Berkeley Law - Faculty Profiles
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Title: Assistant Professor of Law
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
FSU Contact: Stephanie Boram
Karen M. Tani is a scholar of U.S. legal history and social welfare
law. Her research explores the legal architecture of the U.S.
welfare state and the legal practices of its designers,
administrators, critics, and beneficiaries. She teaches Torts, Legal
History, and social welfare law.
Tani's current research project is a book, provisionally titled
"States of Dependency: Welfare, Rights, and American Governance,
1935-1965" (under contract with Cambridge University Press). The
book examines legal contests over welfare benefits and
administration in the years between the New Deal and the welfare
rights movement. Other works-in-progress document "administrative
constitutionalism" in federal social welfare agencies and Native
American battles for welfare rights in the decade after World War
Two. Tani's published work includes "Welfare and Rights before the
Movement: Rights as a Language of the State," published in 2012 in
the Yale Law Journal; an essay on the history of law and poverty
(with Felicia Kornbluh) (Wiley-Blackwell 2013); and a book chapter
on Asian American civil rights activism and the War on Poverty
(University of Georgia Press, 2011).
Tani is the first graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's
J.D./Ph.D. program in American Legal History. Following her law
school graduation, she clerked for Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Prior to joining Berkeley Law, Tani was a Samuel I. Golieb Fellow in
Legal History at New York University School of Law and the George
Sharswood Fellow in Law and History at the University of
Pennsylvania Law School.
Tani serves on the Board of Directors of the American Society for
Legal History and is a member of the Organization of American
Historians. She contributes regularly to the Legal History Blog. At Berkeley,
Tani is an affiliate of the Center for the Study of Law and Society.
B.A., Dartmouth College (2002)
J.D., University of Pennsylvania (2007)
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania (2011)
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