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How Legal Scholarship Can Reveal the Difference Between the Law as Written and the Law as Applied

Slaw, Amelia Landenberger: “Is there one piece of legal scholarship which you read years ago that sticks with you? For me it was an article about how a person’s right to legal name changes can be hindered by clerks who may misstate the law or a person’s options. The article is called Changing Name Changing: Framing Rules and the Future of Marital Names, and it was written by Elizabeth F. Emens and published in the University of Chicago Law Review in 2007. I believe I read it around 2015, and I remember being fascinated by the concept of  “desk-clerk law.” In case you’ve never heard of it, “Desk-clerk law is what the person at the desk tells you the law is…”

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