Proponents of this theory believe that logic and structure attributed to the law grow out of the power relationships of the society. The law exists to support the interests of the party or class that forms it and is merely a collection of beliefs and prejudices that legitimize the injustices of society. The wealthy and the powerful use the law as an instrument for oppression in order to maintain their place in hierarchy. The basic idea of CLS is that the law is politics and it is not neutral or value free. CLS was the ground from which grew Critical Race Theory.

CLS was officially started in 1977, but its roots extend back to 1960 when many of its founders participated in social activism surrounding the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War. Many CLS scholars entered law school in those years and began to apply the ideas, theories, and philosophies of postmodernity to the study of law. They borrowed from such diverse fields as social theory, political philosophy, economics, and literary theory.

Since then CLS has steadily grown in influence and permanently changed the landscape of legal theory. Among noted CLS theorists are Roberto Mangabeira Unger, Robert W. Gordon, Morton J. Horwitz, Duncun Kenney, and Katharine A. MacKinnon.

Katherine MacKinnon is the only one of these writers that I know anything about, and while I think she's smart, I also mostly disagree with her. I like disagreeing with intelligent people. It makes me think more.