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Legal Realists, Legal Fundamentalists, Lawyer Schools, and Policy Science—Or, How Not to Teach Law, 1 VAND. L. REV. 1 (1947)

Abstract

It has been eleven years since this querulous maverick said Goodbye to Law Reviews—at least so far as leading articles were concerned—and retired into the comparatively open-collared comfort of the book review sections. If I now break, ever so briefly and just this once, that long-kept vow of chastity from formal forays into Scholarship, my fall is reluctant and can be doubly rationalized. In the first place, I didn't fall; I was pushed—by that persuasive fellow, Prof. Hugh Sowards, who gave me seductive assurance that the new law review he is launching at Vanderbilt will bear but slight resemblance to those repositories of pretentious irrelevance and pompous nonsense of which I once washed my hands. In the second place, this little lapse will be no article in its own right but rather a belated and elongated footnote to what I said in the Virginia Law Review back in November, 1936 (advt.). Only because I happen to be allergic to footnotes as such, will this one—with Prof. Sowards' kind indulgence—appear as text.

Increasingly over the past years, there has cropped up in the law reviews a special kind of leading article. It does not deal with anything courts are doing or legislatures are doing or lawyers are doing; it does not even deal with what courts or legislatures or administrators or lawyers ought to be doing; instead, it deals with a subject of apparently endless and obviously narcissistic fascination to the law teachers who write the articles. It deals with the teaching of law. More precisely, these articles are concerned with how the law teachers who write the articles think other law teachers ought to teach law. It isn't legal education they're driving at when they tee off for 20 or 120 pages on Legal Education; it isn't the business of educating embryo lawyers. What they're really out to do is educate the legal educators.

Date of Authorship for this Version

1947

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