Recent Publications — January 2018
Law Mart: Justice, Access, and For-Profit Law Schools. By Riaz Tejani. Stanford, Cal.: Stanford University Press. 2017. Pp. xiii, 272. $24.95. Capitalizing on the deregulation of the accreditation process, private equity investors established for-profit law schools with a purported mission to increase access to justice for traditionally underserved people. Despite the schools’ marketed noble purpose, Professor Riaz Tejani argues that their “objective was revenue, not social sustainability or moral equanimity” (p. 83). These private equity and corporate-controlled law schools targeted minority communities, relaxed admissions standards, implemented academic policies based on business costs, and watched bar exam passage rates plunge. This neoliberal and exploitative process expects “groups long excluded from the legal profession . . . to suddenly and spontaneously be well equipped to make discerning judgments over and bargains with institutions of expert professional training” (p. 205). Tejani explores the tensions between law, economics, and morality when justice becomes a commodity and higher education is produced en masse. The book weaves narratives and data collected from research on one particular school’s operations with analysis of the broader business model’s implications across higher education. Tejani argues that the surge of for-profit law schools illustrates the limits of market-based solutions to imbalanced access to justice.
Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law. By James Q. Whitman. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. 2017. Pp. ix, 208. $24.95. Legal historians have often claimed that the United States’ racial segregation policies had little connection to the Nazi regime’s anti-Semitic measures. Professor James Whitman reframes the comparison, arguing that scholars must look beyond Jim Crow segregation and instead consider the full spectrum of America’s racial jurisprudence. In a forceful and detailed narrative, Whitman demonstrates how German intellectuals and Nazi-regime jurists studied American race-based legislation and common law. He reviews internal memoranda and Nazi Party publications that reveal sustained interest in the American example. Whitman devotes a chapter to each U.S. precedent that proved crucial in the formation of the two primary Nuremburg Laws of 1935. The second-class citizenship of racial minorities in America provided a model for the Nazi regime’s citizenship laws. And the nullification and criminalization of mixed-race marriages in the United States served as an example for the regime’s blood laws. Whitman’s account not only illuminates a new aspect of Nazi regime history, but also reminds readers that the history of American racism is not limited to segregation. The United States’ legacy of race-based discrimination is far broader, and as Whitman reminds us, “has to be a part of our national narrative” (p. 161).