Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Many legal writers at some point make a reference to popular music in their work. Professor Alex Long at Oklahoma City University explores this phenomenon in [Insert Song Lyrics Here]: The Uses and Misuses of Popular Music Lyrics In Legal Writing, 64 Washington & Lee Law Review ___ (2007).
You can download the full article free of charge at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=937392
For a preview, here's the abstract:
"Legal writers frequently utilize the lyrics of popular music artists to help advance a particular theme or argument in legal writing. And if the music we listen to says something about us as individuals, then the music we, the legal profession as a whole, write about may something about who we are as a profession. A study of citations to popular artists in law journals reveals that, not surprisingly, Bob Dylan is the most popular artist in legal scholarship. The list of names of the other artists rounding out the Top Ten essentially reads like a Who's Who of baby boomer favorites. Often, attorneys use the lyrics of popular music in fairly predictable ways in their writing, sometimes with adverse impact on the persuasiveness of the argument they are advancing. However, if one digs deeper, one can find numerous instances in which legal writers incorporate the lyrics of popular music into their writing in more creative ways."