Monday, January 21, 2008

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know/Read on Interdisciplinary Legal Scholarship

(Posts in bold are the "must read" posts)

1. Original Post by Brian Tamanaha at Balkinization.

2. Brian Leiter asks for comments . Read Matt Lister's and John Oberdiek's comments and Tamanaha's response.

3. Dan Solove has a thoughtful response at Concurring Opinions about the benefits that do accrue to students from having interdisciplinary teachers.

4. Ethan Leib comments at PrawfsBlawg, giving a good argument that non-elite schools ignore this trend at their peril.

5. I think that the trend just goes to show how much more it takes nowadays to join the legal academy, but also how many different paths you can take, which is a good thing.

6. Josh Wright at Truth on the Market says that Tamanaha's question of whether interdisciplinary legal scholars produce better lawyers is an empirical one, and says that it does at least with respect to the study of economics. So what about sociology or philosophy?

7. Tamanaha clarifies what he means by "bad for non-elite law schools," that is the exhorbitant cost of legal education--shouldn't non-elite law schools be training lawyers who can pass the bar and repay their loans? Are interdisciplinary scholars, most of whom are not practitioner-oriented, the best people for the job?

8. Solove re-replies to Tamanaha's clarification, conceding this point, but still arguing that interdisciplinary scholarship has a place at some, if not all, non-elite law schools.

9. Larry Solum writes the definitive essay on interdisciplinarity, multi-disciplinarity and the future of legal education. It is a long essay, but well worth the read and is a must read. I want to print it out and tack it onto my wall.

10. Larry Ribstein at Ideoblog says that the real question is "whether the current system of lawyer licensing is a good thing, or if we should have narrower licensing requirements that allow for cheaper legal training."

11. Jeff Lipshaw of Legal Profession Blog chimes in at Concurring Opinions. He can't resist.

12. Mark Graber at Balkination highlights the red herrings in the debate, comparing interdisciplinary legal scholars to Aesop's Bat.

13. Jim Chen has a thoughtful essay on MoneyLaw, and his dean's perspective is valuable.

14. Bruce Boyden adds a post on the importance of a practioner's perspective in teaching law.


Craig MacFarlane of Theoria: Blog and York University collects all of links, and connects them to previous debates over interdisciplinary legal scholarship.

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