Ratner’s opening illustrations show the legal system not as some neutral forum but itself as an instrument of state repression. It takes a special brand of tenacity for a radical lawyer to use the law, designed in so many ways to codify unequal power relationships, as a battleground to challenge those power relationships. Indeed, Ratner has shown that a radical lawyer must face often impossible odds, and get back up to keep fighting. His autobiography provides valuable insight from his role as part of the legal arm of movement…

Moving the Bar is filled with a lifetime of wisdom, inspiration, lawyers’ war stories, and movement activism, of which this review only scratches the surface. While this book is accessible for anyone interested in movement work, it provides particularly valuable guidance to radical-minded attorneys seeking to navigate the tension between working within the law and serving the radical politics that seek to break through the legal strictures of white supremacy and capitalism. Ratner exemplifies the ability to do this without subordinating radical politics to the regressive tendencies of the legal system, and to fulfill one’s full potential as a movement lawyer.

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