Stanford Law Chronicles: Doin' Time on the Farm / Edition 1

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Overview

In the midst of a long and distinguished academic career, Alfredo Mirandé left his position as professor of sociology and chair of ethnic studies at the University of California, Riverside, to attend law school at Stanford University. This book is both an extraordinary chronicle of the events in his life that led him to make this dramatic change and a comprehensive, first-person account of the law school experience, written by a person of color. Mirandé delivers a powerful and moving critique of the obstacles he encountered and of systematic attempts to strip him of his identity and culture. He also reflects on the implications of an increasing number of women and minority law school students for law and legal education.
 
Covering all three years at Stanford, Mirandé describes the elitism and rigid hierarchies he encountered in the classroom and his resulting alienation and frustration. He also discusses law review, the Immigration Clinic where he successfully represented his first client, and the alternative Lawyering for Social Change curriculum that became a haven in an otherwise hostile environment. Interspersed with his account of law school are autobiographical snapshots and experiences, including that of the death of his brother, Héctor, which was the catalyst for his decision to pursue his childhood dream of attending law school and becoming a lawyer. This controversial book is certain to spark lively debate.
 
"Alfredo Mirandé answers the question: What happens when a Latino heart ventures into the Anglo male head that is the Stanford Law School? 'En la tierra del ciego, el tuerto es rey' [In the land of the blind, the one-eyed person is king]. " —W. Frank Newton, President, Beaumont Foundation of America; former Dean of Texas Tech School of Law and President of the State Bar of Texas
 
"Mirandé's story will engage readers, provoke conversations, and deepen our knowledge of legal education. It is quite a book." —Gerald López, New York University School of Law
 
"Ten times better than the other stories of what it is like going through law school, Mirandé's book brings a social scientist's critical eye to what goes on in the classroom, to competition for grades and law review membership, to the way white students and professors treat students of color at an elite school, and to a minority student's struggle to make his legal education a force for social change. A sobering read and real page turner!" —Richard Delgado, University Distinguished Professor of Law and Derrick Bell Fellow, University of Pittsburgh

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Dispelling illusions about the law school experience for the first time from the perspective of a Mexican-American, Mirandé gives a bold account of the nature of law school. His experience documents how elitism and rigid hierarchies are embedded in law schools regardless of their status." —Multicultural Review (October 2006)
 

". . . Mirandé writes The Stanford Law Chronicles not to homogenize the law school experience, but to reflect some sensitivity to gender, race and class dynamics in law school culture. Regardless of whether one can completely empathize with Mirandé's law school experience, his book glaringly reminds us of how formidable the law school experience can be." —New York Law Journal (July 19, 2006)
 

Publishers Weekly
This is a decidedly personal account-sometimes irritatingly so-of Mirande's experiences as an established academic (professor of sociology at the University of California-Riverside) who started a second career by attending Stanford Law School. Throughout, Mirande sketches in scenes from his family's history as he examines the impulses that led him to law school and to react to it as he did. In nearly all respects, Mirande found studying law dehumanizing. He saw himself as a Chicano systematically marginalized, silenced and confronted by hierarchies into which he couldn't gain admittance. His complaints range from umbrage at a professor who didn't call on him in class, to resentments of fellow students who in turn resented him and a critique of the law itself as dominated by an elite white male culture. The author did find the practical side of law far more attractive. A course in lawyering and social change and a practicum in which Mirande successfully represented an applicant for political asylum appear to have made attending law school worthwhile. Readers will be alternately exasperated and intrigued by Mirande's well-written but self-absorbed account of his law school years. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780268022846
  • Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

ALFREDO MIRANDÉ is professor of sociology and chair of ethnic studies at the University of California, Riverside. He integrates his teaching and research with a limited, largely pro bono law practice, specializing in criminal law and employment discrimination.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 El Dia de Los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) 18
Ch. 2 Las Mananitas 29
Ch. 3 One L, Chicano style 43
Ch. 4 The age of innocence 65
Ch. 5 Making the grade 82
Ch. 6 "Walk like a man" : law review 99
Ch. 7 Pan y chocolate : lawyering for social change 116
Ch. 8 Sex, flies, and videotapes 131
Ch. 9 Guerrillas in the mist : reflections on the immigration law clinic 149
Ch. 10 "Remains of the day" : the law firm chronicles 168
Ch. 11 La Noche Triste 202
Ch. 12 Return to Kabara 218
Epilogue : "I don't need no stinkin' badges" 231
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