Document Type


Publication Date



This symposium Issue of the Columbia Law Review marks a moment of convergence and opportunity for an emerging field of legal scholarship focused on America’s state civil trial courts. Historically, legal scholarship has treated state civil courts as, at best, a mere footnote in conversations about civil law and procedure, federalism, and judicial behavior. But the status quo is shifting. As this Issue demonstrates, legal scholars are examining our most common civil courts as sites for understanding law, legal institutions, and how people experience civil justice. This engagement is essential for inquiries into how courts shape and respond to social needs and structural inequality and what all of this means for the present and future of American democracy.


Civil Law | Civil Procedure | Courts | Law


This article originally appeared in 122 Colum. L. Rev. 1165 (2022). Reprinted by permission.