Intercategorical Analysis of Law

16 Washington University Jurisprudence Review (Forthcoming)

San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 23-018

27 Pages Posted: 17 May 2023 Last revised: 22 May 2023

Date Written: May 8, 2023


This Article advocates the routine use of intercategorical analysis in lawmaking: When formulating (or revisiting) rules within one legal category, courts, legislators, and codifiers alike should explore analogous doctrines that prevail in related categories. Such exploration may provide lawmakers with both inspiration and data relevant to formulating the doctrine under consideration. The Article offers three, disparate illustrations of how intercategorical analysis could improve our law, regarding (1) nonpossessory liens, (2) formalities for transfers of property, and (3) in rem proceedings for winding up different kinds of estates. The Article also addresses the potential relevance of intercategorical analysis when drawing the boundaries of legal categories. Finally, the Article assesses the risks inherent in intercategorical analysis and relates this mode of analysis to other “law-ands.”

Keywords: jurisprudence, legal categories, intercategorical analysis, law-and, mortgages, security interests, contracts, ucc, wills, gifts, bankruptcy, probate, insolvent estates

JEL Classification: K10, K19, K30, K39

Suggested Citation

Hirsch, Adam Jay, Intercategorical Analysis of Law (May 8, 2023). 16 Washington University Jurisprudence Review (Forthcoming), San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 23-018, Available at SSRN:

Adam Jay Hirsch (Contact Author)

University of San Diego ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110
United States

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