UNIV 3784-002: The Canon of American Legal Thought

Instructor: Michael Fischl

Now open to any third-year (or higher) Honors student. Email susan.ruggiero@uconn.edu for a permission number.

This seminar will examine what are widely regarded as the “greatest hits” in American legal thought, essays and articles that have significantly influenced the development of law and legal theory in the U.S. since the early 20th Century. The essays exemplify the principal schools of modern legal thought – including legal realism, law and economics, the law and society movement, and various branches of critical legal theory – and they feature legal thinkers from Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and Karl Llewellyn to Duncan Kennedy and Catharine Mackinnon.

Class will meet on Wednesdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Gentry 140, and each week we will analyze and critique selected essays, most of which will be found in our textbook, The Canon of American Legal Thought (David Kennedy & William W. Fisher III, eds. 2006). A handful of additional readings will be available at a later date via email. Please be sure to purchase Kennedy & Fisher ASAP so you can  do the relatively short but very important reading assigned for our first class meeting on January 20.

Grades will be calculated in the following manner: 1/3 will be based on class participation; 1/3 will be based on your performance on a series of weekly quizzes; and 1/3 will be based on a final exam, which will be administered from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27, our final day of class.