A frequent complaint about law school teaching is that it is heavily weighted toward the study of judicial, usually appellate, decisions and case analysis. The bulk of our law, however, is statute based. The study of statutory interpretation is, therefore, of real practical importance and it turns out to be, perhaps more than one might expect, exceptionally intellectually challenging. As the introduction to the casebook for the course, Caleb Nelson, Statutory Interpretation (2011), puts it “Techniques of statutory interpretation are partly about how language works and partly about how government works. These topics are each extraordinarily complex in their own right, and their interaction has occupied thinkers since at least the time of Aristotle.”
As the course involves reading some of the most peculiar, puzzle-like cases from all areas of law, it might even be thought to be fun.