The Humanities in the Law School Curriculum: Courtship and Consummation
30 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2016
Date Written: 2016
Today the humanities occupy a small corner of the law school curriculum. Might they instead become a more vibrant partner in legal education? Might law and humanities scholarship escape the pages of law reviews and teach us something important about how to read and understand the law?
Despite the long theoretical dominance of legal realism in scholarly circles, much of legal education as we know it has remained mired in Langdell's formalist vision of the law — a vision of a narrow, abstract, impersonal system bereft of human meaning and value. But we can do better. We can approach law, and teach our students to approach law, not as a set of rules but as a form of life. If we decide to take up this life-giving journey, it is the humanities that can show us the way.
Keywords: Legal Education, Experiential Learning, Langdell, Humanities, Liberal Arts, Legal Realism, Law School, Redemptive Violence, Hamdi v. Rumsfeld
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