Legal Scholarship

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
WED 3:30 - 6:20 pm TNH 3.114

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location


This course is designed to acquaint students with the various types of legal scholarship. Three broad categories of legal scholarship will be read and discussed: (1) jurisprudential scholarship about the correct way to determine the internally-right answer to any legal-rights question in our society as well as about the existence of internally-right answers to legal-rights questions in our society; (2) analyses of the internally-correct answer to particular legal- rights questions or more general doctrinal questions; and (3) external-to-law economic, sociological, historical, or philosophical analyses of the causes, consequences, "nature," or attractiveness of given bodies of law or legal decisionmaking in particular periods. The class will meet for three hours once a week. Each session will be divided into two 75-minute, related halves. Most weeks, the two halves will be taught by different presenters or sets of presenters who will discuss articles typically that they have written or occasionally that someone else has written that fall into a particular category. (In addition to the listed instructor, the course will be taught by something like 20 members of the law faculty and some members of other faculties.) Each session will address not only the articles assigned themselves but wider issues the relevant type of article raises- for example, the jurisprudential assumptions behind a particular doctrinal article, the circumstances in which economic or historical analysis is internal-to-law and external-to-law, the prescriptive-moral relevance of economic-efficiency conclusions. In addition to participating orally in the class, students will be required to write four five-to-ten-page papers on the readings for particular weeks (that can address questions the presenters pose) and a larger (20-25 page) paper at the end of the course on one or more issues raised during the semester, on how (if at all) and why the course has changed their view of legal education or their professional plans, or on anything else related to the course to which the instructor agrees. Within constraints imposed by the value of spreading each student's writing evenly throughout the semester and the goal of having the same number of papers written each week, short-paper assignments will be based on student preferences.