Tuesday, October 11, 2011
The legal academy lost a giant with the passing of Derrick Bell, who pioneered the Critical Race movement and changed the way many academics think about how the law works. I think Bell's theories apply widely to different doctrinal areas of the law, including contract law. For example, I think we are seeing Bell's interest convergence theory in action in that many of the predatory lending (and contracting) practices that wreaked so much havoc on the economy were first targeted toward racial minorities. The government didn't act, however, until the interests of majority homeowners converged with minority homeowners - not just in terms of the lending practices becoming widespread, but the foreclosures that have a contagion effect.
R.I.P. Professor Bell.