Toward a Critical Corporate Law Pedagogy and Scholarship

57 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2015

See all articles by andré douglas pond cummings

andré douglas pond cummings

University of Arkansas at Little Rock - William H. Bowen School of Law

Steven A. Ramirez

Loyola University of Chicago School of Law

Cheryl Lyn Wade

St. John's University - School of Law

Date Written: June 5, 2015

Abstract

In recent years, the publicly held corporation has assumed a central position in both the economic and political spheres of American life. Economically, the public corporation has long acted as the key institution within American capitalism. Politically, the public corporation now can use its economic might to sway electoral outcomes as never before. Indeed, individuals who control public firms wield more economic might and political power today than ever before. These truths profoundly shape American society. The power, control, and role of the public corporation under law and regulation, therefore, hold more importance than at any other time period.

Even though corporate law and regulation define all aspects of this central economic and political institution within the American system, the development of corporate law is impeded by a deficient pedagogy — and thus, to a certain degree, scholarship — that scarcely mentions the power and influence corporations hold. Critical voices, in particular, are excluded from virtually all corporate law textbooks. Many corporate law texts taught in law school classrooms treat the social role of the public corporation as a black box of corporate law pedagogy and, by extension, mainstream legal scholarship. Indeed, a relentless stream of legal scholarship challenging the law and regulation of the public firm from the perspective of its broader social and economic implications receives little to no mention in the key textbooks adopted and taught from in law schools today. This Article challenges the dominant corporate law master narrative perpetuated in all of the major business law textbooks. This master narrative prevents students of the law and legal scholars from fully understanding and analyzing the changing nature and evolution of law and power in the United States.

Keywords: critical corporate law, corporate justice, too big to fail, diversity in the boardroom, CEO primacy, financial market crisis, economic justice

Suggested Citation

cummings, andré douglas pond and Ramirez, Steven A. and Wade, Cheryl Lyn, Toward a Critical Corporate Law Pedagogy and Scholarship (June 5, 2015). Washington University Law Review, Vol. 92, No. 2, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2615142

André douglas pond Cummings

University of Arkansas at Little Rock - William H. Bowen School of Law ( email )

1201 McMath Street
Little Rock, AR 72202
United States

HOME PAGE: http://ualr.edu/law/faculty/faculty-members/andre-douglas-pond-cummings/

Steven A. Ramirez (Contact Author)

Loyola University of Chicago School of Law ( email )

25 E. Pearson
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

Cheryl Lyn Wade

St. John's University - School of Law ( email )

8000 Utopia Parkway
Law School Building, Room 4-09
Jamaica, NY 11439
United States
718-990-6015 (Phone)

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