Real Imaginary = Complex: Toward a Better Property Course
66 Journal of Legal Education 930 (2017)
27 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2017 Last revised: 31 Aug 2017
Date Written: August 2, 2017
“Property” in most law schools means real property: the dense, illogical, and special-purpose body of land law. But this is wrong: property also comes in personal, intangible, and intellectual flavors—all of them more important to modern lawyers than land. Real property is deeply unrepresentative of property law, and focusing our teaching on it sells the subject short. A better property course would fully embrace these other forms of property as real property’s equals. Escaping the traditional but labyrinthine classifications of real property frees teachers to bring out the underlying conceptual coherence and unity of property law. The resulting course is easier to teach, more enjoyable for students, and more relevant to legal practice. There is no excuse not to switch.
Keywords: property, real property, personal property, intellectual property, intangible property, legal education
JEL Classification: K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation