Skip to main content

Inside the Minds of Legal Academics

Ever wonder how legal scholars get their start in academia? How they refine their theories? How their ideas have changed over the years? Or even what they thought of their own law school experience? James R. Hackney has posed all of these questions, and many more, to some of the great legal scholars of our time. In his new book, Legal Intellectuals in Conversation: Reflections on the Construction of Contemporary American Legal Theory, Hackney conducts one-on-one interviews with some of the most prominent legal scholars alive today.  He discusses how Richard Posner became interested in law and economics, and the development of feminist legal theory with Catharine MacKinnon. A law professor himself, James Hackney is no stranger to the worlds of legal academia and legal theory, and he asks probing questions in each of the interviews, often with surprising results. Richard Posner announces that he considers cognitive psychology as the new driver of law and economics; critical race theorist Patricia Wiliams comments that women of color in law school today may have a harder time gaining acceptance than she did during her time at Harvard Law School.

The ten interviews in the book also include Austin Sarat on law and society, Drucilla Cornell on postmodern legal theory, and Jules Coleman on law and philosophy. Each interview not only gives insight into the construction of each scholar's legal theories, but also insight into how their personal and formative experiences have shaped their ideas as well. The scholars comment candidly about their own professors, their feelings about other scholars in the book, and their predictions of where legal thought is headed today. For all their intellectual revelations, what is most satisfying about Legal Intellectuals in Conversation is how human these larger than life scholars truly are, and that it is their own humanity and thoughtfulness that has inspired them to do their life's work. Hackney's Legal Intellectuals in Conversation is highly recommended for anyone curious about the life and work of legal academics, whether familiar with their scholarship or not.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Legal Research AI Gains Venture Capital

The legal research company Casetext has announced that it has acquired $12 million in venture capital to expand on its CARA ("Case Analysis Research Assistant") AI software, a virtual research assistant currently capable of scanning a legal brief and retrieving cases relevant to but not cited in the brief.

CARA is not alone in the world of legal AIs.  When it was created last year, it joined the ranks of AIs including ROSS, an IBM Watson-based legal research AI, DoNotPay, a website founded in 2015 to automate the preparation of parking ticket appeals, and an amateur AI judge capable of predicting European Court of Human Rights decisions with 79% accuracy.

The Congressional Report on the Executive Authority to Exclude Aliens Released Days Before Immigration Ban

On January 27 President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States. Four days earlier, on January 24, the Congressional Research Service released its own report:  Executive Authority to Exclude Aliens: In Brief.
To those unfamiliar, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) is a federal legislative branch agency, housed inside the Library of Congress, charged with providing the United States Congress non-partisan advice on issues that may come before Congress, including immigration.
Included in the report are in-depth discussions on the operation of sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) in the context of the executive power . Discussions of sections 212(f),  214(a)(1) and 215(a)(1) report on how the sections have been used by Presidents, along with relevant case law and precedents. Most interesting is the list of executive orders excluding some groups of aliens during past presidencies; the table all…