The Practice and Discourse of Legal Scholarship

This article begins with a discussion of the critique of methodology, a characterization of standard legal scholarship in terms of the critique, and an exploration of the critique’s relevance for this form of scholarship. The next section discusses the modes of legal analysis represented by the critical legal studies, law and literature, and law as practical reason movements, which draw from many of the same philosophic sources as the critique. Despite their common origin, these movements do not rely on the critique of methodology itself, and do not focus on standard legal scholarship. The Article then proceeds to offer a critique based on the internally defined purposes of legal scholarship, concluding that this scholarship is often ineffective on its own terms. Finally, the insights of the critique of methodology are used to develop a set of practical suggestions for increasing the field’s effectiveness in achieving those self-defined purposes.