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The Interdisciplinary Turn in Legal Education

Anthony D'Amato

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law

December 2006

Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 06-32

The nature of law and legal practice is changing with the addition of interdisciplinary scholars to law-school faculties and interdisciplinary studies to the law curriculum. However, the accessibility of non-law disciplinarians in the rest of the university raises the question of the cost-effectiveness and opportunity costs of importing them directly into the law school. This Article criticizes the interdisciplinary turn on three grounds. First is the unlikelihood that the joint-degreed persons who join the law faculty will happen to be the ones that their colleagues will end up collaborating with. Second is the even greater unlikelihood that any given discipline can communicate usefully with another discipline. Third is the opportunity-cost factor: that the new interdisciplinary courses will crowd out an essential part of the legal discipline, namely, an understanding of the foundations and dialectical evolution of its forms of language.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 95

Keywords: Jurisprudence, Legal Education

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Date posted: December 19, 2006  

Suggested Citation

D'Amato, Anthony, The Interdisciplinary Turn in Legal Education (December 2006). Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 06-32. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=952483 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.952483

Contact Information

Anthony D'Amato (Contact Author)
Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )
375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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