Of Theory and Practice

Chicago-Kent Law Review, Forthcoming

20 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2001

See all articles by Tamar Frankel

Tamar Frankel

Boston University School of Law

Date Written: October 13, 2001

Abstract

Much has been written about theory and practice in the law, and the tension between practitioners and theorists. Judges do not cite theoretical articles often; they rarely "apply" theories to particular cases. These arguments are not revisited. Instead the Essay explores the working and interaction of theory and practice, practitioners and theorists.

The Essay starts with a story about solving a legal issue using our intellectual tools - theory, practice, and their progenies: experience and "gut." Next the Essay elaborates on the nature of theory, practice, experience and "gut." The third part of the Essay discusses theories that are helpful to practitioners and those that are less helpful. The Essay concludes that practitioners theorize, and theorists practice. They use these intellectual tools differently because the goals and orientations of theorists and practitioners, and the constraints under which they act, differ. Theory, practice, experience and "gut" help us think, remember, decide and create. They complement each other like the two sides of the same coin: distinct but inseparable.

JEL Classification: K10, K29

Suggested Citation

Frankel, Tamar, Of Theory and Practice (October 13, 2001). Chicago-Kent Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=288539 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.288539

Tamar Frankel (Contact Author)

Boston University School of Law ( email )

765 Commonwealth Avenue
1070G
Boston, MA 02215
United States
617-353-3773 (Phone)
617-353-3077 (Fax)

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