Can You Talk Like a Lawyer and Still Think Like a Human Being? Mertz's The Language of Law School
Article first published online: 17 NOV 2009
© 2009 American Bar Foundation.
Law & Social Inquiry
Volume 34, Issue 4, pages 983–1015, Fall 2009
How to Cite
Conley, J. M. (2009), Can You Talk Like a Lawyer and Still Think Like a Human Being? Mertz's The Language of Law School. Law & Social Inquiry, 34: 983–1015. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-4469.2009.01171.x
- Issue published online: 17 NOV 2009
- Article first published online: 17 NOV 2009
The last thirty years in anthropology, as well as in linguistics and in many of the other social sciences, have been characterized by a shift in theoretical focus from structure to practice. In The Language of Law School: Learning to “Think Like a Lawyer” (2007), linguistic anthropologist and law professor Elizabeth Mertz has brought this practice perspective to bear on the extraordinary linguistic and cultural venue that is the first-year law school classroom. In revealing the linguistic realities of teaching new students to “think like a lawyer,” she raises fascinating questions about the relationship between language and thought, the subtle effects of legal education, and the nature of law itself.