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law; subversive lawyering;


Is there such a thing as subversive lawyering? And if so, what is it? These are the questions that motivate this colloquium issue. To be sure, other, similar terms exist and have been explicated. Movement lawyering. Rebellious lawyering. Resistance lawyering. Indeed,we were particularly inspired by Daniel Farbman’s article Resistance Lawyering, in which he uncovers the stories of abolitionist lawyers who, confronting the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, “employed every means at their disposal to frustrate, delay, and dismantle the system within which they were practicing.” But still, we wondered if subversive lawyering might be something different. Something akin to resistance lawyering, and yet distinct. We ourselves were unsure of the answer, but our intuition suggested there was a there there, if we could simply puzzle it out. It was with this openness in mind that we reached out to scholars writing and practicing in different areas of the law—housing law, criminal law, labor law, etc.—who we suspected might be interested in exploring the topic.