Thursday, December 2, 2021

Shymansky on Georgetown Law and the New Deal

It’s not open access, but I could not be happier to see that Ryan Shymansky's “The Spirit of the New Deal" at Georgetown Law: Change and Constraint from 1933 to 1940, has been published in the Journal of Southern Legal History 28 (2020): 17-70.  Mr. Shymansky is a 2019 graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center.  From the introduction:

This Article will proceed in several parts and will highlight both the changes wrought at Georgetown Law by the New Deal as well as the factors that limited their impact. Part I discusses the general history of Georgetown Law and the Great Depression to establish the law school's position at the outset of the New Deal. Part II considers the changes the New Deal brought to Georgetown Law, with a particular focus on enrollment, the student body, curricular changes, alumni involvement, and relationships with government figures. While accepting their significance, Part III suggests two primary reasons that these changes did not leave an even greater mark on the law school: the ideological gravity of Scholastic natural law, and the institutional power of the Regency. In the end, Georgetown Law's Jesuit heritage and structure proved resistant to a full-throated embrace of the New Deal and complicated the possibility of truly transformative change before the effective end of the Regency in the early 1960s.

--Dan Ernst