Legal Scholarship

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
TUE 2:30 - 5:10 pm JON 6.206

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location


This course is designed to acquaint students with the various genres of legal scholarship that can contribute both to the understanding of our legal system and to the practice of law. 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 legal system as well as about the existence of internally-right answers to legal-rights questions in our legal system, (2) analyses of the internally-correct answer to particular legal- rights questions or more general doctrinal questions, and (3) external-to-law analyses of the causes, consequences, "nature," or attractiveness of given bodies of law or legal-decisionmaking processes. To a significant extent, the course will be concerned with the contribution that philosophical, historical, sociological, and economic approaches can make to the study of these issues. 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 possibly some members of other faculties.) Each session will address not only the articles assigned themselves but wider issues the relevant genre of scholarship 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 having an obligation to participate 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 will pose in advance) and a longer (15-25 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 or has not changed their view of legal education or their professional plans, and/or on anything else related to the course to which the instructor agrees. Within limitations associated with 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. Short papers will not be assigned for the first two sessions or the last session of the course.

Textbooks ( * denotes required )

No materials required


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Important Class Changes

Date Updated
10/26/2023 Room(s) changed
10/25/2023 Room(s) changed