Can Law Survive Legal Education?

Ernest J. Weinrib

in Corrective Justice

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199660643
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191748288 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Legal Philosophy

Can Law Survive Legal Education?

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This chapter deals with the disjunction between the practice of private law and its university study. This disjunction is the result of the prevailing instrumentalist approaches within the legal academy, which efface the characteristic concepts of private law, ignore the direct relationship between the parties, and assimilate private law into public law. The chapter sketches a different mode of legal understanding that elucidates the character of private law in terms of the correlative structure of its relationships and the normative standpoint of personality that those relationships presuppose. It then traces the implications of this mode of understanding for the interdisciplinary turn that is a conspicuous feature of contemporary legal education. Interdisciplinary study of law requires that law itself be recognized as a distinct discipline. Coase's treatment of the classic nuisance cases in his celebrated article on social cost exemplifies the failure to accord law this recognition.

Keywords: legal education; instrumentalism; correlativity; personality; interdisciplinary study; Coase; nuisance

Chapter.  15170 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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