“When and how, if ever, can the law change a society for the better? Are there more successful and less successful ways to make social change? Is the law an effective tool for social change? (Or should I have become a social worker instead of a lawyer?) Are there any lessons to be learned from the attempt by so many lawyers of my own generation to make social and cultural change through the formal rulemaking mechanisms of the law?”
This Essay is Professor Stoddard’s last work, which he was writing at the time he became ill. The Essay addresses the themes that ran through Professor Stoddard’s entire career as a public interest lawyer, focusing specifically on the ways in which litigation can make social change, and its limitations in that regard.