Fire and Ice: Reframing Emotion and Cognition in the Law

47 Pages Posted: 14 May 2019 Last revised: 24 Oct 2019

Date Written: April 10, 2019


Recent advances in neuroscience have shown that cognition and emotion often work interdependently, operating as if emerging from a single faucet. This means that the stereotypes of a divided “ice cold cognition” and “hot fire emotion” are overly simplistic and inaccurate. The outdated but influential Langdellian approach to law, lawyering and legal education still places cognitive legal reasoning as the centerpiece. Instead, the cognition-emotion conceptualization should be revised so that positive emotion is expressly accepted, used, and managed within legal systems. Students and lawyers should be taught how to successfully feel and act like lawyers, as well as think like them.

Suggested Citation

Friedland, Steven, Fire and Ice: Reframing Emotion and Cognition in the Law (April 10, 2019). Wake Forest Law Review, Forthcoming, Elon University Law Legal Studies Research Paper, Available at SSRN:

Steven Friedland (Contact Author)

Elon University School of Law ( email )

201 N. Greene Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
United States

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