal profession.


Steven Ramirez

Steven A. Ramirez is Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago, where he also directs the Business and Corporate Governance Law Center. He is presently writing a book entitled Toward a More Perfect Capitalism. The book will be published by NYU Press in 2010-2011, when he hopes to get his life back. His publications, which include two new law journal articles on the subprime debacle are available on SSRN. He blogs for the Corporate Justice Blog and the Voces Latinas Blog.


Vicki Schultz is the Ford Foundation Professor of Law and the Social Sciences at Yale Law School, where she teaches courses on employment discrimination law, social science and the law, workplace theory and policy, family law, work, gender and the law, feminist theory, and related subjects. Schultz has written and lectured widely on a variety of subjects related to antidiscrimination law, including workplace harassment, sex segregation on the job, work-family issues, working hours, and the meaning of work in people’s lives. Her published work includes “The Sanitized Workplace Revisited,” in Martha Fineman, Jack Jackson & Adam Romero, eds., Feminist and Queer Legal Theory (2009), “Sex and Work,” 18 Yale Journal of Law and Feminism 223 (2006), “The Need for a Reduced Workweek in the United States,” in Judith Fudge & Rosemary Owen, eds., Precarious Work, Women, and the New Economy: The Challenge to Legal Norms (2006), “The Sanitized Workplace,” 112 Yale Law Journal 2061 (2003), “Life’s Work,” 100 Columbia Law Review 1881 (2000), and “Reconceptualizing Sexual Harassment,” 107 Yale Law Journal 1683 (1998).

Professor Schultz is currently working on an intellectual history of antidiscrimination law which traces the emergence of a new conceptual framework for understanding and addressing discrimination. With Michael Yarbrough, she is also writing an analysis of the likely effects of marriage on the division of housework and childcare in gay and lesbian couples. She recently wrote a piece called “Feminism and Workplace Flexibility” for the Connecticut Law Review Symposium on the Reduced Workweek, and she gave the keynote address for the University of Chicago Legal Forum symposium on Civil Rights and the Low Wage Worker.

Professor Schultz is a past president of the Labor and Employment Section of the Association for American Law Schools and a past Trustee of the Law and Society Association. She has held significant fellowships, including the Evelyn Green Davis fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and fellowships at the Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale University. She has also been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School (her alma mater) and will visit UCLA Law School in 2010-11. A former trial attorney at the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Schultz began her academic career at the University of Wisconsin Law School where she became interested in law and sociology. At Yale, she runs the Workplace Theory and Policy Workshop and has also headed the Work and Welfare group, an interdisciplinary group of scholars who examine legal and social inequality in labor market institutions and social welfare regimes. Schultz lives in Woodbridge, Connecticut with her daughter Natalie and their cat Jack.


Jennifer S. Taub is a Lecturer and Coordinator of the Business Law Program within the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Professor Taub researches and writes in the area of corporate governance theory (including corporate social responsibility), shareholders’ rights, financial intermediation, business regulation and consumer protection. Previously, she was an Associate General Counsel for Fidelity Investments in Boston and Assistant Vice President for the Fidelity Fixed Income Funds. Professor Taub graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1993 and earned her undergraduate degree, cum laude, with distinction in the English major from Yale College in 1989.

Since joining academe in 2004, Professor Taub has been an invited guest at several industry and academic conferences. She was a panelist at the “New ideas for Limiting Bank Size” Murphy Conference on Corporate Law at Fordham Law School, a discussant at the Sixth Annual “Capital Matters: Managing Labor’s Capital Conference” sponsored by the Harvard Law School Pensions and Capital Stewardship Project, Labor and Worklife Program. She presented a paper at a comparative corporate governance conference at Oxford University’s Said Business School. In addition, she was invited to moderate a workshop at the Mutual Fund Directors Forum. Most recently, she was selected to present a paper at the Elfenworks Center for the Study of Fiduciary Capitalism at St. Mary’s College of California. Professor Taub has received research funding including a grant from the Millstein Center for Corporate Governance & Performance at the Yale School of Management. She was also awarded an honorarium in connection with a paper entitled, “Enablers of Exuberance,” concerning the legal and corporate governance actions and inactions that led to the recent global financial meltdown.

Her article “Able but Not Willing: The Failure of Mutual Fund Advisers to Advocate for Shareholders’ Rights,” was published in 2009 in the Journal of Corporation Law. It has been cited (in its working paper and published form) by leading academics and by the OECD in a paper regarding “Corporate Governance and the Financial Crisis.” In addition, she co-authored a book chapter for the Wiley Companion to Finance Ethics series entitled “Ethics in Commercial Bankruptcy,” forthcoming August 2010 and completed a book chapter entitled, “The Sophisticated Investor and the Global Financial Crisis,” for a University of Pennsylvania Press book, Institutional Investors, Risk/Return Tradeoffs and Corporate Governance Failures, edited by James Hawley, Shyam Kamath and Andrew T. Williams. She was invited to write a book chapter “Understanding the Dynamics of the Crisis: Financial Institutions and Markets,” for Oxford University Press Handbook on the Political Economy of the Financial Crisis, Gerald Epstein and Martin H. Wolfson, editors.

Professor Taub is currently writing a book on the financial crisis for Yale University Press. She is also occasionally writes pieces for The Baseline Scenario, The Race to the Bottom and the Huffington Post. She has been interviewed by publications including Compliance Week and the Washington Independent. She is a member of S.A.F.E.R. (Economists’ Committee for Stable, Accountable, Fair and Efficient Financial Reform).

At Fidelity, she advised senior management within the Fidelity transfer agents, broker-dealers, investment advisers and other mutual fund administrators on compliance with the federal securities laws. Professor Taub began her career in the Trade Practices and Regulatory Law Department at Weil, Gotshal & Manges in New York where she counseled clients in the areas of telecommunications, antitrust, advertising and intellectual property.


Charles J. Whalen is Executive Director and Professor of Business and Economics at Utica College and Visiting Fellow in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. His research interests include macroeconomics, labor and employment relations, and public economics. He is editor of three books: Human Resource Economics and Public Policy (W.E. Upjohn Institute 2010), New Directions in the Study of Work and Employment (Edward Elgar, 2008), and Political Economy for the Twenty-First Century (M.E. Sharpe, 1996). Whalen served as associate economics editor at BusinessWeek and taught at Zhonghsan University (Guangzhou, China) as a Visiting Professor and Fulbright Senior Scholar. He participates regularly in the meetings of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Socio-Economics.


L. Randall Wray is a Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City as well as Senior Research Associate, the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability (at UMKC), and a senior scholar at the Levy Economics Institute. He is a past president of the Association for Institutionalist Thought (AFIT) and served on the board of directors of the Association for Evolutionary Economics (AFEE).

A student of Hyman P. Minsky while at Washington University in St. Louis, Wray has focused on monetary theory and policy, macroeconomics, and employment policy. His current research is a critique of orthodox monetary policy and the development of an alternative. He is writing on full employment policy, modern money, and the monetary theory of production.

He has published widely in journals and is the author of Understanding Modern Money: The Key to Full Employment and Price Stability (Elgar, 1998) and Money and Credit in Capitalist Economies (Elgar 1990), and the editor of Credit and State Theories of Money (Elgar 2004). He joined the UMKC faculty as Professor of Economics, August 1999. He taught for about a dozen years at the University of Denver and has been a visiting professor at Bard College, the University of Bologna, and the University of Rome (La Sapienza). Wray received a B.A. from the University of the Pacific and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis.


1 Response to ClassCrits Workshop III: Rethinking Economics and Law After the Great Recession

  1. Pingback: 2010 Classcrits Workshop: Reality-based Economics and The Great Recession | ClassCrits

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