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What can judicial architecture tell us about how courts function? In this essay, I examine Legal Architecture: Justice, Due Process, and the Place of Law (2011) by Linda Mulcahy and Representing Justice: Invention, Controversy, and Rights in City-States and Democratic Courtrooms (2011) by Judith Resnik and Dennis Curtis. I argue that both books develop an understanding of judicial architecture as a socially contingent form of communication. I relate this expressive theory of architecture to older arguments about design and construction articulated by poet and novelist Victor Hugo and architect Frank Lloyd Wright. I also briefly explore the connections between this developing “jurisprudence of what's real” and more conventional forms of law-and-courts scholarship.