Marc Galanter's essay, Why the "Haves" Come out Ahead: Speculations on the Limits of Legal Change (Why the "Haves" Come out Ahead), published twenty-five years ago, set an important agenda for those who care about the distributive effects of legal processes, including those of us who have been engaged in jurisprudential, intellectual, and empirical debates about the relative advantages and disadvantages of alternative and conventional legal procedures. As a document of legal intellectual history, this Article was formed in the crucible of the Legal Mobilization and Modernization program at Yale Law School that spawned so many "law and . . . " studies, including legal pluralism, law and society, critical legal studies, and in its own way, even law and economics studies. A seminal work in the socio-legal studies canon, Galanter's article demonstrates the complex patterns of how law and legal institutions actually work, beyond descriptions of legal doctrines and assumed efficacy and "penetration" of law. In some senses, it is a continuation of legal realism, reminding us of the importance of studying the legal institutions in which the law is embedded and suggesting, at its end, how we might reform or "adjust" those institutions to produce optimal social change (in this case, redistribution of resources and delivery of justice).
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Scholarly Commons Citation
Menkel-Meadow, Carrie, "Do the Haves Come Out Ahead in Alternative Justice Systems? Repeat Players in ADR" (1999). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. 1759.