Chapter 16: New Legal Realism, eCRT, and the future of legal education scholarship
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Contemporary academic challenges and opportunities suggest that the time may be ripe for collaboration between the nascent fields of New Legal Realism (NLR) and “eCRT,” empirical methods in Critical Race Theory. This chapter reviews overlapping priorities from both movements, recognizing that many recognized tenets of NLR are also established goals for eCRT. Scholarship merging both NLR and eCRT could be especially fruitful in furthering improvements to legal education, including both recruitment and retention of traditionally underrepresented students and faculty. Yet, while there may be significant overlap in terms of topics and even methods, core commitments must also align for true collaboration between the fields. This is especially true given the historical trajectory of both the original Legal Realism and CRT movements, which themselves gave rise to NLR and eCRT. True collaboration depends in part on NLR as a movement committing to both incorporating race into the central features of its research agenda and resisting hegemonic structures of racism as the pathway toward greater equality. Ideally, common core commitments, methods, and priorities will set the stage for an ongoing partnership between NLR and eCRT.

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