Published: “Intellectual Activism and the Practice of Public Interest Law”

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I’m pleased to report that the Southern California Review of Law and Social Justice has published my law review article, “Intellectual Activism and the Practice of Public Interest Law.” It’s probably the closest thing to an academic autobiography that I’ll ever write, in that it recounts experiences and draws lessons from the work I’ve been doing during the past fifteen years, including workplace bullying, unpaid internships, and workplace dignity in general.

Here’s the posted abstract from my Social Science Research Network (SSRN) page:

Intellectual activism is both a philosophy and a practice for engaging in scholarship relevant to real-world problems and challenges, putting its prescriptions into action, and learning from the process and results of implementation. In the legal context, intellectual activism involves conducting and publishing original research and analysis and then applying that work to the tasks of reforming and improving the law, legal systems, and the legal profession. This article explores the concept and practice of intellectual activism for the benefit of interested law professors, lawyers, and law students.

This is a very personal piece, grounded in extensive scholarly, public education, and advocacy work that I have done in two areas: (1) fostering the enactment of workplace anti-bullying legislation and building public awareness of the phenomenon of bullying at work; and (2) participating in an emerging legal and social movement to challenge the widespread, exploitative practice of unpaid internships. It also discusses my involvement in multidisciplinary networks and institutions that have nurtured my work, examines the relevant use of social media, and provides examples of how law students can function as intellectual activists. This article closes with an Appendix containing a short annotated bibliography of books that are broadly relevant to the topics discussed in the text.

I wrote the article for those who want to use research and analysis to inform and inspire positive social change work, with a special nod to those who work largely outside of the realm of highly elite educational and public policy institutions.

You may obtain a freely downloadable pdf copy of the article from my SSRN page.

4 responses

  1. David, I admire your work for people. If I ever got my law degree that is the kind of work I would like to do. Too often practices of law center around commerce and contracts providing profit and the often sad practice of family law. Your work is over reaching in its effects on all of us. Thanks for all your efforts.

  2. What a tour de force, David! As you wrote, you have a natural interdisciplinary ally in psychology and psychiatry. I am working on a related area, workplace burn-out, which is creeping up over the epidemic rate of 50% in physicians. Physicians, too, are bullied, often intellectual bullying in the form of being told what to do in patient care, mainly to save money!

    • Hi Steve, thank you for reading and for the kind words!

      I hope you’ll be able to share your latest findings on physician burnout and bullying at the next HumanDHS gathering. So many important implications there.

      Take care,
      David

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