LAWYERS AND LITERATURE
A Bibliographical Guide to Narrative Jurisprudence
From those first days of Langdell
inspired legal education, we have struggled over how to read
law, how to study it, and how to produce the arts and perform
the skills that constitute its practice. We have, throughout
the history of legal education, sought an "approach"
to law that will tame this unruly beast and make it a "fit"
subject of academic study. Christopher Columbus Langdell initiated
a quest that continues to this day, a century of working the
legal foot to fit the academic shoe.
At what might be considered respectable middle age, the legal
realists suggested that in legal education we had mistaken the
left foot for the right. There was no comfort to be had in the
post World War II era when Harold Lasswell and Myers McDougal
offered a vision of law as contextualized policy analysis; law's
fitful failure was again exposed. The process- oriented jurisprudence
of Hart and Sack of the 1950's, the mild euphoria of the psychology-oriented
1960s and 70s (featuring Andrew Watson and Alan Stone's psychoanalytic
critique of legal education, and Jack Himmelstein's psychologically-based
conception of humanistic law teaching), set the stage for the
moral critique of Thomas Shaffer (an earlier participant in the
psychologizing of legal education) and the jurisprudential bombshells
planted by Critical Legal Studies, feminist jurisprudence, and
Critical Race Theory in the 1970's and 1980's.
Legal education, conceived (literally) by Langdell as a science,
is still struggling with attempts, most recently in the form
of "law and economics," to have law be a science.
Traditionalists and others of positivist inclination still cling
to the notion of law as a study of rules and an image of the
lawyer as a skilled technician. But these prosaic images now
contend with other metaphoric descriptions of Law; as a game,
a genre of rhetoric derived form a culture of argument, a form
of semiotics, or a social mechanism for dispute resolution best
studies by way of anthropology. Some scholars even envision the
study and practice of law as a literary activity by focusing
on the central role of textual interpretation in the everyday
work of lawyers. [See
e.g., James Boyd White, What Can a Lawyer Learn from Literature,"
102 Harv. L. Rev. 2014 (1989)] This
new literary approach to law has evolved into a new school of
narrative jurisprudence that broadly focuses on how law and lawyers
are enmeshed in stories and cultural narratives that form and
shape the way we imagine and practice law. The task of locating
law and lawyers within the context of narrative has become the
central theme in the work of a number of contemporary legal scholars,
including Robert Cover, Thomas Shaffer, Robin West, David Papke,
Therese Godwin Phelps, Patricia Williams, and Richard Weisberg.
[On law as argument: James Boyd White, When Words Lose Their
Meaning: Constitutions and Reconstitutions of Language, Character,
and Community 28 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984)
("[A] culture, real or imagined, is not a scheme or structure
but a way of living, and, to be understood, it must be seen as
offering a set of resources for speech and conduct: a set of
things that is possible on certain occasions to say—by way,
for example, of appeal, command, claim, or argument; and a set
of things that it is possible to do, a set of moves with force
and shape and meaning of their own...."); Jeremy Paul, The
Politics of Legal Semiotics, 69 Tex. L. Rev. 1779, 1795-96 (1991)
("The explicit shift of focus from legal rules to legal
arguments constitutes perhaps the most significant characteristic
of contemporary teaching styles that attempt to explain rather
than model what it means to think like a lawyer.")]
The struggle to define, shape, and control our understanding
of law continues unabated. Witness the contemporary struggle
to re-configure jurisprudence into neo-pragmatism, law and economics,
feminism, post-modernism, critical race theory, and critical
legal studies. The most recent protagonist in this struggle is
narrative jurisprudence. Both feminist jurisprudence and critical
race theorists are heavily vested in the pursuit of narrative
jurisprudence. See e.g., Kathryn Abrams, Hearing the Call of
Stories, 79 Calif. L. Rev. 971 (1991) (on feminist jurisprudence
and narrative); Jerome McCristal Culp, Autobiography and Legal
Scholarship and Teaching: Finding the Me in the Legal Academy,
77 Va. L. Rev. 539 (1991) (On using one's own autobiographical
narrative as a African American in law teaching); Patricia Williams,
The Alchemy of Race and Rights (Cambridge: Harvard University
Press, 1991) (same).
[At some point those who engage (for
love, profit, and reasons unknown) in legitimating normative
legal reasoning and conventional legal discourse (with its lingering
traces of positivism) signal that they are threatened by new
narratives, old narratives revisioned (e.g., feminist retellings).
That some members of the law academy are now threatened by critiques
of law is evidenced most dramatically in Paul Carrington's argument
that those who do not believe in law (old- fashioned law) should
leave law teaching to those who do. See Paul D. Carrington, Of
Law and the River, 34 J. Legal Educ. 222 (1984). For responses
to Carrington, see the collected responses in "Of Law and
the River," and of Nihilism and Academic Freedom, 35 J.
Legal Educ. 1 (1985); Gary Minda, Of Law, the River and Legal
Education, 10 Nova L. J. 705 (1986); James R. Elkins, Professing
Law: Does Teaching Matter?, 31 St. Louis U. L. J. 35 (1986);
Ted Finman, Critical Legal Studies, Professionalism, and Academic
Freedom: Exploring the Tributaries of Carrington's river, 35
J. Legal Educ. 180 (1985); Anthony Chase, What Should a Law Teacher
Believe, 10 Nova L. J. 403 (1986); Kaplan, A Scholarly War of
Words Over Academic Freedom, Nat'l Law J. 1 (Feb. 11, 1985)]
The turn to interpretation in legal scholarship has confirmed
that there are multiple possibilities for imagining law, and
that we must learn to live in a world of diverse and contradictory
images and discourses produced by law. To learn how to do that
we must become students of the personal, political, and cultural
narratives that prompt and pull us toward different futures.
The struggle in legal education and legal academic scholarship
(with all the most direct of implications for judicial decision-making)
is over how different readings, voices,
histories, and narratives will be used to constitute, reform,
and re-imagine the legal narratives we inherit and invent. The
question is not only where, in the available and imagined cultural
narratives law belongs, but where we as lawyers belong, where
we lawyers are going to place ourselves, what character we will
assume in law's narratives.
* * *
Law, once viewed as a science, is
now we are told, a branch of economics. For the traditionalist,
law remains as always, a study of rules and legal doctrine and
the deployment of practical skills that lead to problem-solving.
In this tradition, law is a technical craft. We are, beyond the
confines of tradition (or in a call to return to still more fundamental
understandings of tradition) urged to study law as rhetoric,
semiotics, game, or poetics. Amidst all these varying conceptualizations
of law and legal studies, a new school of jurisprudence has emerged
that focuses on law and lawyering as literary activities and
invite us to re-examine stories and narratives as a possible
focus of study. In jurisprudence, judicial decisions, the attorney-client
relationship, legal education, and one's professional life as
a lawyer, we do indeed find ways to locate and give our lives
and activities meaning by way of story and narrative.
The study of lawyer narratives and legal stories and the stories
of those who inhabit the world of law and lawyers is part of
a larger, on-going intellectual movement, a turn to language
and interpretation, reading and writing, literary criticism and
poetics, conversation and voice, rhetoric and performative skills,
gender and race, culture and cultural studies, literary criticism,
rhetoric, voice, conversation — a turn, or turns, which is embodied
in the various contemporary forms of post-modern critical and
humanistic approaches to law and legal studies that have emerged
in the past two decades.
A similar development has taken place in the social sciences.
(For an explanation of this "turn to narrative" see
Frederika Randall, "Why Scholars Become Storytellers,"
New York Times Book Review, January 29, 1984, p. 1, c.1). In
sociology, psychology, and anthropology there is a renewed interest
in stories and story-telling and how the craft of the discipline
is shaped and formed around the narrative conventions and genres
that it has adopted. In anthropology, see e.g., Clifford Geertz,
Works and Lives: The Anthropologist as Author (Stanford University
Press, 1988); James Clifford and George E. Marcus (eds.), Writing
Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography (University
of California Press, 1986); John Van Maanen, Tales of the Field:
On Writing Ethnography (University of Chicago Press, 1988; Rebecca
R. French, Of Narrative in Law and Anthropology (Review Essay),
30 Law & Soc. Rev. 417 (1996)). In psychology, see Erving
Polster, Every Person's Life is Worth a Novel (W.W. Norton, 1987).
The narrative perspective has also received considerable scholarly
attention in history (less perhaps in philosophy) and has become
a major school in theology. (In theology, see Stanley Hauerwas
and L. Gregory Jones (eds.), Why Narrative? Readings in Narrative
Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1989;
Wesley A. Kort, Story, Text, and Scripture: Literary Interests
in Biblical Narrative (University Park, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania
University Press, 1988); Michael Novak, Ascent of the Mountain,
Flight of the Dove: An Invitation to Religious Studies (New York:
Harper & Row, rev. ed., 1978)(The influence of narrative
theology, particularly the work of Stanley Hauerwas, can be seen
in the writing of one of our law colleagues, Thomas Shaffer.)(In
philosophy, see Martha C. Nussbaum, Love's Knowledge: Essays
on Philosophy and Literature (New York: Oxford University Press,
1990); Jonathan Rée, Philosophical Tales: An Essay on
Philosophy and Literature (New York: Methuen, 1987)).
Our colleagues in medicine have also found their way to story
and narrative. See e.g., Arthur W. Frank, The Wounded Storyteller:
Body, Illness, and Ethics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
1995); Lucy Bregman & Sara Thiermann, First Person Mortal:
Personal Narratives of Illness, Dying and Grief (New York: Paragon
House, 1995); Robert Pensack & Dwight Williams, Raising Lazarus
(New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1994); Kathryn Montgomery Hunter,
Doctors' Stories: The Narrative Structure of Medical Knowledge
(Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1991); John
Stone, In the Country of Hearts: Journeys in the Art of Medicine
(New York: Delacorte Press, 1990); Howard Brody, The Stories
of Sickness (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987); Robert
Coles (ed.), William Carlos Williams: The Doctor Stories (New
York: New Directions Books, 1984); Norman Cousins (ed.), The
Physician in Literature (Philadelphia: Saunders Press,. 1982).
For a comprehensive bibliography on the narrative perspective
in law, legal education, medicine, theology, humanities and the
social sciences, see, James R. Elkins, A Bibliography of Narrative,
40 J. Legal Educ. 203-250 (1990).
Speculations abound to explain the recent "rush to storytelling."
"Perhaps it is the post-Kuhnian pragmatism about truth that
has spread from the history of science through out the academy."
[Kim Lane Scheppele, Legal Story-telling, 87 Mich. L. Rev. 2073
(1989)]. Tristan Layle Duncan contends, in Narrative Jurisprudence:
The Remystification of the Law, 7 J. L. & Relig. 105, 116
(1989) that narrativists focus on language in order to "situate
legal perspective in human experience. . . ."
American legal scholarship of the past half century reflects
an interesting tension between what was once labeled theory and
practice, today we might locate the tension as between theory
and story. Narrativists resist the notion that our best (or privileged)
understanding of law must always take the form of abstract theory.
The rebellion springs from a resistance to the reification of
theory and lingering remnants of positivism.
The rebellion, viewed historically, has taken place on a number
- the call for more practical and
experiential approaches to legal education (Jerome Frank, the
clinical movement in legal education, and Jack Himmelstein's
"humanistic" psychology project for legal education
reflect the range of "experiential" concerns);
- the flirtation and deepening involvement
with interdisciplinary approaches to the study of law (drawing
on psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, philosophy,
- the continuing effort to have law
recognized as a liberal art (most notable in the 1950's), more
recently as one of the humanities (1960-1980).
Both the social sciences and the humanities have provided
new grounds for critique of law and legal studies. From a humanistic
perspective, the new critique focuses on textual and con-textual
"readings" of law, viewing law as cultural artifact,
formed within a culture of argument (rhetoric). For a look at
narrative from the broader perspective of the humanities, see
James Boyd White, Intellectual Integration, 82 Nw.U.L.Rev. 1
(1987) and Wayne C. Booth, The Company We Keep: An Ethics of
Fiction (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988).
Today the resistance to legal positivism and it's contemporary
clones, comes packaged as anti-foundational philosophies (Stanley
Fish and Richard Rorty), the "turn to interpretation"
(driven by high energy efforts to shape and confine our readings
of the Constitution), the "call to context" (Martha
Minow), pragmatism (a neo-liberal philosophical creed), and cultural,
race and gender studies (i.e., "outsider" jurisprudence,
feminist jurisprudence, critical race theory). These various
strands of contemporary philosophical, hermeneutical, and literary
discourse are sometimes yoked together. (See e.g., anti-foundationalism,
pragmatism, and narrative, in Dennis M. Patterson, Law's Pragmatism:
Law as Practice & Narrative, 76 Va. L. Rev. 937 (1990)).
In feminist jurisprudence, one finds a weaving of critical, political,
personal, and contextual strands of contemporary scholarship
and a deep receptivity to narrative.
The narrative perspective becomes increasing recognized as an
integral feature of jurisprudence as the phantasy of law as an
autonomous and independent discipline gives way, as it has on
a number of discipline fronts: psychology (who now remembers
the efforts to establish a psychoanalytic jurisprudence?); anthropology
(Clifford Geertz is invited to give the prestigious Storrs Lectures
at Yale Law School in 1981); sociology; economics (the law and
economics movement has had a significant impact on legal education);
history (e.g, Morton Horowitz); philosophy; theology (the work
of Thomas Shaffer, Robert Rodes, and Harold Berman come to mind).
Law has become a subject of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary
"The notion that storytelling is ubiquitous in the law—and
in human interactions generally—has recently attained something
like the status of a truth universally acknowledged. Interest
in storytelling and the law has been expressed from a dizzying
variety of directions, including critical legal studies, feminist
jurisprudence, law and economics, the new pragmatism, and critical
race theory." Jane B. Baron, The Many Promises of Storytelling
in Law (Review Essay), 23 Rutgers L. J. 79 (1991).
Baron, commenting on the uses of narrative in a legal setting,
finds that "what has been written about under the rubric
of 'storytelling' and 'narrative' involves at least three quite
different subjects: the place in legal education and doctrine
of the personal stories of actual people; the stories that legal
doctrines tell about the world, its problems and its potential;
and the way in which stories are or can be used strategically
as a method to enhance the quality of communication between actors
in legal settings such as law offices and courtrooms. Interest
in each of these three subjects seems to have developed independently
of interest in the others, and those writing in one area rarely
address directly those writing in another." [pp. 80-81]
["[M]any have claimed that, through storytelling, we can
change law and how it is practiced. While these claims are difficult
to sustain, the aspiration underlying them—the rethinking of
our understanding of justice—cannot be lightly dismissed."
[Baron, at p. 81]]
For an economical and accessible introduction to the various
strands of narrative jurisprudence, see Jane B. Baron, The Many
Promises of Storytelling in Law (Review Essay), 23 Rutgers L.
J. 79 (1991). A reader would also be well advise to peruse the
law review symposiums devoted to the subject: Lawyers as Storytellers
& Storytellers as Lawyers: An Interdisciplinary Symposium
Exploring the Use of Storytelling in the Practice of Law, 18
Ver. L. Rev. 581 (1994); Pedagogy of Narrative, 40 J. Leg. Educ.
1-150 (1990); Legal Storytelling, 87 Mich. L. Rev. 2073-2494
Some of the "Pedagogy of Narrative" Symposium articles
that first appeared in the Journal of Legal Education symposium
issue articles are reproduced in David Ray Papke (ed.), Narrative
and the Legal Discourse (Liverpool: Deborah Charles Publications,
1991). For a review of the Papke collection of essays on narrative
jurisprudence and thoughtful reflections on the various strands
of thinking in the legal storytelling and narrative movement,
see Jane B. Baron, The Many Promises of Storytelling in Law (Essay
Review), 23 Rutgers L.J. 79 (1991).
A frequently cited law review article on the narrative perspective
is Robert Cover, Nomos and Narrative, 97 Harv. L. Rev. 4 (1983).
Cover continued his exploration of narrative jurisprudence in
The Folktales of Justice: Tales of Jurisdiction, 14 Cap. U. L.
Rev. 179 (1985).
For the jurisprudentially inclined, see Robin West, Jurisprudence
as Narrative: An Aesthetic Analysis of Modern Legal Theory, 60
N.Y.U. L. Rev. 145 (1985). For a practical application of West's
suggestion that we find literary genres in our jurisprudential
schemes, see David R. Papke, Discharge as Denouement: Appreciating
the Storytelling of Appellate Opinions, 40 J. Legal Educ. 145
For more skeptical views of the new narrative perspective, see
Tristan Layle Duncan, Narrative Jurisprudence: The Remystification
of the Law, 7 J. Law and Religion 105 (1989); Ann M. Couglin,
Regulating the Self: Autobiographical Performances in Outsider
Scholarship, 81 Va. L. Rev. 1229 (1995); Mark Tushnet, The Degradation
of Constitutional Discourse, 81 Geo. L.J. 251 (1992); Daniel
A. Farber and Suzanna Sherry, Telling Stories out of School:
An Essay on Legal Narratives, 45 Stan. L. Rev. 807 (1993); Richard
Posner, Law and Literature: A Misunderstood Relation (Cambridge:
Harvard University Press, 1988). Posner's book was widely reviewed
but critically disclaimed. For a comprehensive rebuttal to Posner's
approach to law and literature, see James Boyd White, What Can
a Lawyer Learn From Literature? (Book Review), 102 Harv. L. Rev.
2014 (1989)(a sustained theoretical and scholarly response to
There are two journals that focus on law and humanities and law
and literature but neither journal has devoted much attention
to narrative and story-telling. The Yale Journal of Law and the
Humanities was first published in 1988 and the Cardozo Studies
in Law and Literature in 1989. The appearance of these journals
signal the evolution of law and literature as a field of academic
study but neither serves as an effective vehicle for the story
and narrative perspective in legal education.
The Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities, by way of a "Note
from the Editors" in its first issue celebrates the re-emergence
of the humanities as a significant "voice" in the study
of law. Note from the Editors, 1 Yale J. L. & Human. v (1988).
The Editors suggest (by implication) that the humanities have
made their way into legal studies as part of an interdisciplinary
movement that is "sweeping away the division of law and
the humanities." The purpose of the humanities perspective
in law, if we follow the celebratory theme of the Editors of
the Journal of Law and the Humanities, is to study "the
connections between the words we use and the world that we make,"
"the socio-cultural narratives that shape legal meaning,"
and "the formation, boundaries, and persistent intervention
of legal culture in various spheres of life."
The contemporary narrative and story-telling perspective in law
and legal scholarship has been most thoroughly explored in the
work of James Boyd White. See The Legal Imagination: Studies
in the Nature of Legal Thought and Expression (Boston: Little,
Brown and Company, 1973); When Words Lose Their Meaning: Constitutions
and Reconstitutions of Language, Character, and Community (Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1984); Heracles' Bow: Essays on
the Rhetoric and Poetics of the Law (Madison: University of Wisconsin
Press, 1985); Justice as Translation: An Essay in Cultural and
Legal Criticism Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990);
Acts of Hope: Creating Authority in Literature, Law, and Politics
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994). For an introduction
to White's work, see "A Way of Reading," in James Boyd
White, When Words Lose Their Meaning: Constitutions and Reconstitutions
of Language, Character, and Community 3-23 (Chicago: University
of Chicago Press, 1984).
Thomas Shaffer (drawing on the work of his colleague, theologian
Stanley Hauerwas) has focused on narrative as a way to re-vision
the pedagogy of lawyer ethics. Shaffer's work includes: Faith
and the Professions (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press,
1988); The Legal Ethics of Belonging, 49 Ohio St. L. J. 703 (1988);
The Legal Ethics of Radical Individualism, 65 Tex. L. Rev. 963
(1987); On Being a Professional Elder, 62 Notre Dame Law. 624
(1987); The Profession as a Moral Teacher, 18 St. Mary's L. J.
195 (1986); The Ethics of Dissent and Friendship in the American
Professions, 88 W. Va. L. Rev. 623 (1986); Christian Lawyer Stories
and American Legal Ethics, 33 Mercer L. Rev. 877 (1982); Henry
Knox and the Moral Theology of Law Firms, 38 Wash. & Lee
L. Rev. 347 (1981); The Moral Theology of Atticus Finch, 42 U.
Pitt. L. Rev. 181 (1981); Stanley Hauerwas and Thomas L. Shaffer,
Hope in the Life of Thomas More, 54 Notre Dame Law. 569 (1979).
Shaffer's narrative-oriented legal ethics teaching materials
are collected in American Legal Ethics: Text, Readings, and Discussion
Topics (New York: Matthew Bender, 1985). For Shaffer's earlier
work, see: On Being a Christian and a Lawyer (Provo, Utah: Brigham
Young University Press, 1981).
For an introduction to Shaffer's views on narrative, see: The
Moral Theology of Atticus Finch, 42 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 181 (1981)(Exploring
the moral lessons that can be drawn from Harper Lee's, To Kill
a Mockingbird); Henry Knox and the Moral Theology of Law Firms,
38 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 347 (1981); and Christian Lawyer Stories
and American Legal Ethics, 33 Mercer L. Rev. 877 (1982).
For critiques and assessments of Shaffer's perspective, see John
D. Ayer, Narrative in the Moral Theology of Tom Shaffer (Review
Essay), 40 J. Legal Educ. 173 (1990); James R. Elkins, The Reconstruction
of Legal Ethics as Ethics (Essay Review), 35 J. Legal Educ. 274
(1986). Ayer argues that while Thomas Shaffer's choice of stories
in recent writings are "tolerably diverse," they are
basically "middle-brow." The protagonists in Shaffer's
stories tend, Ayer argues, to be a "mainline bunch."
(182). Ayer goes on to complain that Shaffer's accounts of his
protagonists tend toward "excess admiration." (184).
Ayer doesn't find Shaffer's work totally devoid of critical perspective,
but argues that, with a notable exception, it lacks a "sufficient
sense of irony" in his narrative writings. (184). My own
view of Shaffer's work is less critical. I confess to having
what Ayer would call "excess admiration" for Shaffer's
essays of the past decade that use narrative to focus our philosophical
(and theological) concerns about the legal profession.
For readers who seek application of the narrative perspective
to practical aspects of the lawyering enterprise, see: Kathryn
Holmes Snedaker, Storytelling in Opening Statements: Framing
the Argumentation of the Trial, 10 Amer. J. Trial Advocacy 15
(1986); Dennis Kurzon, How Lawyers Tell Their Tales: Narrative
Aspects of a Lawyer's Brief, 14 Poetics 467 (1985); Douglas W.
Maynard, Narratives and Narrative Structure in Plea Bargaining,
22 Law & Soc. Rev. 449 (1988); William M. O'Barr & John
M. Conley, Litigant Satisfaction Versus Legal Adequacy in Small
Claims Court Narratives, 19 Law & Soc. Rev. 661 (1985); Thomas
Shaffer and James R. Elkins, Legal Interviewing and Counseling
22-45 (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing, 1987).
For an effort to put stories to work to understand the deeper
meaning of lawyering, see: James R. Elkins, Pathologizing Professional
Life: Psycho-Literary Case Stories, 18 Vt. L. Rev. 581-643 (1994).
For law teachers looking to use narrative in the classroom, instructive
commentary can be found in Alison Grey Anderson, Lawyering in
the Classroom: An Address to First Year Students, 10 Nova L.
J. 271 (1986). On the use of stories in the education of lawyers,
see: James Boyd White, What Can a Lawyer Learn from Literature?
(Book Review), 102 Harv. L. Rev. 2014 (1989); L.H. LaRue, Teaching
Legal Ethics by Negative Example: John Dean's Blind Ambition,
10 Legal Stud. F. 315 (1986); "Literature Touches a Lawyer's
Task," Insight, October 3, 1988.
For an account of legal education, drawing on student stories
of their legal education experience, see: James R. Elkins, Writing
Our Lives: Making Introspective Writing a Part of Legal Education,
29 Willamette Law Review 41-68 (1993); The Quest for Meaning:
Narrative Accounts of Legal Education, 38 J. Legal Educ. 577
(1988); Rites of Passage: Law Students "Telling Their Lives",
35 J. Legal Educ. 27 (1985); Worlds of Silence: Women in Law
School, 8 Amer. Legal Stud. F. 1-161 (1984)(James R. Elkins ed.);
Becoming a Lawyer: The Transformations of Self During Legal Education,
66 Soundings 450 (1983); Coping Strategies in Legal Education,
16 L. Tchr. 195 (1982).
James C. Foster, a political scientist at Oregon State, has written
a number of exemplary accounts of legal education drawing on
extensive interviews with students trying to come to grips with
the meaning of their legal educations. See James C. Foster, Antigones
in the Bar: Women Lawyers as Reluctant Adversaries, 10 Legal
Stud. F. 287 (1986); Legal Education and the Production of Lawyers
to (Re)Produce Liberal Capitalism, 9 Legal Stud. F. 179 (1985);
The "Cooling Out" of Law Students, 3 Law & Pol.
Quart. 243 (1981) (reprinted in Richard A. L. Gambitta, Marlynn
L. May & James C. Foster (eds.), Governing Through Courts (Beverly
Hills, California: Sage, 1981).
Some of the most striking and evocative story-telling being done
in legal education is that of Patricia Williams: The Obliging
Shell: An Informal Essay on Formal Equal Opportunity, 87 Mich.
L. Rev. 2128 (1989); On Being the Object of Property, 14 Signs
5 (1988); Spirit- Murdering the Messenger: The Discourse of Fingerpointing
as the Law's Response to Racism, 42 U. Miami L. Rev. 127 (1987);
On Being Invisible, 4 Harv. Blackletter J. 16 (1987); Alchemical
Notes: Reconstructing Ideals from Deconstructed Rights, 22 Harv.
Civ. Rts.-Civ. L. Rev. 401 (1987); Grandmother Sophie, 3 Harv.
Blackletter J. 79 (1986). Williams' early work is collected in
Patricia Williams, The Alchemy of Race and Rights (1991).
Feminists have generally found the narrative perspective an ally.
See generally, Kathryn Abrams, Hearing the Call of Stories, 79
Calif. L. Rev. 971 (1991). On narrative and gender, see the searing
story meditations of Marie Ashe, Zig-Zag Stitching and the Seamless
Web, 13 Nova L. Rev. 355 (1989).
and Literature Home Page