New Wine in Old Wineskins: Metaphor and Legal Research

22 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2016 Last revised: 21 Feb 2017

See all articles by Amy E. Sloan

Amy E. Sloan

University of Baltimore - School of Law

Colin P. Starger

University of Baltimore - School of Law

Date Written: August 1, 2016

Abstract

We construct our conceptual world using metaphors. Yet sometimes our concepts are flawed and our metaphors do damage. This Article examines a set of metaphors currently doing damage in law – those for legal research. It shows that while technology has radically altered the material world of legal research, our dominant metaphors have remained static, and thus, become outmoded. Conceptualizing today’s reality using old metaphors fails; it is like pouring new wine in old wineskins. To address this problem, this Article first surfaces unwarranted assumptions buried in the metaphors we use when talking about research and then proposes new metaphors to better serve theory and practice. It concludes by examining how this investigation into “finding law” implicates primary jurisprudential concepts of law.

Keywords: conceptual metaphor theory, legal research, technology, jurisprudence, law, text

Suggested Citation

Sloan, Amy E. and Starger, Colin P., New Wine in Old Wineskins: Metaphor and Legal Research (August 1, 2016). Notre Dame L. Rev Online, Vol. 92, p. 1, 2016 ; University of Baltimore School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2017-07. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2821779

Amy E. Sloan

University of Baltimore - School of Law ( email )

1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
United States
410-837-6529 (Phone)

Colin P. Starger (Contact Author)

University of Baltimore - School of Law ( email )

1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States

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