'The Hindrance of a Law Degree': Justice Kagan on Law and Experience

Maryland Law Review Endnotes, v. 74, p. 10, 2015

Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15-09

14 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2015

See all articles by Laura Ray

Laura Ray

Widener University - Delaware Law School

Date Written: April 8, 2015

Abstract

In her brief tenure on the Supreme Court, Justice Elena Kagan has already proved to be an innovative opinion writer who enlivens her opinions with colloquial diction, metaphors drawn from common experience, and invitations to the reader to participate in her analytic process. Those rhetorical strategies reflect her belief that Supreme Court opinions can and should be accessible to lay readers as well as trained lawyers. They also reflect a more subversive position, that legal doctrine itself should be grounded in common experience and therefore understandable by non-lawyers who are already capable of assessing issues of responsibility and fairness.

Keywords: supreme court, judges, legal writing, court opinions, Elena Kagan

JEL Classification: K10, K40

Suggested Citation

Ray, Laura, 'The Hindrance of a Law Degree': Justice Kagan on Law and Experience (April 8, 2015). Maryland Law Review Endnotes, v. 74, p. 10, 2015; Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15-09. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2592091

Laura Ray (Contact Author)

Widener University - Delaware Law School ( email )

4601 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19803-0406
United States

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