Law school

School Notes: Yale Law School
May/June 2021

Heather K. Gerken |

Podcast focuses on constitutional issues

A new podcast created by Professor Akhil Reed Amar ’80, ’84JD, offers weekly discussions delving into pressing and relevant constitutional issues of the current moment. Amarica’s Constitution, cohosted with Andy Lipka ’78, dissects current constitutional disputes and predicaments to educate and inform listeners on the political and social ramifications of government action during “windows of vulnerability.” Using historic and pop culture references, Amar discusses gaps in the Constitution relating to electoral pitfalls, while offering his expertise in how to contextualize and address those gaps. Amar also launched, which provides information about his publications, speaking engagements, and future projects.

Book explores early credit and property law

In Credit Nation: Property Laws and Institutions in Early America (Princeton University Press), Professor Claire Priest ’94, ’00JD, ’03PhD, reveals how the drive to expand credit propelled the creation of new property laws and legal institutions in the colonial 
and founding eras of the United States. By treating land and slaves as mere commodities, and by creating streamlined institutions protecting creditors, the colonial 
governments and the British Parliament promoted the expansion of slavery and laid the foundations for nineteenth-century capitalism in America, according to the book. Themes covered run the spectrum from the reform of British colonial law and the role of collateral and credit in early America to issues such as the expansion of slavery and the origins of current American economic, legal, political, and social systems.

Two new funds will support student needs

Two gifts from the Middle Road Foundation will honor YLS alum Michael A. Varet ’65JD and support critical needs of current Yale Law students. The Michael A. Varet ’65 YLS Safety Net Support Fund will assist students with unexpected or emergency expenses—whether personal or academic—that are not covered by financial aid; and the Michael A. Varet’65 Summer Public Interest Fellowship Fund will support four scholars each summer who are working for organizations focused on environmental law and advocacy.

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