How Lawyers Lose Their Way: A Profession Fails Its Creative Minds

Private Lives: Families, Individuals and the Law

Rights from Wrongs: A Secular Theory of the Origins of Rights

DNA and the Crimminal Justice System: The Technology of Justice


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How Lawyers Lose Their Way
A Profession Fails Its Creative Minds



By Jean Stefancic and
Richard Delgado.

Durham and London:
Duke University Press, 2005.
Call number: KF300.S698 2005




From the Publisher
In this penetrating book, Jean Stefancic and Richard Delgado use historical investigation and critical analysis to explore the unlikely friendship between Archibald MacLeish and Ezra Pound through 40 years of correspondence. MacLeish, a successful but dissatisfied lawyer gave up his career to pursue his literary dreams. The authors use this scenario to diagnose the cause of the pervasive unhappiness among practicing lawyers. Most previous writers have blamed the high rate of burnout, depression, divorce, and drug and alcohol dependency among these highly paid professionals on the narrow specialization, long hours, and intense pressures of modern legal practice. Stefancic and Delgado argue that these professional demands are only symptoms of a deeper problem: the way lawyers are taught to think and reason. They show how legal education and practice have been rendered arid and dull by formalism, a way of thinking that values precedent and doctrine above all, exalting consistency over ambiguity, rationality over emotion, and rules over social context and narrative. Drawing on MacLeish's story, Stefancic and Delgado contend that literature, public interest work, and critical legal theory offer tools to contemporary attorneys for finding meaning and overcoming professional dissatisfaction.

About the Authors
Jean Stefancic is Research Professor and Richard Delgado is Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where both are Derrick Bell Fellows.

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Private Lives
Families, Individuals and the Law


By Lawrence M. Friedman

Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2004. Call number: KF505.F75 2004





From the Publisher
What is a family? Grandparents, mom, dad, and kids around a Thanksgiving turkey? An egg mother, a womb mother, a sperm donor, and their mutual child? Two gay men caring for their adopted son? In this provocative essay, a leading American legal historian argues that laws about family are increasingly laws about individuals and their right to make their own, sometimes contentious, choices.

Drawing on many revealing and sometimes colorful court cases of the past two centuries, Private Lives offers a lively short history of the complexities of family law and family life--including the tensions between the laws on the books and contemporary arrangements for marriage, divorce, adoption, and child rearing. Informal common-law marriage was once widely accepted as a means to regularize property arrangements, but it declined as the state asserted its authority to dictate who could marry and reproduce. In the twentieth century, state attempts to control private life were swept away, most famously in the creation of "no-fault" divorce, a system in which laws that made divorce nearly unattainable were circumvented.

Private life, the author argues, as a legitimate sphere, was once basically confined to life in nuclear families; but the modern law of "privacy" extends the accepted zone of intimate relations. The omnipresence of the media and our fascination with celebrity test the boundaries of public and private life. Meanwhile, laws about cohabitation and civil unions, among others, suggest that family and commitment, in their many forms, remain powerful ideals.

About the Author
Lawrence M. Friedman is Marion Rice Kirkwood Professor of Law at Stanford University.

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Rights from Wrongs
A Secular Theory of the Origins of Right


By Alan Dershowitz

New York: Basic Books, 2004. Call Number: JC571.D3985 2004




From the Publisher

Where do our rights come from? Does "natural law" really exist outside of what is written in constitutions and legal statutes? If so, why are rights not the same everywhere and in all eras? On the other hand, if rights are nothing more than the product of human law, why should we ever allow them to override the popular will? In Rights from Wrongs, renowned legal scholar Alan Dershowitz puts forward a wholly new and compelling answer to this age-old dilemma: Rights, he argues, do not come from God, nature, logic, or law alone. They arise out of particular human experiences with injustice. Rights from Wrongs is the first book to propose a theory of rights that emerges not from a theory of perfect justice but from its opposite: from the bottom up, from trial and error, and from our collective experience of injustice

About the Author
A columnist, lecturer, book reviewer, and prolific author, Alan Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School

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DNA and the Criminal Justice System
The Technology of Justice



Edited by David Lazer

Cambridge and London: MIT Press, 2004. Call number: KF9666.5.D63 2004

From the Publisher

Is DNA technology the ultimate diviner of guilt or the ultimate threat to civil liberties? Over the past decade, DNA has been used to exonerate hundreds and to convict thousands. Its expanded use over the coming decade promises to recalibrate significantly the balance between collective security and individual freedom. … [T]he use of DNA technology will involve tough trade-offs between individual and societal interests.

This book, written by a distinguished group of authors including US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, explores the ethical, procedural, and economic challenges posed by the use of DNA evidence as well as future directions for the technology. …[T]he book considers bioethical issues raised by the collection of DNA… then turn[s] to the possible genetic bases of human behavior and the implications of this still-unresolved issue for the criminal justice system. Finally, the book examines the current debate over the many roles that DNA can and should play in criminal justice.

About the Editor
David Lazer is Associate Professor of Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University


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Compiled by Bob Menanteaux and Nancy Minton;
Technical Direction: Greg Soejima