Meditations on Teaching What Isn't

27 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2022

Date Written: June 9, 2022


Lawyers reason from facts, but we also reason from absence.

The lack of something we might logically expect to be found, but has not been, may be highly and suggestively meaningful. In a culture infused with matters of race and not-infrequently affected by racism, what "is not there" will often be things that especially intersect with the lives of people of color.

This essay explores the teaching of absence as a form of logical thinking. In so doing, it surveys a wide array of examples in various core legal subjects that may point to the omission of diverse perspectives. The article provides law faculty and students with samples of ways to make more visible that which is currently not seen.

Keywords: race, legal education, pedagogy, reasoning

Suggested Citation

Franklin, Kris, Meditations on Teaching What Isn't (June 9, 2022). New York Law School Law Review, Vol. 66, No. 387, 2022, NYLS Legal Studies Research Paper No. 4186282, Available at SSRN:

Kris Franklin (Contact Author)

New York Law School ( email )

185 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
United States

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