Professor Nagel Speaks on Why Law Schools are Bad for Democracy

November 30, 2004

Professor Robert Nagel, Rothgerber Professor of Constitutional Law, gave a provocative lecture on Tuesday, November 30th before an audience of roughly seventy law students, faculty and staff. The talk, which was based on his provocative election-day Wall Street Journal editorial "Law Schools Are Bad for Democracy", examined the relationship between certain aspects of legal education and the mythic status of the 2000 presidential election controversy in Florida. In particular, Nagel points to a tendency in the legal academy to favor idealized constructions over real-life and to confuse the skills of argumentation with morality. He suggests that these tendencies pose a threat to legitimate presidential transitions. In addition to scholarly books and articles, Nagel regularly writes for popular audiences, most recently in First Things and the Weekly Standard. He was also recently elected to the prestigous American Academy of Arts and Sciences. For that story, click here.