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CWSL Faculty Recognized by The Green Bag for Exemplary Legal Writing

Brenner Johnson and Padilla

California Western Vice Dean Hannah Brenner Johnson and Professor Laura Padilla have been recognized by The Green Bag in their 2020 list of “Exemplary Legal Writing Books.”

The Green Bag is a quarterly legal journal describing itself as “An Entertaining Journal of Law.” Established in 1997, The Green Bag publishes short, readable, useful, and sometimes entertaining legal scholarship.

The books were selected by Professor Femi Cadmus, Yale Law School, and Ariel Scotese, Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School.

Vice Dean Brenner Johnson was recognized for her book, co-authored by Renee Knake Jefferson, Shortlisted: Women in the Shadows of the Supreme Court (NYU Press), which details the inspiring and previously untold history of the women considered―but not selected―for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Professor Cadmus and Scotese noted that “The release of Shortlisted could not have been more timely and relevant in a year which witnessed the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the second female justice on the Supreme Court of the United States, and the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett as the fifth female Justice.”

“It is an honor to have Shortlisted selected as an example of exemplary legal scholarship alongside these outstanding publications that grapple with important social and racial justice issues,” said Vice Dean Brenner Johnson.

Also recognized was Professor Padilla, one of the contributors to the book Presumed Incompetent II: Race, Class, Power, and Resistance of Women in Academia (Utah State University Press).

Professor Padilla contributed a chapter entitled, Presumption of Incompetence, Gender Sidelining, and Women Deans.

“In a year in which racial and social justice issues have risen to the forefront, Presumed Incompetent II is most prescient,” wrote Cadmus and Scotese, “providing candid and raw accounts of the challenging trajectories of women of color in the legal academy and academia at large.”

“The authors of these compelling narratives do not simply recount their challenges but provide hope and strategies for successfully navigating the most impossible of contexts.”

“Although we are in 2021 and have seen promising growth in the number of women of color appointed as law deans, challenges have not subsided,” said Professor Padilla. “Presumptions of incompetence remain until women prove themselves, and gender sidelining is still the norm. Presumed Incompetent II reminds us there is much work to be done, but with critical masses emerging, greater awareness of pressing issues, and alliances committed to reshaping the narrative, we will achieve positive outcomes.”