By Teri A. McMurtry-Chubb
"Writing at the Master's Table: Reflections on Theft, Criminality and Otherness in the Legal Writing Profession" by Teri A. McMurtry-Chubb is now available in the online version of the Drexel Law Review (Fall 2009). You may access the article using the following link: http://www.drexel.edu/law/lawreview/current.aspx
This article considers the convergence of race and gender marginalizations in the legal writing profession, a profession comprised almost entirely of women. Prior to its publication, scholarship on the marginalization of women in legal writing was written only about and from the perspective of white women. The content of this article seeks to deepen the discussion introduced by Kimberlé Crenshaw in her seminal work on race and gender intersections, which argues that a single-axis framework of analysis that examines race and gender discrimination separately is insufficient to deal with the overlapping oppressions women of color face. Thus far, the literature on how legal writing programs discriminate against women lacks this intersectional dimension. The article draws on the narrative traditions of Critical Race Theory and Critical Race Feminism to examine issues of race, gender, and status three-dimensionally within the racialized, gendered, and elitist structure that is the legal academy. The theoretical framework is provided by Adrien K. Wing’s multiplicative theory and praxis of being, in which Wing describes women of color as indivisible persons with multiple race and gender consciousnesses. The author examines the multiple race, gender, and status consciousnesses of women of color who are legal writing professionals.
Part I of the article highlights the precarious position of women of color in the legal academy and in the legal writing profession. Part II examines the characteristics of LRW programs that deter women of color from seriously considering legal writing instruction as a profession. Part III explores how the low number of LRW faculty of color affects how all law students are taught legal writing and reasoning skills. Finally, Part IV proposes some solutions.