An abbreviation for Critical Legal Studies
. Adherents to this theory are sometimes referred to as "(the) Crits". CLS is a school of legal theory that draws from many influences, the most important of which is "Critical Theory
" ideas of the Frankfurt School
during 1930 - c. 1970. Perhaps ironically, key members of the Frankfurt School judged that refuge (or exile) in the practical, materialistic United States was their best prospect for continued development of their ideas during the two wars. Yet, they had virtually no influence on US legal theory during that period.
Starting in 1977, CLS began to gain recognition and support in North America. An academic conference at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that year proved to be the watershed event. CLS gained influence and mindshare during the 1980's especially at Harvard Law School, but in the 1990's its influence began to fall, despite the efforts of tenured faculty at prestigious law schools.
Two significant schools of thought, feminist jurisprudence and critical race theory, emerged from CLS and remain influential to date.
There's more information at Critical legal studies
Source: The Free Dictionary
, "Critical legal studies" entry, http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Critical%20legal%20studies
, Accessed June 18, 2004.
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