Theory Saved My Life

35 Pages Posted: 3 May 2006


In part a tribute to the groundbreaking work of legal theorist Ruthann Robson, this article argues that theory and theorizing are under-examined yet basic skills which must be taught to all beginning law students. Positing that in order to be effective in law school and legal culture law students must learn to see, construct, deconstruct and use legal theories, the article articulates several common approaches to basic legal pedagogy and asks how they might be enhanced if pedagogy is embedded in a theoretical comprehension of the students' roles as interpreters of law. The article offers as examples artwork far removed from the common realm of legal reading, as well as cases similar to those often taught to first-year law students. After demonstrating ways in which theorizing explicitly about the texts can lead law students to produce more persuasive and more thoughtful work the article concludes that theoretical examination of law is inherently creative, important, and basic.

Keywords: pedagogy, theory, theorizing, learning, academic support, legal analysis, legal method, jurisprudence

Suggested Citation

Franklin, Kris, Theory Saved My Life. New York Law School Law Review, Vol. 8, p. 599, 2005; NYLS Legal Studies Research Paper No. 05-06/21. Available at SSRN:

Kris Franklin (Contact Author)

New York Law School ( email )

185 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
United States

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics