During his time at CASBS, Scott Cummings will work on related projects to deepen understanding of the role of lawyers in strengthening democracy and defending the rule of law. He will complete a book that presents a sweeping theoretical reappraisal of how lawyers matter to social movements, drawing upon interdisciplinary research to challenge long-standing concerns about legal cooptation and reclaim the central value of law in struggles for equality and inclusion. Cummings will also launch a project, ignited by the ethical misconduct of lawyers in the 2020 election, which examines the power of professional regulation to serve the interests of faltering democracy in an age of disinformation and conspiricism.
Cummings’ research focuses on legal ethics and the profession, law and social change, local government, and inequality. His work combines legal and empirical analysis to explore issues related to access to justice, legal careers, and legal mobilization. His most recent book, An Equal Place: Lawyers in the Struggle for Los Angeles (Oxford University Press, 2021), explores the role of lawyers in building decentralized systems of labor law and worker power at the city level. He has written numerous articles in top journals and is co-author of the nation’s first textbook on public interest law and co-editor of the casebook, Legal Ethics.
Cummings is the inaugural Robert Henigson Professor of Legal Ethics and professor of law at the UCLA School of Law in Los Angeles, California, where he serves as director of the Program on Legal Ethics and the Profession. He is the recipient of the Fulbright Distinguished Chair at the European University Institute.