Stanford Law Review Online


Symposium – 2023 – Access to Justice

Monetary Sanctions Thwart Access to Justice

by  Karin D. Martin  

Abstract. The core of the access-to-justice problem is widespread unmet civil legal needs coupled with general disuse of the civil legal system. This Essay posits that monetary sanctions are an important contributing factor to the problem of access to justice. First, monetary sanctions and the unpaid criminal legal debt they produce are engines of “legal…

Volume 75 (2022-2023)


Symposium – 2023 – Access to Justice

Medical-Legal Partnership as a Model for Access to Justice

by  Yael Zakai Cannon  

As part of Stanford Law Review's 2023 Symposium on Access to Justice, this Essay explains how medical-legal partnerships--community-based programs that embed lawyers within healthcare teams--offer a promising model to address our country's justice gap. By using trusted institutions to connect people to the resources they need and embracing a bottom-up "patients-to-policy" approach, medical legal partnerships demonstrate how interdisciplinary collaborations can effect transformative change and advance substantive justice.

Volume 75 (2022-2023)


Symposium – 2023 – Access to Justice

Lawyerless Law Development

by  Colleen F. Shanahan, Jessica K. Steinberg, Alyx Mark & Anna E. Carpenter  

Part of Stanford Law Review's 2023 Symposium on Access to Justice, this Essay explores how lawyerless state civil courts operate in unique ways, countering conventional understandings of how law is developed in a court system. The Essay highlights how patterns of law development within state trial courts can either counter or reinforce inequality, and how important it is for scholars and policymakers to first understand how these courts, which are integral to our system, work.

Volume 75 (2022-2023)


Book Review Symposium - The Fight to Save the Town

Building Radical Hope in the Immigrant City

A Conversation with Jess Andors and Dan Rivera
by  Jess Andors & Dan Rivera  

In The Fight to Save the Town, Michelle Wilde Anderson captures how the idea of narrative is inextricable from the intertwined problems of economic collapse, poverty, divestment, and racism. By shining a light on small victories in the places in the country where progress is not expected like Lawrence, Massachusetts, the book tells people in similar places that progress is possible.

Volume 75 (2022-2023)


Book Review Symposium - The Fight to Save the Town

The Deserving Poor

by  Michelle Wilde Anderson  

In The Fight to Save the Town, Michelle Wilde Anderson chronicles the fights to save four places that are usually put on the undeserving, unworthy side of the line. This Book Symposium aims to elaborate on the stories the book tells, with authors Helaine Olen, Julia Mendoza, Sheila Foster, Jess Andors, and Dan Rivera each reflecting on different towns and individuals featured.

Volume 75 (2022-2023)

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Book Review Symposium - The Fight to Save the Town

It’s Hard to Save a Town

by  Helaine Olen  

Michelle Wilde Anderson’s The Fight to Save the Town offers a compelling portrait of residents of Stockton, California, Lawrence, Massachusetts, Detroit, Michigan, and rural Josephine County, Oregon in their fights against the decline of their hometowns. She focuses her attention on the hardy souls who attempt to push back against ongoing neglect and the people who fight to keep libraries open and teens away from drugs. But we must remember that individual victories—when, that is, they occur—can’t fully compensate for decades of neglect, and that the fight to save a town is often harder than it sounds.

Volume 75 (2022-2023)

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Book Review Symposium - The Fight to Save the Town

Writing for Abolitionist Futures

by  Julia Mendoza  

In The Fight to Save the Town, Michelle Wilde Anderson addresses how local governments and nonprofits can create collective ecosystems of care despite decades of “austerity, spatial inequality, and citywide poverty.”  These ecosystems of care are essential not only to building an abolitionist world without police and prisons, but to creating a world with life-affirming social infrastructures that address all systems of inequity.

Volume 75 (2022-2023)


Book Review Symposium - The Fight to Save the Town

Seeing Like a Chocolate City:
Reimagining Detroit’s Future Through Its

by  Sheila R. Foster  

In The Fight to Save the Town, Michelle Wilde Anderson captures how the rise and fall of Detroit maps onto so many other important cultural, political, social, and economic moments of the twentieth century. As Anderson rightly notes, many of the ways in which the city’s history is commonly told represent a “white gaze on Detroit.” What this narrative often leaves out is the critical role of the Black middle and professional class in stabilizing or holding up the city during the period often associated with the city’s decline.

Volume 75 (2022-2023)

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Rethinking Strategy After Dobbs

by  David S. Cohen, Greer Donley & Rachel Rebouché  

Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the movement for abortion rights and access finds itself in uncharted territory, and the stakes could not be higher. For abortion rights defenders, this new, post-Roe playing field means adapting their strategy and mindset to confront a new environment without a tether to federal constitutional protection. This Essay, published in the immediate aftermath of Dobbs, offers some initial thoughts about what the changed legal landscape means for abortion rights legal advocacy. It offers several suggestions, all of which require a paradigm shift in movement strategy to one that is in some ways modeled after the now-successful movement to overturn Roe

Volume 75 (2022-2023)

Court Gavel


Is Quasi-Judicial Immunity Qualified Immunity?

by  William Baude  

Has qualified immunity finally found its roots? Scott Keller’s Qualified and Absolute Immunity at Common Law shows the breadth and complexity of nineteenth century case law dealing with official immunities. But its most important claim, for today’s purposes, is the claim to find a historical basis for a doctrine of qualified immunity: an immunity from suit given to all government officials (including, but not only, the police) whenever they are sued for violating the Constitution. According to Keller, “the common law definitively accorded at least qualified immunity to all executive officers’ discretionary duties” in 1871, when Congress passed the civil rights statute now codified as 42 U.S.C. §1983. This would be very important if it were true. But it is not.

Volume 74 (2021-2022)