Wednesday, December 27, 2006

syllogisms to the rescue?

Boland Professor James Boland of Regent University School of Law has written a provocative piece on Legal Writing Programs and Professionalism:  Legal Writing Professors Can Join the Academic Club, 18 St. Thomas Law Review 711 (2006).  Professor Boland argues that legal writing professors would be better integrated into the legal academy if they would teach the basics of syllogistic reasoning to their first-year legal writing students, become the in-house experts on syllogisms, and use a sophisticated understanding of syllogisms as the basis of their scholarship.  If eliminating all the obstacles placed in the paths of legal writing professors were as easy as adding labels like "major premise" and "minor premise" to a few of the many modes of legal analysis we already teach in class and employ in our own scholarship, surely someone would have tried it by now.  If no one has and Professor Boland is right, perhaps he will report periodically on his own efforts to succeed by relying on syllogisms. 


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I teach a basic Aristotelian syllogism to teach legal writing in my book Scoring High on Bar Exam Essays. It works.


Posted by: Mary Campbell Gallagher, J.D., Ph.D. | Dec 27, 2006 12:02:44 PM

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