Home > Journals > JCRED > Vol. 35 (2022) > Iss. 2 (2022)
Integrating a Racial Capitalism Framework Into First-Year Contracts: A Pathway to Anti-Capitalist Lawyering
Nationwide protests against police brutality in the summer of 2020, coupled with the high rates of COVID-19 deaths among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), has brought to the foreground the role of the legal system in upholding structural racism and economic inequality. This renewed focus spotlighted our legal education: what are law schools doing as the institutions that educate future lawyers to be anti-racist, so they can, in turn, create a legal profession that is anti-racist? Being anti-racist is making conscious choices to fight racism in all its forms: individual, interpersonal, institutional, and structural. Being anti-racist also means addressing economic inequality, and as this article advances, being anti-racist is being anti-capitalist. It is not simply acknowledging racism but taking action to dismantle it. Increased scrutiny of the legal curriculum and whether law schools are explicitly addressing racism seems critical at this political moment, especially where we have witnessed Critical Race Theory coming under attack by the previous Trump administration and in the present political climate. In this article, I take this question to the classroom: what could an anti-racist/anti-capitalist contracts class look like? Contracts, or Law and the Market Economy, as it is aptly titled at CUNY School of Law, is one of the foundational first-year required courses. If we as legal educators believe that we must equip our students with the ability to address structural racism in our profession, then we must address it early on in our students’ legal education in the 1L year.