Feminist Judgments: From Theory to Practice, published more than a decade ago, broke new ground in its approach to legal scholarship by having its contributors use a feminist lens to rewrite judicial opinions. The book struck a nerve and spawned a series, with each installment focusing on a different practice area. Professor Deborah S. Gordon edited a recent volume, Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Trusts and Estates Opinions, with Browne C. Lewis of North Carolina Central University and Carla Spivack of Oklahoma City University. Cambridge University Press published the book in September 2020.
In a recent interview, Gordon spoke about the Feminist Judgments Project, critical opinion writing and the ways reexamining judicial opinions can reveal the need for increased diversity in the making and adjudication of law.
Defining Critical Opinion Writing
“Critical opinion writing is looking at an opinion and thinking about the conclusions it reaches and how those conclusions were reached and whether they needed to be reached. Everything we do in the law—if we’re good lawyers and creative lawyers—is critical. Because we think about what is it that we want to achieve, what is our goal, what is our why […] and what is the law that’s out there and how do the two intersect.”
On Feminist Judgments
“One of the goals of feminist legal criticism and feminist scholarship in general is to question the idea of objectivity and even equality—things that seem like they have to be a certain way, if you look at them from a different perspective you realize that that may not be true.”
How Contributors Were Selected
“One of the real attractive components of the Feminist Judgments series was how collaborative it was. [...] We really tried to invite as many people in as many combinations from different areas of the law who are also interested in trusts and estates [….] We assembled this really nice, diverse group of participants, and then of course, every opinion had one or more authors, with one or more commentators, and then an editor.”