UCLA Law Scholarly Perspectives and Impact

Fall 2015

Friends of the Court

From amicus briefs to appellate litigation, the UCLA Law faculty is making an impact

You didn’t have to be a constitutional law expert in 2015 to grasp the impact of federal court decisions on everyday life in America. Big issues before the U.S. Supreme Court dominated the headlines, from same-sex couples’ right to marry to the solvency of federally-run health insurance exchanges. Behind those headlines, observers willing to dig a bit deeper quickly discovered the fingerprints of prominent UCLA Law scholars, whose research and amicus briefs were cited in some of the year’s most important decisions.

Book Q&A with Professor Seana Shiffrin

Seana Shiffrin, Pete Kameron professor of law and social justice and professor of philosophy, published Speech Matters: On Lying, Morality, and the Law (Princeton University Press, 2014) in December. The book makes a distinctive theoretical argument for the wrong of the lie and provides an original account of its difference from the wrong of deception. The book then applies these philosophical points to legal issues concerning contracts, freedom of speech, employee speech, academic freedom and criminal law.

Professor Shiffrin talks about the book in more depth in a UCLA Law Magazine Q&A discussion.


Recent UCLA Law Faculty Scholarship

During the past year, UCLA School of Law’s distinguished faculty members have published a host of notable books covering a range of diverse topics and have engaged in a wide range of scholarly pursuits. Please read more about their activities and achievements, including lectures, citations and awards, as well as details on their recently-released books.

Three Articles by Professor Korobkin Listed Among Top 25 Most Cited Contract Law Articles

Three articles by Vice Dean Russell Korobkin, Richard C. Maxwell professor of law, were listed among the “Top 25 Most Cited Contract Law Articles of the Last 25 Years.” The listing was published on New Private Law, a blog by The Project on the Foundations of Private Law, an interdisciplinary research program at Harvard Law School dedicated to the academic investigation of private law. UC San Diego School of Law Professor Ted Sichelman compiled the listing. Professor Korobkin’s cited articles include “Bounded Rationality, Standard Form Contracts, and Unconscionability,” 70 University of Chicago Law Review 1203-95 (2003); “The Status Quo Bias and Contract Default Rules,” 83 Cornell Law Review 608-87 (1998); and “Inertia and Preference in Contract Negotiation: The Psychological Power of Default Rules and Form Contracts,” 51 Vanderbilt Law Review 1583-1651 (1998).

Professors Crenshaw and Nanda and Alumna Priscilla Ocen ’07 Publish Report on Impact of Zero Tolerance Policies

Girls of color are disproportionately impacted by school discipline policies and excluded from current efforts to address the school-to-prison pipeline, according to a report authored by UCLA School of Law Professors Kimberlé Crenshaw and Jyoti Nanda, along with UCLA Law alumna Priscilla Ocen ’07, a professor at Loyola Law School. The report, “Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced, and Underprotected,” is based on a review of national data and personal interviews with young women, and makes recommendations for policies and interventions that address the challenges facing girls of color. The report developed out of a critical dialogue about the various ways that women and girls of color are channeled into pathways that lead to underachievement and criminalization. It was released in February by the African American Policy Forum and the Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies at Columbia Law School.


Professor Eagly’s Research Expands Understanding of Immigrant Representation

Professor Ingrid Eagly, the newly-appointed faculty director of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy, has authored two groundbreaking forthcoming articles based on new data related to immigration courts and the representation of immigrants. In the first national study of access to counsel in immigration courts, “A National Study of Access to Counsel in Immigration Court,” 165 University of Pennsylvania Law Review (forthcoming, 2015), Professor Eagly and Steven Shafer ’15 analyzed more than 1.2 million immigration cases decided between 2007 and 2012. They found that only 37% of all immigrants, and a mere 14% of detained immigrants, were represented by counsel. Obtaining a lawyer was especially difficult in small cities and rural areas, where only 11% of immigrants had attorneys. Moreover, having an attorney made a difference—for example, immigrants in detention won their cases at a rate 10.5 times greater than those who proceeded pro se. In addition, Professor Eagly’s article “Remote Adjudication in Immigration,” 109 Northwestern University Law Review (forthcoming, 2015), is the first empirical study of the use of televideo technology to adjudicate immigration court cases over a television screen, rather than in a traditional, in-person courtroom.

Williams Institute Research Impacts Marriage Equality

Williams Institute Research Director Gary Gates was cited in the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic decision legalizing marriage equality nationwide.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution requires marriage equality, extending “equal dignity” to one million same-sex couples nationwide. The historic decision cited an amicus brief by Blachford-Cooper Distinguished Scholar and Research Director Gary Gates and his research on the families of same-sex couples. The Williams Institute’s research was cited in more than half of the briefs filed in the Supreme Court case. The decision legalized marriage equality in the last 13 states that still banned it, states in which same-sex couples are more likely to have children, to earn less and to be racial or ethnic minorities, according to Williams Institute analyses. Approximately 70,000 same-sex couples are expected to marry in these states in the next three years.

Dean Emerita Moran Selected as Inaugural Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Law

Dean Emerita Rachel F. Moran, Michael J. Connell distinguished professor of law at UCLA School of Law, has been named by the American Bar Foundation (ABF) as the Inaugural William H. Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Law for 2015-16. In addition to continuing to serve in her position on the UCLA Law faculty, she will co-direct a national research initiative on “The Future of Latinos in the United States: Law, Opportunity and Mobility” with Robert L. Nelson, the ABF’s outgoing director.

The Neukom Fellows Research Chair was established in 2014 by the ABF to spearhead empirical research on law and legal processes centered on issues of diversity and inequality that women, people of color, people with disabilities and persons from the LGBTQ community face in legal practice and before the law. Dean Emerita Moran will begin a new research project on U.S. inequality, diversity, and the future of legal education and the legal profession in addition to co-directing “The Future of Latinos in the United States” initiative.

Professor Kang Appointed UCLA’s Inaugural Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Professor Jerry Kang was appointed as UCLA’s inaugural vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion, and he assumed the position on July 1. In this capacity, he will serve as the senior campus official responsible for promoting equity and fundamental fairness at UCLA, leading and coordinating efforts to create a diverse, inclusive and welcoming environment for all students, staff, faculty, alumni and community partners.

A renowned scholar and a member of the UCLA Law faculty since 1995, Professor Kang has published influential research in numerous fields and is a leading scholar on implicit bias. He helped to establish the law school’s Critical Race Studies Program and served as its founding co-director. He has advised multiple campus affinity organizations and journals, has served on numerous diversity task forces and contributes to various community and research-based advocacy efforts.

Professor Cummings Named Robert Henigson Professor of Legal Ethics

Professor Scott Cummings, a distinguished member of the faculty since 2002, has been named the inaugural Robert Henigson professor of legal ethics in recognition of his contributions to our understanding of legal ethics and the legal profession. The endowed chair was recently established by Meyer Luskin, president and CEO of Scope Industries, in honor of his friend and attorney, Robert Henigson.

Professor Cummings teaches and writes about the legal profession, public interest law and community economic development.  He served as the faculty director of the law school’s David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy. He is also co-author of the first public interest law textbook, Public Interest Lawyering: A Contemporary Perspective (with Alan Chen) (Wolters Kluwer, 2012), and co-editor of a leading legal profession casebook, Legal Ethics (with Deborah Rhode and David Luban) (6th ed. Foundation Press, 2012).

New Faculty Appointments

Leslie Johns holds a joint appointment at UCLA School of Law and in the UCLA Department of Political Science, where she is associate professor of political science. She joined the UCLA faculty in 2008, and she was a visiting associate research scholar at Princeton University’s Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance from 2012 to 2013. Professor Johns’ research and writing focuses on the intersection of international law and international relations. Her recent publications include Strengthening International Courts: The Hidden Costs of Legalization (University of Michigan Press, 2015), “Who Gets to Be In the Room? Manipulating Participation in WTO Disputes,” (with Krzysztof J. Pelc), 68 International Organization 663 (2014) and “Depth versus Rigidity in the Design of International Trade Agreements,” 26 Journal of Theoretical Politics 468 (2014). Her work has also appeared in the American Political Science Review, Journal of Conflict Resolution and the Journal of Politics

Douglas NeJaime, faculty director of the Williams Institute, was a visiting professor of law at UCLA School of Law for the 2014-15 academic year. Before joining the UCLA Law faculty, he was professor of law at UC Irvine (UCI) School of Law, teaching in the areas of family law, law and sexuality, constitutional law and legal ethics. Previously, he was associate professor of law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and the Sears law teaching fellow at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. Professor NeJaime is the co-author of Cases and Materials on Sexual Orientation and the Law (with William Rubenstein, Carlos Ball and Jane Schacter) (5th ed. West 2014). His recent scholarship includes “Conscience Wars: Complicity-Based Conscience Claims in Religion and Politics,” 124 Yale Law Journal 2516 (2015), with Reva Siegel; “Before Marriage: The Unexplored History of Nonmarital Recognition and Its Relationship to Marriage,” 102 California Law Review 87 (2014); and “Constitutional Change, Courts, and Social Movements,” 113 Michigan Law Review 877 (2013). His article "Marriage Equality and the New Parenthood" is forthcoming in the Harvard Law Review. Professor NeJaime is also a two-time recipient of the Dukeminier Award, which recognizes the best sexual orientation legal scholarship published in the previous year.

James Salzman is the Donald Bren distinguished professor of environmental law with joint appointments at UCLA School of Law and at the Bren School of the Environment at UC Santa Barbara. He formerly held joint appointments at Duke University as the Samuel F. Mordecai Professor of Law and Nicholas Institute Professor of Environmental Policy. In more than eight books and eighty articles and book chapters, his broad-ranging scholarship has addressed topics spanning drinking water, trade and environment conflicts, policy instrument design, and the legal and institutional issues in creating markets for ecosystem services. He has published four casebooks, including International Environmental Law and Policy (with D. Zaelke and D. Hunter) (5th ed. Foundation Press 2015), the leading casebook in the field with adoptions at over 200 schools. His most recent book, Drinking Water: A History, was praised as a “Recommended Read” by Scientific American and reviewed in the New York Times and Washington Post. It is now in paperback and in its third printing. His articles have appeared in the UCLA, California, NYU, Penn, Duke and Stanford Law Reviews, as well as other legal, scientific and popular journals. A national survey of environmental law professors has voted his work among the top articles of the year on six separate occasions.