Professor Richard Bernstein
Stresses the creation, by writers on law and by those writing within the world of law, of communities of discourse between writers and readers. The creation of communities of discourse is the essence of the lawyer’s task (whether as legislator, litigant, scholar, or judge). Students (1) look at law through great literary works and learn from this enterprise how the various activities and goals of legal systems appear from outside; and (2) look at the law—in particular, at legal and political writings such as the Constitution, Federalist and Anti-Federalist polemics, judicial opinions, and legal scholarship—with attention to their literary and rhetorical strategies, including their choice of examples and their constructions of argument. From the required reading (or set of required readings) and a cluster of recommended readings, students choose the work on which the grade will be based. A paper is required. Enrollment limited.