Picking Up the Law

17 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2003

See all articles by Phyllis Goldfarb

Phyllis Goldfarb

George Washington University Law School

Date Written: March 7, 2003


This essay is a contribution to a Miami Law Review symposium on the work of Professor Pierre Schlag. While Schlag's writing poses a profound intellectual challenge to the legal academic enterprise, it also leaves many pressing questions in its wake. One of these questions concerns where those who hold such views can locate themselves within the legal academy. Might one use Schlag's insights to develop a useful alternative pedagogy in the law school context and what might such a pedagogy look like?

In this article, I explore the intellectual possibilities left open for a more authentic law school pedagogy than the one that Schlag caricatures and critiques. In particular, I focus on the law school clinic. Some of my past writing identifies the law school clinic as an alternative pedagogic site, but can it be counterpedagogic in Schlag's terms? Does studying law by doing law on behalf of indigent clients offer hope that law students will observe and analyze the disparity between law's ideal and its bureaucratic manifestations? Can we imagine a pedagogy that develops and cultivates such insights with clinic students? In other words, is a Pierre Schlag Postmodern Legal Clinic a thought experiment that produces anything intelligible?

Suggested Citation

Goldfarb, Phyllis, Picking Up the Law (March 7, 2003). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=386500 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.386500

Phyllis Goldfarb (Contact Author)

George Washington University Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202.994.7463 (Phone)

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