Foreword: Interdisciplinarity

In the beginning, there was law. Then came law-and. Law and society, law and economics, law and history, law and literature, law and philosophy, law and finance, statistics, game theory, psychology, anthropology, linguistics, critical theory, cultural studies, political theory, political science, organizational behavior, to name a few. The variety of extralegal disciplines represented in the books reviewed in this issue attests to this explosion of perspectives on the law in legal scholarship. This development makes clear that the vocation of the legal scholar has shifted from that of priest to theologian. No longer is a law professor successful by virtue of well-informed and detached normative prescription directed to those toiling at practice, policymaking and adjudication. No longer is the highest aspiration of the law professor to restate the law or lead the bar. Instead, legal knowledge is perceived to advance through techniques of measurement, explanation and interpretation, the positive and analytic tools of the social sciences and the humanities. And yet we continue to owe our jobs as law professors, with our special place and privileges within the university, to teaching lawyers the tools of practice. We still publish casebooks and respond to requests from judges, legislators, and businesses for advice. The analytic techniques of the law school classroom continue to follow the ancient professional folkways of taxonomy and synthesis, analogy and distinction, even as enhanced by power-point slides and quantitative techniques. The life cycle of many legal theorists includes a period of policy-oriented prescription, offered in op-eds, public testimony, or consulting memoranda. We thus live a curiously bifocal existence, viewing law close up by day, and from an external vantage point by night, both insiders and outsiders to our profession.