This Article explores intertwined contemporary crises via the Critical Legal Research framework (“CLR”), as initially developed by the critical legal scholars Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic. CLR as conceived of in this Article entails a truly radical approach to the legal research and analysis regime. While the traditional research regime—as taught in law schools and utilized in practice—functions to homogenize research outcomes towards hegemonic ends, a critically “reconstructed” approach to legal and broader socio-legal research permits more transformative futures. Specifically, CLR as deployed within such modes as radical cause lawyering can help engender genuine systemic “re-formations” of the ecological political economy beyond mere law “reform.”
Next, this Article applies the CLR framework to three intertwined crises: climate change and the broader ecological crisis (i.e., termed the “Capitalocene” by critical commentators); the COVID-19 global pandemic and accompanying social catastrophe; and the racial state violence and intersecting oppressions along lines of class, gender, LGBTQ+ status, immigrant status, etc. that catalyzed the mass Black Lives Matter uprising. This illustrative CLR application demonstrates that such crises ultimately emanate from the unjust and ecologically unsustainable white patriarchal capitalist paradigm—and that, correspondingly, CLR-influenced radical cause lawyering modes could help drive transformative futures beyond this paradigm in its entirety.