Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hip Hop and the Law Isn't Just for the Academy: A Practitioner's Take on Kanye West and Family Law

From the email files...

Attorney Joshua E. Stern recently emailed HipHopLaw.com to tell us about some work he had done on Kanye West and Illinois family law.  Have a question about child support?  Kanye's got your answers according to Stern in this post.

Joshua Stern works in Evanston, Illinois, not far from Northwestern University.  He received his J.D. from Emory and B.S. from DePaul.  While at Emory he worked on the Emory International Law Review.  And, aside from this impressive pedigree, he's a bit of a hip hop aficionado.

Councilor Stern's post highlights a key point we at HipHopLaw have been trying to make, namely that hip hop has influenced and will continue to influence lawyers, law students, legal activists, and legal scholars.  The point is not that hip hop solves all of the world's problems, or that only hip hop can help us understand the law, but is instead that hip hop is an important way many people come to understand the law and that to understand law we must be cognizant of the influences popular culture has on popular conceptions of law.  In short, hip hop can help us.  If  clients or students come into our office, sometimes it's easier to explain things using Kanye or Jay-Z than talking about Blackacre or a "bundle of rights."

How are other practitioners thinking about hip hop?  We'd like to know...

Photo credits: Law Offices of Joshua E. Stern and UPROXX.com.

-- Nick J. Sciullo