July 16, 2008
Another Harvard Law Review Note of Interest: on the Myth of Meritocracy
The Harvard Law Review editorial board is showing that it is a glutton for punishment from the right, which is perhaps still salivating over the earlier Harvard Note, Never Again Should a People Starve in a World of Plenty. Some of the critical responses to Never Again can be found here, here, here, and here. (As an aside, I have written a more sympathetic response to Never Again for the Harvard Law Review Forum, but am still keeping my fingers crossed that the editors will choose to publish responses to a piece that generated such controversy.) Harvard Law Review just published a new Note bound to have its share of critics:
- Note, "Trading Action for Access": The Myth of Meritocracy and the Failure to Remedy Structural Discrimination, 121 Harv. L. Rev. 2156 (2008).
Personally, I liked Trading Action for Access. Recently, I have been fairly concerned about structural cooptation in my own life and in the legal profession/academy and I like that this Note takes that on. Just like Never Again that focused on the choice of students to enter corporate law, this Note could be critiqued for focusing upon the narrow example of law firms to illustrate the myth of meritocracy, but given that this is being published in a law review, that should be forgiven! The Note reminded me of Inequality by Design (Claude S. Fischer et al, 1996) that also takes on the Horatio Alger and "meritocracy."
Although they take on somewhat divergent issues, an earlier Harvard Law Review Note, A Look Inward: Blurring the Moral Line Between the Wealthy Professional and the Typical Criminal, 119 Harv. L. Rev. 2165 (2006) and my own article also came to mind when thinking about these two recent Notes.
END NOTE: I will be traveling a good amount this coming month (next week Alaska, later Colorado and El Salvador), so posts will be infrequent. As I have stated before, I WELCOME any contributors, whether you have a single post you want to share or want to participate more actively. =)
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