Abstract: Corporate America avoids accountability for the harm it causes by shutting workers and consumers out of the justice system entirely. On the rare occasion ordinary people can make it into the courtroom at all, they’re up against the best lawyers money can buy, in front of judges predisposed to side with the wealthy and powerful. Law students are taught—and many lawyers continue to believe—that true justice is achieved through the civil legal system: two parties, equal in the eyes of the law, both with a fair chance, no matter how different their social positions outside the courtroom. But this adversarial system is not working; instead, the legal system is rigged against those most in need of justice. In this talk, I focus on how it is that we got here, what the consequences have been, and how this judicial capture is situated within larger conversations around justice in America. I close with one proposed path forward.
Bio: Molly Coleman is a co-founder of PPP and the organization’s first Executive Director. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where she worked for a number of legal organizations committed to advancing justice for the most marginalized, including Gender Justice, Legal Voice, the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee, the Hennepin County Public Defenders Office, and the Fair Labor Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office; she also served as Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. Prior to law school, Molly spent three years with City Year New York, working to close the opportunity gap for students in Harlem and the Bronx and to empower young people to become civically engaged leaders. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and a native of Saint Paul, Minnesota.