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Can You Talk Like a Lawyer and Still Think Like a Human Being?: Mertz’s the Language of Law School

68 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2009  

John M. Conley

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Law

Date Written: September 14, 2009

Abstract

The last thirty years in anthropology, as well as in linguistics and many of the other social sciences, has been characterized by a shift in theoretical focus from structure to practice. In The Language of Law School: Learning to "Think Like a Lawyer" (2007), the linguistic anthropologist and law professor Elizabeth Mertz has brought this practice perspective to bear on the extraordinary linguistic and cultural venue that is the first-year law school classroom. In revealing the linguistic realities of teaching new students to "think like a lawyer", she raises fascinating questions about the relationship between language and thought, the subtle effects of legal education, and the nature of law itself.

Suggested Citation

Conley, John M., Can You Talk Like a Lawyer and Still Think Like a Human Being?: Mertz’s the Language of Law School (September 14, 2009). Law & Social Inquiry, Vol. 34; UNC Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1473518. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1473518

John M. Conley (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Law ( email )

Van Hecke-Wettach Hall, 160 Ridge Road
CB #3380
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380
United States
919-962-8502 (Phone)

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