The Art of Law
By Daniel June
As an undergrad we were given the choice between a bachelor’s of art and a bachelor’s of science. So what does law come down to, a science, or an art? Law is by nature philosophical in the most pragmatic sense, analytical, logical, exact, yet the accomplished lawyer becomes an artist, as every man and woman proficient at their profession becomes an artist. What then would we call “the art of law”?
“Art” comes from the same word as “arm,” and suggests the coming together of things, just the opposite of science, which comes from the same word base as scissors and schism. You will cease to be a mere logician, or definer of terms and lister of laws, when you can bring your legal acumen together as an art.
What this means, of course, is no longer viewing your classes as separate components to a great whole, but viewing them as integrated whole, of letting crossovers inform correlations between different classes.
The difference is having the holistic attitude of how each flows into all. Integrate your notes into one corpus, work your various ideas into one edifice. Because when it comes down to it, when you are working post JD, you will be bringing all your experience to bear down on each task at hand. Over the years, you won’t have a catalog of random facts, but integrated facts, and memories that have been more ore less forgotten, but nevertheless integrated into an intuition to help you in all your cases.
Having intuition, having a gut sense, is not a gift of the gods or the song of the muse, but comes from intense acts of assimilation, of integrating your experiences, and seeing all things in terms of the few things that are important. It is worth your time, therefore, to integrate your notes, integrate your personal ideas, and goals.
This is best accomplished if you have a consolidated work of notes, thoughts, ideas, and histories to work with, a minimum of computer files, for instance, to bring your thoughts together, to hash through and let various ideas cross-pollinate and mutually impregnate.
Take the time to work over your notes and to work your fresh ideas and fresh experiences into old notes. You will soon became a master, an artist of law – making your chosen career all the greater.
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