A Taxonomy of Taxonomies (Book Review of Pierre Schlag and Amy J. Griffin, How to do Things with Legal Doctrine (2020))
__ Journal of Legal Education __ (2021 Forthcoming)
14 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2021 Last revised: 9 Apr 2021
This book review celebrates a new book’s adroit categorization of various legal analysis techniques. In doing so, the book review summarizes how authors Schlag and Griffin present an intriguing combination of jurisprudence and practical advice. Although the review makes light of the authors’ tendency to complicate and to create filigreed categories (as fair-minded lawyers tend to do), the book review largely praises the book’s usefulness for law professors, legal practitioners (and -- to a lesser extent – law students) in opening minds to the various techniques for spinning and deploying legal doctrine. For those interested in understanding, describing, and channeling creativity, the review lays out the book’s description of important legal analytical techniques, such as using contrasting frame-shifts on an issue, segmenting or combining elements of a disputed transaction, demonstrating how varying levels of abstraction from specific to general can affect a result, and the like. The review translates the book’s references to classic jurisprudential texts, ultimately praising HOW TO DO THINGS WITH LEGAL DOCTRINE for accomplishing so much in one mercifully short and elegant volume.
Keywords: jurisprudence, legal argumentation, legal rhetoric, legal practice, frame shifting, legal doctrine, metaphor, framing, legal process
JEL Classification: K00, K1, K40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation