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Critical Perspectives Reading List

The first year professors for the class of 2023 have curated this list of critical perspective readings.


The first year professors for the class of 2023 have curated this list of critical perspective readings. The purpose of these sources is to ensure that critical perspectives are not separate from, but are instead fully integrated into, our first year curriculum.

Civil Procedure

Suzette Malveaux, A Diamond in the Rough: Trans-Substantivity of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Its Detrimental Impact on Civil Rights, 92 Wash. U. L. Rev. 455 (2014).

Shirin Sinnar, The Lost Story of Iqbal, 105 Georgetown L. J. 379 (2017).

Eric K. Yamamoto, Critical Procedure: ADR and the Justices’ “Second Wave” Constriction of Court Access and Claim Development, 70 SMU L. Rev. 765 (2017).

Jerry Kang, Nilanjana Dasgupta, Kumar Yogeeswaran, & Gary Blasi, Are Ideal Litigators White? Measuring the Myth of Colorblindness, 7 J. Empirical Legal Studies 886 (2010).

Brooke D. Coleman, #SoWhiteMale (federal civil rulemaking), 113 NW. U. L. Rev. 407 (2018).


Blake D. Morant, The Relevance of Race and Disparity in Discussions of Contract Law, 31 New Eng. L. Rev. 889 (1997).

Debora L. Threedy, Feminists & Contract Doctrine, 32 Ind. L. Rev. 1247 (1999).

Deborah Post & Deborah Zalesne, Vulnerability in Contracting: Teaching First Year Law Students about Inequality and Its Consequences (2010).

Criminal Law

The US Supreme Court Should Stop the Execution of a Man Sentenced, in Part, Because He’s Black

  • Here is a very short article from the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund on the terrible facts underlying Tharpe v. Sellers. To read more about racism in capital cases, read the NAACP's amicus brief linked at the end of the article.

Legal Writing Skills and Values


Cheryl I. Harris,  Whiteness as Property, 106 Harv. L. Rev. 1707 (1993).

Mark Lazarus III, An Historical Analysis of Alien Land Law: Washington Territory and State 1853-1889,12 U. Puget Sound, 197 (1987).

Joseph William Singer, Indian Title: Unraveling the Racial Context of Property Rights, or How to Stop Engaging in Conquest, 10 Alb. Gov't L. Rev. 1 (2017).


On the impact that race, gender and ethnicity have on torts damages awards:

How Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Impact Your Life's Worth: Discrimination in Civil Damage Awards

  • A short and highly readable paper by the Lawyers’ Committee on Civil Rights

Ronan Avraham and Kim Yuracko, Torts and Discrimination, 78 Ohio St. L. L. 661 (2017).

  • A much longer and more technically detailed article on the topic

California Bars the Calculation of Tort Damages Based on Race, Gender and Ethnicity

  • A short article on California’s first in the nation statutory prohibition of the use of race, gender, and ethnicity in the calculation of tort damages.

On the consequences of law’s failure to define discrimination as an actionable tort:

Sandra Sperino, Let’s Pretend Discrimination is a Tort, 75 Ohio St. L. J. 1105 (2014).