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Alfredo Mirande

Rascuache Lawyer: Toward a Theory of Ordinary Litigation

Rascuache Lawyer: Toward a Theory of Ordinary Litigation

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Alfredo Mirand , a sociology professor, Stanford Law graduate, and part-time pro bono attorney, represents clients who are rascuache--a Spanish word for "poor" or even "wretched"--and on the margins of society. For Mirand , however, rascuache means to be "down but not out," an underdog who is still holding its ground. Rascuache Lawyer offers a unique perspective on providing legal services to poor, usually minority, folks who are often just one short step from jail. Not only a passionate argument for rascuache lawyering, it is also a thoughtful, practical attempt to apply and test critical race theory--particularly Latino critical race theory--in day-to-day legal practice.

Every chapter presents an actual case from Mirand 's experience (only the names and places have been changed). His clients have been charged with everything from carrying a concealed weapon, indecent exposure, and trespassing to attempted murder, domestic violence, and child abuse. Among them are recent Mexican immigrants, drug addicts, gang members, and the homeless. All of them are destitute, and many are victims of racial profiling. Some "pay" Mirand with bartered services such as painting, home repairs, or mechanical work on his car. And Mirand doesn't always win their cases. But, as he recounts, he certainly works tirelessly to pursue all legal remedies.

Each case is presented as a letter to a fascinating (fictional) "Super Chicana" named Fermina Gabriel, who we are told is an accomplished lawyer, author, and singer. This narrative device allows the author to present his cases as if he were recounting them to a friend, drawing in the reader as a friend as well.

Bookending the individual cases, Mirand 's introductions and conclusions offer a compelling vision of progressive legal practice grounded in rascuache lawyering.

Binding Type: Paperback
Author: Mirande, Alfredo
Published: 09/01/2011
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
ISBN: 9780816529834
Pages: 259
Weight: 0.80lbs
Size: 8.90h x 6.00w x 0.80d
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