Teaching Law re-imagines law school teaching and scholarship by going beyond crises now besetting the legal academy and examining deeper and longer-lasting challenges. The book argues that the legal academy has long neglected the need to focus teaching and scholarship on the ideals of justice that law fitfully serves, the political origins of law, and the development of a respectful but critical relationship with the legal profession. It suggests reforms to improve the quality of legal education and responds to concerns that law schools eschew the study of justice, rendering students amoralist; that law schools slight the political sources of law, particularly in legislative action; and that law schools have ignored the profession entirely. These areas of neglect have impoverished legal teaching and scholarship as the academy is refashioned in response to current financial exigencies, and addressing them is long overdue.
Robin L. West teaches law and humanities at Georgetown University Law Center. She is the author, most recently, of Normative Jurisprudence: An Introduction (2011) and Marriage, Sexuality, and Gender (2007), and co-editor of Jurisprudence Cases and Materials, (2006 with Brian Bix, Stephen Gottlieb and Timothy Lytton). She writes broadly on jurisprudence, law and humanities, legal feminism and constitutional theory. She was one of the founders of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities and is an elected Member-at-Large of the Association for Political and Legal Philosophy. She has published more than 120 articles on law and humanities, constitutional law and theory, and jurisprudence, most recently in The Yale Law Journal, NOMOS, Harvard Law Review Online, Jurist, and Pennsylvania Law Review Online.
1. The unbearable lightness of justice; 2. Politics and its discontents; 3. The bifurcated academy: the practice vs. the study of law; 4. Confronting our existential challenge.