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Diversity Readings Related to First-Year Courses

Bias in Analysis & Language

Lorraine Bannai & Anne Enquist, (Un)Examined Assumptions and (Un)Intended Messages: Teaching Students to Recognize Bias in Legal Analysis and Language, 27 Seattle U. L. Rev. 1 (2003-2004), HeinOnline, journal's website

Citation Guides

Steven K. Homer, Hierarchies of Elitism and Gender: The Bluebook and The ALWD Guide, 41 Pace L. Rev. 1 (2020) [SSRN] [journal website]

Change in 2021 Printing: Citing Slavery

A law review article discussed the many current cases citing slavery cases as good law. Justin Simard, Citing Slavery, 72 Stan. L. Rev. 79 (2020), journal link. See Simard's Citing Slavery Project, which has a database listing slavery cases and how they have been cited. In response to the author's suggestion, the Bluebook editors added rule requiring a parenthetical when an enslaved person was a party or the case involved slavery. The change was made after the first (2020) printing of the Bluebook, so it is only in the online edition and printings 2021 and later. From the editors' Noteworthy Changes to the 2021 Printing:

Rule 10.7.1(d) now covers slave cases. For cases involving an enslaved person as a party, use the parenthetical “(enslaved party).” For cases involving an enslaved person as the subject of a property or other legal dispute but named as a party to the suit, use the parenthetical “(enslaved person at issue).” For other cases involving enslaved persons, use an adequately-descriptive parenthetical.

  • Dred Scott v. Sanford, 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393 (1857) (enslaved party), superseded by constitutional amendment, U.S. Const. amend. XIV.

  • Wall v. Wall, 30 Miss. 91 (1855) (enslaved person at issue).


Critical Legal Research & Feminist Legal Research

Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic, Why Do We Tell the Same Stories?: Law Reform,Critical Librarianship, and the Triple Helix Dilemma, 42 Stan. L. Rev. 207 (1989), [HeinOnline]. From 207-08:

A remarkable sameness afflicts many scholarly articles, books, and doctoral dissertations. Most blame peer review, tenure and promotion requirements, and ivory-tower isolation. In law, additional restraints operate: stare decisis-the insistence that every statement be sup-ported by a previous one, bar requirements,2 and the tyranny of the casebook.3

. . .

This essay focuses on an additional, seldom noticed means by which this sameness is created and maintained-namely, professionally prepared research and indexing systems. We single out three of these in wide use today: the Library of Congress subject heading system, the Index to Legal Periodicals, and the West Digest System.4 These devices function like DNA; they enable the current system to replicate itself endlessly, easily, and painlessly.5 Their categories mirror precedent and existing law; they both facilitate traditional legal thought and constrain novel approaches to the law.

Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic, Why Do We Ask the Same Questions? The Triple Helix Dilemma Revisited, 99 Law Libr. J. 307 (2007), [HeinOnline].

In revisiting their Stanford Law Review article, "Why Do We Tell the Same Stories: Law Reform, Critical Librarianship, and the Triple Helix Dilemma," Professors Delgado and Stefancic contend that computer-assisted legal research has not proven to be a boon to the cause of law reform. At the time of the first article, the computer revolution, which irreversibly changed how we research legal questions, was just dawning. In this article, they focus againon categorical thinking, but this time to examine whether it is possible to transcend the categories our minds bring to computer-based searching whenwe do not know exactly what we are looking for They describe and compare paper-based and computerized research tools, review some of the claims that have been made for the latter and show how electronic searching retains many of the constraints of the print version. After surveying the pace of law reform in a few selected areas, they conclude that the computer revolution has not accelerated reform but very possibly slowed it. They posit a few reasons why this may be so and end with a number of suggestions for law reformers.

Lynn Smith, What Is Feminist Legal Research?, in The Effects of Feminist Approaches on Research Methodologies (Winnie Tomm ed., 1989), [link to chapter in ebook]. Note: written from Canadian perspective. (Smith was a professor and the first female dean at the University of British Columbia Allard School of Law.)

Gender-Neutral Language, Sexist Language

British Columbia Law Institute, Gender-Free Legal Writing: Managing the Personal Pronouns, British Columbia Law Institute Report, No. 2, 1998, [SSRN]

Gerald Lebovits, He Said - She Said: Gender-Neutral Writing, N.Y. St. B. Ass'n J., Feb. 2002, at 64, [HeinOnline], [SSRN]

Judith D. Fischer, Framing Gender: Federal Appellate Judges' Choices About Gender-Neutral Language, 43 U.S.F. L. Rev. 473 (2009), [SSRN], [HeinOnline]

Julie Goldscheid, Gender Neutrality, the 'Violence Against Women' Frame, and Transformative Reform, 84 UMKC L. Rev. 623 (2014), [SSRN], [HeinOnline]

Leslie Rose, The Supreme Court and Gender Neutral Language, 17 Duke J. Gender L. & Pol'y 81 (2010), [SSRN]

Leslie M. Rose, Teaching Gender as a Core Value in the Legal-Writing Classroom, 36 Okla. City U. L. Rev. 531-35 (2011), [HeinOnline]

Pat K. Chew & Lauren K. Kelley-Chew, Subtly Sexist Language,16 Colum. J. Gender & L. 643 (2007), [HeinOnline], [SSRN]

Hip Hop & Rap

Andrew Jensen Kerr, Rap Exegesis: Interpreting the Rapper in an Internet Society, 7 Colum. J. Race & L. 341 (2016), [HeinOnline], [SSRN]

Kim D. Chanbonpin, Legal Writing, the Remix: Plagiarism and Hip Hop Ethics, 63 Mercer L. Rev. 597 (2012), [HeinOnline], [SSRN]

Nick J. Sciullo, Conversations with the Law: Irony, Hyperbole and Identity Politics or Sake Pase? Wyclef Jean, Shottas, and Haitian Jack—A Hip-Hop Creole Fusion of Rhetorical Resistance to the Law, 34 Okla. City U. L. Rev. 455-513 (2009), [HeinOnline], [SSRN]

Richard Delgado, Si Se Puede, But Who Gets the Gravy?, 11 Mich. J. Race & L. 9 (2005), [HeinOnline], [SSRN]

Implicit Bias

Judicial Opinions

Mary Pat Gunderson, Gender and the Language of Judicial Opinion Writing, 21 Geo. J. Gender & L. 1 (2019), [journal], [HeinOnline] (examining four ethics opinions by an all-male bench where attorneys had been disciplined for domestic violence or sexual assault)

Merritt McAlister, "Downright Indifference": Examining Unpublished Decision in the Federal Courts of Appeals, 18 Mich. L. Rev. 533 (2020) ), [SSRN], [journal site] (criticizing unpublished decisions that do provide reasons for ruling—disproportionately used for vulnerable, unrepresented litigants).

Language & Rhetoric

Anna P. Hemingway, et al., Thurgood Marshall: The Writer, 47 Willamette L. Rev. 211 (2011), [HeinOnline], [SSRN]

Devon W. Carbado, Black Rights, Gay Rights, Civil Rights, 47 UCLA L. Rev. 1467 (2000)  [HeinOnline]

Lucy Jewel, Neurorhetoric, Race, and the Law: Toxic Neural Pathways and Healing Alternatives, 76 Md. L. Rev. 663 (2017) [HeinOnline], [SSRN]

Nick Sciullo, Richard Sherman, Rhetoric, and Racial Animus in the Rebirth of the Bogeyman Myth, 37 Hastings Comm. & Ent. L. Rev. 1201 (2015) [HeinOnline], [SSRN]

Robert Steinbuch, Racist, 25 Harv. BlackLetter L.J. 199 (2009), [HeinOnline], [SSRN]

Language of Incarceration

Law Reviews & Other Scholarship

Rachel J. Anderson, From Imperial Scholar to Imperial Student: Minimizing Bias in Article Evaluation by Law Reviews, 20 Hastings Women's L.J. 197 (2009), HeinOnline, SSRN

Taunya Lovell Banks & Penelope Andrews, Two Colored Women's Conversation about the Relevance of Feminist Law Journals in the Twenty-first Century, 12 Colum. J. Gender & L. 498-509 (2003), HeinOnline, SSRN

Lawprofblawg & Darren Bush, Law Reviews, Citation Counts, and Twitter (Oh my!): Behind the Curtains of the Law Professor’s Search for Meaning , 50 Loyola U. Chi. L.J. 327 (2018), Journal's website, HeinOnline, SSRN

Nancy Leong & Jennifer Mullins, The Persistent Gender Disparity in Student Note Publication, 23 Yale J. L. & Feminism 385 (2011), HeinOnlineSSRN

Jennifer Mullins, Reactions to the Persistent Gender Disparity in Student Note Publication,  2012 Mich. St. L. Rev. 1685, HeinOnlineSSRN

Jane Murphy & Solangel Maldonado, Reproducing Gender and Race Inequality in the Blawgosphere, 41 Harv. J. L. & Gender 239 (2018) [HeinOnline]

Adriane Kayoko Peralta, The Underrepresentation of Women of Color in Law Review Leadership Positions, 25 Berkeley La Raza L.J. 68, 85 (2015), HeinOnlineSSRN

Jean Stefancic, The Law Review Symposium: A Hard Party to Crash for Crits, Feminists, and Other Outsiders, 71 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 989 (1996), HeinOnlineSSRN


Adam Arms, Metaphor, Women and Law, 10 Hastings Women's L.J. 257, 286 (1999), HeinOnline

Ann Cammett, Deadbeat Dads & Welfare Queens: How Metaphor Shapes Poverty Law, 34 B.C. J. L. & Soc. Just. 233 (2014), HeinOnline, SSRN

Elizabeth G. Thornburg, Metaphors Matter: How Images of Battle, Sports and Sex Shape the Adversary System, 10 Wis. Women's L.J. 225 (1995), HeinOnlineSSRN

Keith Cunningham-Parmeter, Alien Language: Immigration Metaphors and the Jurisprudence of Otherness, 79 Fordham L. Rev. 1451 (2011), HeinOnline, SSRN. (Also: 32 Immigr. & Nat'lity L. Rev. 613 (2011), HeinOnline.)

Other Disciplines

Edward L. Rubin, Passing through the Door: Social Movement Literature and Legal Scholarship, 150 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1 (2001), HeinOnline

William N. Jr. Eskridge, Channeling: Identity-Based Social Movements and Public Law, 150 U. Pa. L. Rev. 419, 526 (2001), HeinOnline

Outsider Scholarship

Kathryn Stanchi, Feminist Legal Writing, 39 San Diego L. Rev. 387 (2002), HeinOnlineSSRN

Linda H. Edwards, Linda H., Where Do the Prophets Stand?: Hamdi, Myth, and the Master's Tools, 13 Conn. Pub. Int. L.J. 43 (2013), HeinOnlineSSRN

Lisa Philipps, Measuring the Effects of Feminist Legal Research: Looking Critically at "Failure" and Success", 42 Osgood Hall L.J. 603-14 (2004), HeinOnlineSSRN

Marc A. Fajer, Essay, Authority, Credibility, and Pre-Understanding: A Defense of Outsider Narratives in Legal Scholarship, 82 Geo. L.J. 1845 (1994), HeinOnline

Richard Delgado, When a Story Is Just a Story: Does Voice Really Matter?, 76 Va. L. Rev. 95-111 (1990), HeinOnline, SSRN

Richard Delgado, The Imperial Scholar Revisited: How to Marginalize Outsider Writing, Ten Years Later, 140 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1349 (1992), HeinOnline, SSRN

Richard Delgado, The Colonial Scholar: Do Outsider Authors Replicate the Citation Practices of the Insiders, But in Reverse?, 71 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 969 (1996), HeinOnline, SSRN

Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic, Crossover, 33 Am. Indian L. Rev. 1 (2009) SSRN, HeinOnline


Brook K. Baker, Incorporating Diversity and Social Justice Issues in Legal Writing Programs, 9 Persp. 51 (2001), journal site

Rosa Castello, Incorporating Social Justice into the Law School Curriculum with a Hybrid Doctrinal/Writing Course, 50 J. Marshall L. Rev. 221 (2017) HeinOnline

Pamela Edwards & Sheilah Vance, Teaching Social Justice through Legal Writing, 7 Legal Writing: J. Legal Writing Inst. 63 (2001), HeinOnlineSSRN

Teri A. McMurtry-Chubb, Still Writing at the Master's Table: Decolonizing Rhetoric in Legal Writing for a Woke Legal Academy, 21 Scholar 255 (2019), HeinOnline, SSRN

Teri A. McMurtry-Chubb, Writing at the Master's Table: Reflections on Theft, Criminality, and Otherness in the Legal Writing Profession, 2 Drexel L. Rev. 41 (2009), HeinOnline, SSRN

Leslie M. Rose, Teaching Gender as a Core Value in the Legal-Writing Classroom, 36 Okla. City U. L. Rev. 531, 536 (2011), HeinOnline

Sha-Shana Crichton, Intentionally Incorporating Race into the First-Year Legal Research and Writing Curriculum, in The Oxford Handbook of Race and Law in the United States (Devon Carbado, Emily Houh & Khiara M. Bridges eds., 2022), link (UW)

Kathryn M. Stanchi, Resistance Is Futile: How Legal Writing Pedagogy Contributes to the Law's Marginalization of Outsider Voices, 103 Dick. L. Rev. 7 (1998), HeinOnline

Racist Language

Dawn D Bennett-Alexander, The Use of the Term 'Boy' as Evidence of Race Discrimination: Apparently the 11th Circuit Didn't Get the Memo?, (November 11, 2010).  SSRN

SpearIt, Enslaved by Words: Legalities & Limitations of 'Post-Racial' Language, 2011 Mich. St. L. Rev. 705, HeinOnline, SSRN

Sources of Law & Legal Reasoning

Charles R. Calleros, The Spirit of Regina Austin’s Contextual Analysis: Exploring Racial Context in Legal Method and Writing Assignments and Scholarship, 34 J. Marshall L. Rev. 281 (2000), HeinOnline, SSRN

Tonya Kowalski, The Forgotten Sovereigns, 36 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. 765-825 (2009), SSRN, HeinOnline

  • See these sections of the article: Teaching the Three-Sovereign Model as an Introduction to the U.S. Legal System, at 805-11, Sources of Law and Forms of Reasoning, at 811-17, Selection of Authority and the Path of Review, at 817-21, Cultural Literacy Skills, Case Theory, and Narrative Reasoning, at 821-24.


Brennan P. Breeland, I Am Jack's Radical Self-Degradation: A Pedagogical Argument for the Inclusion of the Indigenous Narrative in the Postmodern Legal Education (March 27, 2010), SSRN

Jane B. Baron, Resistance to Stories, 67 S. Cal. L. Rev. 255 (1994), HeinOnline, SSRN

Robert A. Williams, Vampires Anonymous and Critical Race Practice, 95 Mich L. Rev. 741 (1997), HeinOnline, SSRN

Teresa Godwin Phelps, The Ethics of Narrative: A Nation’s Role in Victim/Survivor Storytelling, 18 Ethical Persp. 169 (2011), journal's website

Voices from the Bottom

Devon W. Carbado, Race to the Bottom, 49 UCLA L. Rev. 1283 (2002), HeinOnline

Emily M.S. Houh & Kristin Kalsem, It's Critical: Legal Participatory Action Research, 19 Mich. J. Race & L. 287-343 (2014), HeinOnline, SSRN