Bond University

Article Title

A Critical Theory of Law


Many law professors consider their primary job to be teaching legal doctrine and legal skills. Students, they think, must learn how to find applicable legal rules and how to make the kind of arguments lawyers use in court. Of course, as academics, these law teachers also feel that they should offer their students something more than legal doctrine; they need to provide students with some theoretical insight into the subjects they teach. But since the primary job of law professors is to teach law, not theory, they treat any theoretical dimension that law schools offer as necessarily limited. Some theoretical questions can properly be addressed in basic courses, and others can be addressed later in law school in optional courses such as jurisprudence or legal history. But these matters are “extras”, not the core of the curriculum It is obvious, they might say, that the primary focus of teaching law has to be law.