Lani Guinier

Bennett Boskey Professor of Law

Hauser 300

617-496-1913

Assistant: Rachel Keeler / 617-495-8304

Biography

Lani Guinier is the Bennett Boskey Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. She became the first woman of color appointed to a tenured professorship at the Harvard Law School. Before her Harvard appointment, she was a tenured professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she had been on the faculty for ten years. Professor Guinier worked in the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice and then headed the voting rights project at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in the 1980s. Professor Guinier has published many scholarly articles and books that are accessible to a more general audience, including The Tyranny of the Majority (1994); Becoming Gentlemen: Women, Law School and Institutional Change (1997) (with co-authors Michelle Fine and Jane Balin); Lift Every Voice: Turning a Civil Rights Setback into a New Vision of Social Justice (1998); The Miner's Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy (2002) (co-authored with Gerald Torres). Professor Lani Guinier has written a new book, The Tyranny of the Meritocracy: Democratizing Higher Education in America (Beacon Press 2015). In her scholarly writings and in op-ed pieces, she has addressed issues of race, gender, and democratic decision-making, and sought new ways of approaching questions like affirmative action while calling for candid public discourse on these topics. Professor Guinier's leadership on these important issues has been recognized with many awards and by ten honorary degrees, including from Smith College, Spelman College, Swarthmore College and the University of the District of Columbia. Her excellence in teaching was honored by the 1994 Harvey Levin Teaching Award from the graduating class at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the 2002 Sacks-Freund Award for Teaching Excellence from Harvard Law School.

Areas of Interest

Lani Guinier, The Tyranny of the Meritocracy: Democratizing Higher Education in America (Beacon Press 2015).
Categories:
Family Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Race & Ethnicity
,
Education Law
Type: Book
Abstract
Standing on the foundations of America's promise of equal opportunity, our universities purport to 'serve as engines of social mobility' and 'practitioners of democracy.' But as acclaimed scholar and pioneering civil rights advocate Lani Guinier argues, the merit systems that dictate the admissions practices of these institutions are functioning to select and privilege elite individuals rather than create learning communities geared to advance democratic societies. Having studied and taught at schools such as Harvard University, Yale Law School, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Guinier has spent years examining the experiences of ethnic minorities at the nation's top institutions of higher education, and here she lays bare the practices that impede the stated missions of these schools. Guinier argues for reformation, not only of the very premises of admissions practices but of the shape of higher education itself, and she offers many examples of new collaborative initiatives that prepare students for engaged citizenship in our increasingly multicultural society.
Lani Guinier, Demosprudence Through Dissent: Foreword, 122 Harv. L. Rev. 4 (2008).
Categories:
Government & Politics
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
,
Family Law
Sub-Categories:
Race & Ethnicity
,
Civil Rights
,
Education Law
,
Judges & Jurisprudence
,
Supreme Court of the United States
Type: Article
Abstract
It is morning, June 28, 2007, in the August amphitheater of the United States Supreme Court. Three prominent black civil rights lawyers wait expectantly. They, along with members of the press and public, are here to bear witness to the Court’s decision in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1. The case involved two cities separated by thousands of miles: Seattle, Washington, and Louisville, Kentucky. Local communities in these far-flung locales had voluntarily attempted to integrate their public schools. On this, the last day of his first full Term, Chief Justice John Roberts gavels the room to order. He then strikes down the plans in a matter of sentences. On behalf of himself and four colleagues, he declares Seattle’s and Louisville’s voluntary school integration plans unlawful because they consider race as a factor in student assignment. With a simple maxim, Chief Justice Roberts and his colleagues destroy what had taken the cities years to build: “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race,” his argument goes, “is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” Moments after Chief Justice Roberts finishes speaking, a voice both incredulous and distressed pierces the High Court’s etiquette. Bristling with barely concealed anger but tempered by the circumspection of the law professor he once was, Justice Stephen Breyer informs those assembled that he takes strong objection to Chief Justice Roberts’s pronouncements of the law. Justice Breyer, too, offers a simple statement: “The majority is wrong.” On a nine-person bench where the give and take between judges and lawyers usually involves rapid-fire exchanges, Justice Breyer proceeds to “hold court” alone for the next twenty-one minutes. No lawyers stand before him; no one is poised to answer questions or to persuade him of one side or the other. Indeed, joined in his dissent by Justices Stevens, Souter, and Ginsburg, Justice Breyer is not asking questions. Instead, he forcefully challenges Chief Justice Roberts’s view of “the law” of the land. “The majority is wrong” to conclude that consideration of race is per se unlawful. To the contrary, when used to include rather than exclude, taking race into account is constitutional. The plans in question, adopted democratically to overcome racial isolation by creating racially diverse schools, are “partly remedial, partly educational, partly civic.” “These plans are not affirmative action plans,” he explains. “School placement here has nothing to do with any students’ merits. . . . Until today the law has allowed school districts to implement these kinds of plans.” The Supreme Court has routinely given “significant practical leeway” to democratically elected school boards to make educational policy that “tries to bring people together.” The five Republican appointees, he suggests, are dictating their own policy preferences in the name of the law. Justice Breyer denounces Chief Justice Roberts’s temerity with sixteen memorable words: “It is not often in the law that so few have so quickly changed so much.” In this Foreword, the author argues that oral dissents, like the orality of spoken word poetry or the rhetoric of feminism, have a distinctive potential to root disagreement about the meaning and interpretation of constitutional law in a more democratically accountable soil. Ultimately, they may spark a deliberative process that enhances public confidence in the legitimacy of the judicial process. Oral dissents can become a crucial tool in the ongoing dialogue between constitutional law and constitutional culture.
Susan Sturm & Lani Guinier, The Law School Matrix: Reforming Legal Education in a Culture of Competition and Conformity, 60 Vand. L. Rev. 515 (2007).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Legal Education
Type: Article
Abstract
The recent energy for reforming legal education focuses on curricular changes that expand students' understanding of what law is, move beyond adjudication and the courtroom, introduce broader forms of knowledge, and develop a wider range of skills. These well-intentioned and carefully analyzed programmatic initiatives may nevertheless founder because of the cultural mismatch between these proposals and the institutions they seek to change. In this essay we argue that successful reform requires taking account of the culture of competition and conformity that permeates law schools. By culture we mean the incentive structures and peer pressure, dominant rituals and unspoken habits of thought that map the physical and psychic terrain for a majority of both students and faculty. That cultural mix exerts a constant pressure to make comparisons along a uniform axis. As a result, the requirement to conform will often trump the invitation to explore. We identify the features of conflict, expertise, professional identities, and incentives that structure and reinforce this culture of competition and conformity within the classroom, the institution, and the larger environment of legal practice. Law school culture emerges from the adversarial idea of law that is inscribed in the dominant pedagogy. It is reinforced by the prevailing metrics of success, which rank order students through relentless public competitions (for grades, jobs, law journals, moot court, and clerkships) and provide very little opportunity for feedback that encourages students to develop more contextually defined or internally generated measures of accomplishment. It is locked in by its resonance with the currency of success in the private bar-money. It is preserved by the detachment of faculty from students' professional self-definition and reinforced by the primary way students learn - in class through questioning by professors in the presence of peers, when students perceive they have either won or lost the interaction. The culture of competition and conformity is an invisible but ubiquitous gravitational force that mediates the impact of curricular reforms on students' learning and decision-making. It discourages faculty from investing the time and intellectual resources necessary to make these reforms work. It saps the collective energy of sympathetic members of both student and faculty constituencies, each of whom has been habituated through their exposure to the culture of law schools into thinking of themselves as individual competitors. For these reasons, it is crucial to identify the aspects of the law school environment sustaining the culture of competition and conformity, so that its dynamics can be addressed as part of any successful reform initiative.
Lani Guinier, Ditch the SATs and ACTs, Bos. Globe, Mar. 10, 2015, at A11.
Categories:
Family Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Race & Ethnicity
,
Education Law
Type: News
Lani Guinier, Redefining Diversity, Re-evaluating Merit, N.Y. Times, Feb. 8, 2015, at ED11.
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
,
Family Law
Sub-Categories:
Discrimination
,
Race & Ethnicity
,
Education Law
Type: News
Lani Guinier, Justice Ginsburg: Demosprudence through Dissent, in The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg 206 (Scott Dodson ed., 2015).
Categories:
Government & Politics
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Supreme Court of the United States
,
Judges & Jurisprudence
,
Biography & Tribute
Type: Book
Abstract
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a legal icon. In more than fifty years as a lawyer, professor, appellate judge, and associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Ginsburg has influenced the law and society in real and permanent ways. Her impact on the law cannot be overstated. Yet no book on Ginsburg’s legacy exists. This book fills that gaping void. This book chronicles and evaluates the remarkable achievements Ginsburg has made over the past half century. Including chapters written by prominent court watchers and leading scholars from law, political science, and history, it offers diverse perspectives on an array of doctrinal areas and on different time periods in Ginsburg’s career. Together, these perspectives document the impressive -- and continuing -- legacy of one of the most important figures in modern law.
Tomiko Brown-Nagin, Lani Guinier & Gerald Torres, Tejas Es Diferente: UT Austin’s Admissions Program in Light of Its Exclusionary History, in Affirmative Action and Racial Equity: Considering the Fisher Case to Forge the Path Ahead 63 (Uma M. Jayakumar & Liliana M. Garces eds., Routledge 2015).
Categories:
Family Law
,
Constitutional Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Fourteenth Amendment
,
Race & Ethnicity
,
Discrimination
,
Education Law
Type: Book
Lani Guinier, Courting the People: Demosprudence and the Law/Politics Divide, 127 Harv. L. Rev. 437 (2013).
Categories:
Legal Profession
,
Labor & Employment
,
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Judges & Jurisprudence
,
Employment Practice
,
Biography & Tribute
Type: Article
Dahlia Lithwick, Tom Geoghegan, Ian Haney Lopez, David Cole, Garrett Epps, Linda Hirshman, Herman Schwartz, Lani Guinier, Kevin Johnson, Nan Aron, Jamie Raskin, Kenji Yoshino & Victor Navasky, Following Souter, The Nation, May 25, 2009, at 3.
Categories:
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Supreme Court of the United States
,
Judges & Jurisprudence
Type: Article
Abstract
 David Cole, Lani Guinier, Dahlia Lithwick, Linda Hirshman and others think outside the box for the next Supreme Court nominee.
Lani Guinier, Courting the People: Demosprudence and the Law/Politics Divide, 89 B.U. L. Rev. 539 (2009).
Categories:
Labor & Employment
,
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Judges & Jurisprudence
,
Employment Practice
Type: Article
Lani Guinier, Beyond Electocracy: Rethinking the Political Representative as Powerful Stranger, 71 Mod. L. Rev. 1 (2008).
Categories:
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Elections & Voting
,
Government Accountability
Type: Article
Abstract
This year's Chorley lecture examines certain theoretical and practical questions concerning political representation in constitutional democracies and advances three claims. (1) That electocracy (rule by elections) reduces the role of citizens to a series of discrete choice points, often shifting the actual moment of choice to the politician. (2) That a preoccupation with winner-take-all elections encourages representatives in the US to see themselves as powerful strangers with a proprietary interest in their position. (3) That representatives can deepen democracy by functioning as catalysts for citizen involvement not just surrogates for citizen views or identities. Drawing on historic and contemporary examples of ordinary people who mobilize collectively to build new forms of citizen power before and after elections, Professor Guinier adapts the framework of collective efficacy to describe this conceptual move. She argues that vibrant constituencies of accountability can transform the representational relationship to reimagine democracy as self-governance not just self-government. "'In certain countries of Europe … the citizen is unconcerned as to the condition of his village, the police of his street, the repairs of the church or of the parsonage; for he looks upon all these things as unconnected with himself, and as the property of a powerful stranger whom he calls the Government.' Alexis De Tocqueville, Democracy in America, vol 1, ch 5." There is a move afoot in Great Britain to make the House of Lords a fully elected body. On 14 March 2007, Baroness Whitaker, a member of the House of Lords, voted against the majority of her party (the Labour Party) and against a majority of all members when she cast her vote to support a fully elected upper chamber of Parliament. Speaking two days before the vote, she declared that members of the House of Lords, an assembly of hereditary and appointed members, should be fully elected. Giving the people the chance to choose their legislators, Whitaker proclaimed, is an ‘ancient and honourable tradition’.1 Her colleagues were not persuaded. Comparing themselves to an appointed judiciary, some peers claimed that voting would only buy the appearance of legitimacy at the expense of independent judgment.2 And we all know, other Lords said, the people are sick of politicians. A hereditary elite, they argued, is a more reliable source of wisdom and a more vigilant protector of the greater good.3 In this essay I take the question debated in the House of Lords seriously. Do more elections produce more democracy? I answer that question with a qualified negative: rule by elections, or what I have come to call ‘electocracy’, does not adequately serve the values of democracy. By electocracy I mean a political environment that defines itself by sacred moments of choice. The act of choosing in a competitive contest produces a clear winner. By casting their ballots, citizens bestow democratic accountability on the victor. At the same time, who wins the contest is even more important than who votes. And who votes is more important than the quality and quantity of citizen participation in, or the policy consequences of, other important political acts of self-government such as deliberation, persuasion or collective mobilization. My argument is that a preoccupation with elections – especially in a winner-take-all environment – does not achieve the robust democratic accountability it promises. While modern ideas about representation suggest that the representative is bound in some way by the will of the represented, representatives were historically selected to bind their constituents, not the other way around.4 Consistent with that history, our electocracy too often serves to convert political office into a form of hereditary privilege. As the pivotal decisional event, elections – or even ‘re-elections’– fail as the primary source of democratic accountability. First, elections too easily encourage a form of aristocratic deference. Voters are tutored to limit their authority over the official to one sanctified moment of choice. The process teaches them to yield to the judgment, character or vision of the elected official until the next election. Second, the process influences representatives to see themselves as agents of their donors rather than of their constituents. Those who fund elections enjoy continuous contact with the officials. By contrast, voters are not well positioned – between elections – to influence the connections between Election Day decisions and their consequences.5 Third, the process of districting in winner-take-all electocracies, such as in the United States, shifts the actual moment of choice to the politician and away from the voter. Incumbent politicians control the drawing of election district lines; they choose their voters rather than the other way around. The real election takes place long before the voters come to the polls. Confident of re-election in gerrymandered districts, many representatives become possessive of their position, which they view as a career not just a conditional platform for service. Together, these features of our electocracy reinforce the idea that the representative has a proprietary or ownership interest in their position. Elected officials learn to treat their offices as a kind of ‘representational property’. Like Baroness Whitaker's peers, they feel they should exercise exclusive control over their seats, not as temporary caretakers but as long-term title-holders. Over time, they become more and more like the ‘powerful strangers’ Tocqueville associated with government officials in some nineteenth century European villages. As Tocqueville warned, when government is viewed as the ‘property of a powerful stranger,’ the citizen becomes less concerned with the ‘condition of his village’ or ‘the police of his street.’ Citizens lose confidence in the ability of government to deliver on its promises. Disaffected citizens withdraw even from voting when they begin to see government as someone else's property. To be clear, I do not take the position that we should abandon elections.6 I argue instead that elections – however they are conducted – are an insufficient instrument of democratic accountability, democratic outcomes and democratic processes. Elections are often a necessary aggregative step in the process of decision making but democracy is diminished – and the values of voter participation compromised – when both are reduced to a discrete set of ‘choice’ points. The goals (in terms of its legitimacy, outcomes and process) of representative democracy are not served when we define citizens' participation primarily by the capacity of the electorate to vote.7 The ambition of this essay is to begin to conceptualize alternative forms of citizen mobilization – outside of elections – that have the potential to remake elections into more effective mechanisms of democratic accountability. I use the term ‘collective efficacy’ as a heuristic device to focus attention and draw lessons from four historic and contemporary examples of such citizen participation – before and after elections. Collectively efficacious citizens are not merely private or civic associations of like-minded people, nor are they simply civic watchdogs. Instead, they build new forms of citizen power, collectively creating what Iris Marion Young calls ‘political associations’ that ‘raise questions about how society should be organized and what actions should be taken to address problems or do justice.’8 Where they succeed, it is often because representatives function as catalysts for citizen involvement, not just intermediaries or surrogates for citizen views.9 In these instances, citizens and their representatives work together to change the metric of success from winning elections to building the kind of collective intelligence and collective power that provides more robust sources of democratic accountability and legitimacy. Collective efficacy starts from the premise that citizens can become more than mere denominators for those who stand in a legally defined relationship to the state and who, as a result, can vote. Although the term citizen technically refers to someone who is a ‘member’ of a political community, here citizenship becomes an activity, not just an identity. But while that activity extends beyond the casting of a ballot, at the same time, citizen mobilization enhances electoral accountability rather than displacing it. Collectively efficacious citizens – those who mobilize to influence or reform government policies and practices – have the potential to transform electoral politics by transforming the way elected representatives perform their roles. Although collective efficacy emphasizes the importance of mobilized citizens to democracy, it is not presented either as a substitute for elections or as a full-blown, stand-alone theory of democracy. My goal is to initiate – through example – a re-imagining of what it means for the people – through their representatives – to have a voice in the decisions that affect their lives. This year's Chorley lecture examines certain theoretical and practical questions concerning political representation in constitutional democracies and advances three claims. (1) That electocracy (rule by elections) reduces the role of citizens to a series of discrete choice points, often shifting the actual moment of choice to the politician. (2) That a preoccupation with winner-take-all elections encourages representatives in the US to see themselves as powerful strangers with a proprietary interest in their position. (3) That representatives can deepen democracy by functioning as catalysts for citizen involvement not just surrogates for citizen views or identities. Drawing on historic and contemporary examples of ordinary people who mobilize collectively to build new forms of citizen power before and after elections, Professor Guinier adapts the framework of collective efficacy to describe this conceptual move. She argues that vibrant constituencies of accountability can transform the representational relationship to reimagine democracy as self-governance not just self-government.
Lani Guinier & Martha Minow, Preface to Responses – Dynamism, Not Just Diversity 30 Harv. J.L. & Gender 269 (2007).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
,
Family Law
,
Legal Profession
,
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Gender & Sexuality
,
Race & Ethnicity
,
Law & Social Change
,
Education Law
Type: Article
Abstract
Part of Multi-Disciplinary Responses to Susan Sturm's "The Architecture of Inclusion."
Lani Guinier, From Racial Liberalism to Racial Literacy: Brown v. Board of Education and the Interest-Divergence Dilemma, 91 J. Am. Hist. 92 (2004).
Categories:
Family Law
,
Constitutional Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Fourteenth Amendment
,
Race & Ethnicity
,
Education Law
Type: Article
Abstract
On its fiftieth anniversary, Brown v. Board of Education no longer enjoys the unbridled admiration it once earned from academic commentators. Early on, the conventional wisdom was that the courageous social engineers from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense and Educational Fund (NAACP LDEF), whose inventive lawyering brought the case to fruition, had caused a social revolution. Legal academics and lawyers still widely acclaim the Brown decision as one of the most important Supreme Court cases in the twentieth century, if not since the founding of our constitutional republic. Brown's exalted status in the constitutional canon is unimpeachable, yet over time its legacy has become complicated and ambiguous. The fact is that fifty years later, many of the social, political, and economic problems that the legally trained social engineers thought the Court had addressed through Brown are still deeply embedded in our society. Blacks lag behind whites in multiple measures of educational achievement, and within the black community, boys are falling further behind than girls. In addition, the will to support public education from kindergarten through twelfth grade appears to be eroding despite growing awareness of education's importance in a knowledge-based society. In the Boston metropolitan area in 2003, poor people of color were at least three times more likely than poor whites to live in severely distressed, racially stratified urban neighborhoods. Whereas poor, working-class, and middle-income whites often lived together in economically stable suburban communities, black families with incomes above $50,000 were twice as likely as white households earning less than $20,000 to live in neighborhoods with high rates of crime and concentrations of poverty. Even in the so-called liberal North, race still segregates more than class.
Susan Sturm & Lani Guinier, Learning from Conflict: Reflections on Teaching about Race and Gender, 53 J. Legal Educ. 515 (2003).
Categories:
Legal Profession
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Race & Ethnicity
,
Legal Education
Type: Article
Lani Guinier, Comment, Admissions Rituals as Political Acts: Guardians at the Gates of our Democratic Ideals, 117 Harv. L. Rev. 113 (2003).
Categories:
Family Law
,
Constitutional Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Fourteenth Amendment
,
Race & Ethnicity
,
Education Law
Type: Article
Lani Guinier, Democracy Tested, The Nation, May 5, 2003, at 6.
Categories:
Family Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
,
Constitutional Law
Sub-Categories:
Fourteenth Amendment
,
Race & Ethnicity
,
Education Law
Type: Article
Lani Guinier & Gerald Torres, The Miner's Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy (Harv. Univ. Press 2002).
Categories:
Family Law
,
Government & Politics
,
Criminal Law & Procedure
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Criminal Justice & Law Enforcement
,
Race & Ethnicity
,
Education Law
,
Elections & Voting
Type: Book
Abstract
Like the canaries that alerted miners to a poisonous atmosphere, issues of race point to underlying problems in society that ultimately affect everyone, not just minorities. Addressing these issues is essential. Ignoring racial differences--race blindness--has failed. Focusing on individual achievement has diverted us from tackling pervasive inequalities. Now, in a powerful and challenging book, Lani Guinier and Gerald Torres propose a radical new way to confront race in the twenty-first century. Given the complex relationship between race and power in America, engaging race means engaging standard winner-take-all hierarchies of power as well. Terming their concept "political race," Guinier and Torres call for the building of grass-roots, cross-racial coalitions to remake those structures of power by fostering public participation in politics and reforming the process of democracy. Their illuminating and moving stories of political race in action include the coalition of Hispanic and black leaders who devised the Texas Ten Percent Plan to establish equitable state college admissions criteria, and the struggle of black workers in North Carolina for fair working conditions that drew on the strength and won the support of the entire local community. The aim of political race is not merely to remedy racial injustices, but to create truly participatory democracy, where people of all races feel empowered to effect changes that will improve conditions for everyone. In a book that is ultimately not only aspirational but inspirational, Guinier and Torres envision a social justice movement that could transform the nature of democracy in America.
Lani Guinier, Confirmative Action, 25 Law & Soc. Inquiry 565 (2000).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
,
Family Law
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Race & Ethnicity
,
Education Law
,
Legal Education
Type: Article
Lani Guinier, Lessons and Challenges of Becoming Gentlemen, 24 N.Y.U. Rev. L. & Soc. Change 1 (1998).
Categories:
Legal Profession
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Gender & Sexuality
,
Legal Education
Type: Article
Abstract
There are many lessons to be learned from the experience of those women law students for whom law school is a hostile learning environment. ... Within these lessons is also a challenge to all consumers and producers of legal education: can we use the negative experience of some women in law school to initiate fundamental changes in legal education generally?Our study of the academic performance and quality of life for women at this one law school reveals many institutional failings that actually affect everyone. ... Not all women experience law school as a hostile learning environment. ... The initial impulse for this larger critique of legal education stems, in part, from my own law school experience. ... To give perspective to both the survey and the academic performance data, we arranged focus groups in which we asked people to talk informally about their experience at the Law School. ... Agenda setting is critical not only in law school, but obviously in politics as well. ... Moreover, the same kinds of techniques that are rewarded in the one-size-fits-all Socratic classroom are further rewarded by the predominant mode of law school testing, i.e., the single, time-pressured essay examination at the end of the semester. ... Men and women entered the Law School with quite comparable records. ...
Lani Guinier, Lift Every Voice:Turning a Civil Rights Setback into a New Vision of Social Justice (Simon & Schuster 1998).
Categories:
Legal Profession
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Race & Ethnicity
,
Civil Rights
,
Biography & Tribute
,
Legal History
Type: Book
Abstract
In 1993, shortly after his inauguration, new President Bill Clinton nominated his old friend and classmate Lani Guinier to the prestigious and crucial post of Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. In the face of concerted opposition - what one friend of Guinier's called "a low-tech lynching"--Clinton backed down, not only withdrawing her nomination, but having refused throughout to give her an opportunity to speak out in her own defense (and his). The result was a civil rights setback of monumental proportions. Now, in this book, at once a memoir and insider's account of what really happened behind the closed doors of the Oval Office, the Justice Department, and the U.S. Senate, and an insightful look at the past, present, and future of civil rights in America, Lani Guinier at last breaks her silence. Unsparing of her own mistakes and shrewdly perceptive about the overt and hidden agendas of those who opposed her, Professor Guinier shows how the president promptly abandoned his ambitious agenda for civil rights at the first hint of criticism from the media and Congress - and how the civil rights movement suffered a major setback as a result. Above all, Guinier goes on to describe how her experience at the hands of the press, the White House, and her congressional enemies has given her both a new voice and a renewed faith in the ongoing struggle for civil rights. Using her own nomination as a symbolic point of reference, she shows just how weak and divided the cause of civil rights has become, as its leaders have all too often been silenced by the very people they should be challenging.
Lani Guinier, Michelle Fine & Jane Balin, Becoming Gentlemen: Women, Law School and Institutional Change (Beacon Press 1997).
Categories:
Legal Profession
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Gender & Sexuality
,
Legal Education
Type: Book
Abstract
One of America's most innovative legal scholars and her colleagues explore diversity in legal education. Becoming Gentlemen tells the story of legal education through the experiences of women, chronicling their disappointments as they enter previously male-dominated institutions.
Lani Guinier, The Tyranny of the Majority: Fundamental Fairness in Representative Democracy (Free Press 1994).
Categories:
Government & Politics
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Race & Ethnicity
,
Elections & Voting
Type: Book
Abstract
At last...the public hearing she was denied...These essays reveal keen powers of analysis applied to some of the most obdurate problems that bedevil electoral politics.

Bar Admissions

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617-496-1913

Assistant: Rachel Keeler / 617-495-8304