Professor Pierre Schlag recently sent shockwaves through the American legal academy. In a witty and merciless essay, he argued that “American legal scholarship today is dead.” Schlag believes that “for most people in the legal academy these days, there’s no elaborated conception of what legal scholarship is supposed to be or do . . . .” Moreover, lacking great texts, great methods, and great questions, current legal scholarship is mostly a mimesis of what lawyers and judges do—produce advocacy-oriented reviews with legalist arguments over judicial concerns. According to Schlag, imitating the judicial discourse reduces the legal academy’s potential for “intellectual edification.”
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