The Teaching of Corporate Law: A Socratic Investigation of Law and Bureaucracy, 97 Yale Law Journal 96 (1987)
Twenty years ago, when I began teaching at Yale Law School, I became aware of an odd phenomenon. Every so often, a hush would fall over the classrooom during my course in introductory corporate law. After a time, I realized that this hush recurred each time one member of the class, Duncan Kennedy, raised his hand. Kennedy was known around the law school for his often brutal assaults on the Socratic method, which he attacked as an abuse of pedagogic authority.
The class no doubt expected fireworks from my attempt to respond to Kennedy's demand that I justify my teaching technique, but no attack ever came. Consequently, I never had the opportunity to justify my teaching of corporate law, and this was probably fortunate, because twenty years ago I would not have been able to articulate a justification. I was torn, at that time, between my belief in the Socratic method and my sense that Kennedy was at least partly right, that legal pedagogy and scholarship had serious problems.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Deutsch, Jan Ginter, "The Teaching of Corporate Law: A Socratic Investigation of Law and Bureaucracy" (1987). Faculty Scholarship Series. 1865.