Sessions Information

  • April 30, 2021
    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
    Session Type: Works-in-Progress
    Session Capacity: N/A
    Hotel: N/A
    Room: N/A
    Floor: N/A
    Conceptualizing Movement Lawyering: Generalizing from the Context of Immigration Enforcement in the United States

    In this article, Professors Cimini and Smith attempt to ground emerging conceptions of movement lawyering in the context of campaigns against Obama-era immigration enforcement initiatives in the United States from 2009-2014. These campaigns involved lawyers, organizers, activists, and impacted communities in multi-modal, dispersed, trial-and-error problem-solving. Based on interviews with critical actors on both sides of the campaign and review of internal government documents, we reconstruct the campaign in order to generalize the aspects of movement lawyering that led to successes. The article assesses the import of individual and group-autonomy enhancing dynamics and institution-changing dynamics within different law and social movement models. Scholars have used many different labels to describe lawyering for social change, including community lawyering, cause lawyering, demosprudence, campaign lawyering, law-and-organizing, critical lawyering, solidarity lawyering, and liberal lawyering. In this article we use axes related to parties’ roles, power relationships, storying, and methods to distinguish the lawyering we studied from these other related descriptions. We define one possible newer conception of movement lawyering and find that the model enhanced autonomy and produced significant and potentially lasting effects in terms of autonomy enhancement and institutional change. Identifying unique features that made a difference, we examine how such a model could be replicable at different scales. In this article, we check our assumptions, provocations and proposals with the actors who were involved at different levels and on different sides of the campaign, and we report back on their feedback and reactions.

    Shackled: A Narrative Nonfiction Book

    Professor Sharpless writes that, in December 2017, U.S. immigration authorities shackled, assaulted, and straightjacketed 92 African men and women and attempted to deport them by plane to Somalia. When Newsweek broke the story, government officials lied about what happened. This narrative nonfiction book tells the story of the harrowing two-day failed deportation flight to Somalia, the resulting class action litigation, and two men’s search for safety in the U.S. Written for a general audience, as well as law students and others interested in the law or immigration, Shackled educates readers about the fundamentals of our deportation and detention system, federal court litigation, and asylum law. Shackled brings to life the harsh consequences of our deportation system and the struggle for justice of those caught up in it.

    Shackled delivers a rich account of the stories of two protagonists who were on the flight and includes a historical exposition of the social and political forces that drove them out of Somalia. Their gut-wrenching stories of violence and resilience are set against the backdrop of the civil war in Somalia, the dissolution of the central government, and the rise of extremist groups.

    The legal narrative will be of particular interest to law students, prospective law students, and others interested in the law, as it provides an unvarnished view of class action litigation, including the pitfalls, hard choices, and inevitable mistakes associated with advocating for a group. The book would make an ideal companion to a law school course on immigration, civil procedure, or lawyering.

Session Speakers
University of Washington School of Law
Works-in-Progress Presenter

University of Miami School of Law
Works-in-Progress Presenter

Brandeis University, Legal Studies Program
Works-in-Progress Presenter

Session Fees
  • Works in Progress Group 11: Community Economic Development: $0.00