A Bibliographical Guide to Narrative Jurisprudence

From those first days of Langdell inspired legal education, we have struggled over how to read law, how to study it, and how to produce the arts and perform the skills that constitute its practice. We have, throughout the history of legal education, sought an "approach" to law that will tame this unruly beast and make it a "fit" subject of academic study. Christopher Columbus Langdell initiated a quest that continues to this day, a century of working the legal foot to fit the academic shoe.

At what might be considered respectable middle age, the legal realists suggested that in legal education we had mistaken the left foot for the right. There was no comfort to be had in the post World War II era when Harold Lasswell and Myers McDougal offered a vision of law as contextualized policy analysis; law's fitful failure was again exposed. The process- oriented jurisprudence of Hart and Sack of the 1950's, the mild euphoria of the psychology-oriented 1960s and 70s (featuring Andrew Watson and Alan Stone's psychoanalytic critique of legal education, and Jack Himmelstein's psychologically-based conception of humanistic law teaching), set the stage for the moral critique of Thomas Shaffer (an earlier participant in the psychologizing of legal education) and the jurisprudential bombshells planted by Critical Legal Studies, feminist jurisprudence, and Critical Race Theory in the 1970's and 1980's.

Legal education, conceived (literally) by Langdell as a science, is still struggling with attempts, most recently in the form of "law and economics," to have law be a science.

Traditionalists and others of positivist inclination still cling to the notion of law as a study of rules and an image of the lawyer as a skilled technician. But these prosaic images now contend with other metaphoric descriptions of Law; as a game, a genre of rhetoric derived form a culture of argument, a form of semiotics, or a social mechanism for dispute resolution best studies by way of anthropology. Some scholars even envision the study and practice of law as a literary activity by focusing on the central role of textual interpretation in the everyday work of lawyers.
[See e.g., James Boyd White, What Can a Lawyer Learn from Literature," 102 Harv. L. Rev. 2014 (1989)] This new literary approach to law has evolved into a new school of narrative jurisprudence that broadly focuses on how law and lawyers are enmeshed in stories and cultural narratives that form and shape the way we imagine and practice law. The task of locating law and lawyers within the context of narrative has become the central theme in the work of a number of contemporary legal scholars, including Robert Cover, Thomas Shaffer, Robin West, David Papke, Therese Godwin Phelps, Patricia Williams, and Richard Weisberg.

[On law as argument: James Boyd White, When Words Lose Their Meaning: Constitutions and Reconstitutions of Language, Character, and Community 28 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984) ("[A] culture, real or imagined, is not a scheme or structure but a way of living, and, to be understood, it must be seen as offering a set of resources for speech and conduct: a set of things that is possible on certain occasions to say--by way, for example, of appeal, command, claim, or argument; and a set of things that it is possible to do, a set of moves with force and shape and meaning of their own...."); Jeremy Paul, The Politics of Legal Semiotics, 69 Tex. L. Rev. 1779, 1795-96 (1991) ("The explicit shift of focus from legal rules to legal arguments constitutes perhaps the most significant characteristic of contemporary teaching styles that attempt to explain rather than model what it means to think like a lawyer.")]

The struggle to define, shape, and control our understanding of law continues unabated. Witness the contemporary struggle to re-configure jurisprudence into neo-pragmatism, law and economics, feminism, post-modernism, critical race theory, and critical legal studies. The most recent protagonist in this struggle is narrative jurisprudence. Both feminist jurisprudence and critical race theorists are heavily vested in the pursuit of narrative jurisprudence. See e.g., Kathryn Abrams, Hearing the Call of Stories, 79 Calif. L. Rev. 971 (1991) (on feminist jurisprudence and narrative); Jerome McCristal Culp, Autobiography and Legal Scholarship and Teaching: Finding the Me in the Legal Academy, 77 Va. L. Rev. 539 (1991) (On using one's own autobiographical narrative as a African American in law teaching); Patricia Williams, The Alchemy of Race and Rights (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991) (same).

[At some point those who engage (for love, profit, and reasons unknown) in legitimating normative legal reasoning and conventional legal discourse (with its lingering traces of positivism) signal that they are threatened by new narratives, old narratives revisioned (e.g., feminist retellings). That some members of the law academy are now threatened by critiques of law is evidenced most dramatically in Paul Carrington's argument that those who do not believe in law (old- fashioned law) should leave law teaching to those who do. See Paul D. Carrington, Of Law and the River, 34 J. Legal Educ. 222 (1984). For responses to Carrington, see the collected responses in "Of Law and the River," and of Nihilism and Academic Freedom, 35 J. Legal Educ. 1 (1985); Gary Minda, Of Law, the River and Legal Education, 10 Nova L. J. 705 (1986); James R. Elkins, Professing Law: Does Teaching Matter?, 31 St. Louis U. L. J. 35 (1986); Ted Finman, Critical Legal Studies, Professionalism, and Academic Freedom: Exploring the Tributaries of Carrington's river, 35 J. Legal Educ. 180 (1985); Anthony Chase, What Should a Law Teacher Believe, 10 Nova L. J. 403 (1986); Kaplan, A Scholarly War of Words Over Academic Freedom, Nat'l Law J. 1 (Feb. 11, 1985)]

The turn to interpretation in legal scholarship has confirmed that there are multiple possibilities for imagining law, and that we must learn to live in a world of diverse and contradictory images and discourses produced by law. To learn how to do that we must become students of the personal, political, and cultural narratives that prompt and pull us toward different futures. The struggle in legal education and legal academic scholarship (with all the most direct of implications for judicial decision-making) is over how different readings, voices, histories, and narratives will be used to constitute, reform, and re-imagine the legal narratives we inherit and invent. The question is not only where, in the available and imagined cultural narratives law belongs, but where we as lawyers belong, where we lawyers are going to place ourselves, what character we will assume in law's narratives.

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Law, once viewed as a science, is now we are told, a branch of economics. For the traditionalist, law remains as always, a study of rules and legal doctrine and the deployment of practical skills that lead to problem-solving. In this tradition, law is a technical craft. We are, beyond the confines of tradition (or in a call to return to still more fundamental understandings of tradition) urged to study law as rhetoric, semiotics, game, or poetics. Amidst all these varying conceptualizations of law and legal studies, a new school of jurisprudence has emerged that focuses on law and lawyering as literary activities and invite us to re-examine stories and narratives as a possible focus of study. In jurisprudence, judicial decisions, the attorney-client relationship, legal education, and one's professional life as a lawyer, we do indeed find ways to locate and give our lives and activities meaning by way of story and narrative.

The study of lawyer narratives and legal stories and the stories of those who inhabit the world of law and lawyers is part of a larger, on-going intellectual movement, a turn to language and interpretation, reading and writing, literary criticism and poetics, conversation and voice, rhetoric and performative skills, gender and race, culture and cultural studies, literary criticism, rhetoric, voice, conversation -- a turn, or turns, which is embodied in the various contemporary forms of post-modern critical and humanistic approaches to law and legal studies that have emerged in the past two decades.

A similar development has taken place in the social sciences. (For an explanation of this "turn to narrative" see Frederika Randall, "Why Scholars Become Storytellers," New York Times Book Review, January 29, 1984, p. 1, c.1). In sociology, psychology, and anthropology there is a renewed interest in stories and story-telling and how the craft of the discipline is shaped and formed around the narrative conventions and genres that it has adopted. In anthropology, see e.g., Clifford Geertz, Works and Lives: The Anthropologist as Author (Stanford University Press, 1988); James Clifford and George E. Marcus (eds.), Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography (University of California Press, 1986); John Van Maanen, Tales of the Field: On Writing Ethnography (University of Chicago Press, 1988; Rebecca R. French, Of Narrative in Law and Anthropology (Review Essay), 30 Law & Soc. Rev. 417 (1996)). In psychology, see Erving Polster, Every Person's Life is Worth a Novel (W.W. Norton, 1987).

The narrative perspective has also received considerable scholarly attention in history (less perhaps in philosophy) and has become a major school in theology. (In theology, see Stanley Hauerwas and L. Gregory Jones (eds.), Why Narrative? Readings in Narrative Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1989; Wesley A. Kort, Story, Text, and Scripture: Literary Interests in Biblical Narrative (University Park, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania University Press, 1988); Michael Novak, Ascent of the Mountain, Flight of the Dove: An Invitation to Religious Studies (New York: Harper & Row, rev. ed., 1978)(The influence of narrative theology, particularly the work of Stanley Hauerwas, can be seen in the writing of one of our law colleagues, Thomas Shaffer.)(In philosophy, see Martha C. Nussbaum, Love's Knowledge: Essays on Philosophy and Literature (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990); Jonathan Rée, Philosophical Tales: An Essay on Philosophy and Literature (New York: Methuen, 1987)).

Our colleagues in medicine have also found their way to story and narrative. See e.g., Arthur W. Frank, The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995); Lucy Bregman & Sara Thiermann, First Person Mortal: Personal Narratives of Illness, Dying and Grief (New York: Paragon House, 1995); Robert Pensack & Dwight Williams, Raising Lazarus (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1994); Kathryn Montgomery Hunter, Doctors' Stories: The Narrative Structure of Medical Knowledge (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1991); John Stone, In the Country of Hearts: Journeys in the Art of Medicine (New York: Delacorte Press, 1990); Howard Brody, The Stories of Sickness (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987); Robert Coles (ed.), William Carlos Williams: The Doctor Stories (New York: New Directions Books, 1984); Norman Cousins (ed.), The Physician in Literature (Philadelphia: Saunders Press,. 1982).

For a comprehensive bibliography on the narrative perspective in law, legal education, medicine, theology, humanities and the social sciences, see, James R. Elkins, A Bibliography of Narrative, 40 J. Legal Educ. 203-250 (1990).

Speculations abound to explain the recent "rush to storytelling." "Perhaps it is the post-Kuhnian pragmatism about truth that has spread from the history of science through out the academy." [Kim Lane Scheppele, Legal Story-telling, 87 Mich. L. Rev. 2073 (1989)]. Tristan Layle Duncan contends, in Narrative Jurisprudence: The Remystification of the Law, 7 J. L. & Relig. 105, 116 (1989) that narrativists focus on language in order to "situate legal perspective in human experience. . . ."

American legal scholarship of the past half century reflects an interesting tension between what was once labeled theory and practice, today we might locate the tension as between theory and story. Narrativists resist the notion that our best (or privileged) understanding of law must always take the form of abstract theory. The rebellion springs from a resistance to the reification of theory and lingering remnants of positivism.

The rebellion, viewed historically, has taken place on a number of fronts:

  • the call for more practical and experiential approaches to legal education (Jerome Frank, the clinical movement in legal education, and Jack Himmelstein's "humanistic" psychology project for legal education reflect the range of "experiential" concerns);
  • the flirtation and deepening involvement with interdisciplinary approaches to the study of law (drawing on psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, philosophy, economics, literature);
  • the continuing effort to have law recognized as a liberal art (most notable in the 1950's), more recently as one of the humanities (1960-1980).

Both the social sciences and the humanities have provided new grounds for critique of law and legal studies. From a humanistic perspective, the new critique focuses on textual and con-textual "readings" of law, viewing law as cultural artifact, formed within a culture of argument (rhetoric). For a look at narrative from the broader perspective of the humanities, see James Boyd White, Intellectual Integration, 82 Nw.U.L.Rev. 1 (1987) and Wayne C. Booth, The Company We Keep: An Ethics of Fiction (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988).

Today the resistance to legal positivism and it's contemporary clones, comes packaged as anti-foundational philosophies (Stanley Fish and Richard Rorty), the "turn to interpretation" (driven by high energy efforts to shape and confine our readings of the Constitution), the "call to context" (Martha Minow), pragmatism (a neo-liberal philosophical creed), and cultural, race and gender studies (i.e., "outsider" jurisprudence, feminist jurisprudence, critical race theory). These various strands of contemporary philosophical, hermeneutical, and literary discourse are sometimes yoked together. (See e.g., anti-foundationalism, pragmatism, and narrative, in Dennis M. Patterson, Law's Pragmatism: Law as Practice & Narrative, 76 Va. L. Rev. 937 (1990)). In feminist jurisprudence, one finds a weaving of critical, political, personal, and contextual strands of contemporary scholarship and a deep receptivity to narrative.

The narrative perspective becomes increasing recognized as an integral feature of jurisprudence as the phantasy of law as an autonomous and independent discipline gives way, as it has on a number of discipline fronts: psychology (who now remembers the efforts to establish a psychoanalytic jurisprudence?); anthropology (Clifford Geertz is invited to give the prestigious Storrs Lectures at Yale Law School in 1981); sociology; economics (the law and economics movement has had a significant impact on legal education); history (e.g, Morton Horowitz); philosophy; theology (the work of Thomas Shaffer, Robert Rodes, and Harold Berman come to mind). Law has become a subject of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary focus.

"The notion that storytelling is ubiquitous in the law--and in human interactions generally--has recently attained something like the status of a truth universally acknowledged. Interest in storytelling and the law has been expressed from a dizzying variety of directions, including critical legal studies, feminist jurisprudence, law and economics, the new pragmatism, and critical race theory." Jane B. Baron, The Many Promises of Storytelling in Law (Review Essay), 23 Rutgers L. J. 79 (1991).

Baron, commenting on the uses of narrative in a legal setting, finds that "what has been written about under the rubric of 'storytelling' and 'narrative' involves at least three quite different subjects: the place in legal education and doctrine of the personal stories of actual people; the stories that legal doctrines tell about the world, its problems and its potential; and the way in which stories are or can be used strategically as a method to enhance the quality of communication between actors in legal settings such as law offices and courtrooms. Interest in each of these three subjects seems to have developed independently of interest in the others, and those writing in one area rarely address directly those writing in another." [pp. 80-81] ["[M]any have claimed that, through storytelling, we can change law and how it is practiced. While these claims are difficult to sustain, the aspiration underlying them--the rethinking of our understanding of justice--cannot be lightly dismissed." [Baron, at p. 81]]

For an economical and accessible introduction to the various strands of narrative jurisprudence, see Jane B. Baron, The Many Promises of Storytelling in Law (Review Essay), 23 Rutgers L. J. 79 (1991). A reader would also be well advise to peruse the law review symposiums devoted to the subject: Lawyers as Storytellers & Storytellers as Lawyers: An Interdisciplinary Symposium Exploring the Use of Storytelling in the Practice of Law, 18 Ver. L. Rev. 581 (1994); Pedagogy of Narrative, 40 J. Leg. Educ. 1-150 (1990); Legal Storytelling, 87 Mich. L. Rev. 2073-2494 (1989).

Some of the "Pedagogy of Narrative" Symposium articles that first appeared in the Journal of Legal Education symposium issue articles are reproduced in David Ray Papke (ed.), Narrative and the Legal Discourse (Liverpool: Deborah Charles Publications, 1991). For a review of the Papke collection of essays on narrative jurisprudence and thoughtful reflections on the various strands of thinking in the legal storytelling and narrative movement, see Jane B. Baron, The Many Promises of Storytelling in Law (Essay Review), 23 Rutgers L.J. 79 (1991).

A frequently cited law review article on the narrative perspective is Robert Cover, Nomos and Narrative, 97 Harv. L. Rev. 4 (1983). Cover continued his exploration of narrative jurisprudence in The Folktales of Justice: Tales of Jurisdiction, 14 Cap. U. L. Rev. 179 (1985).

For the jurisprudentially inclined, see Robin West, Jurisprudence as Narrative: An Aesthetic Analysis of Modern Legal Theory, 60 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 145 (1985). For a practical application of West's suggestion that we find literary genres in our jurisprudential schemes, see David R. Papke, Discharge as Denouement: Appreciating the Storytelling of Appellate Opinions, 40 J. Legal Educ. 145 (1990).

For more skeptical views of the new narrative perspective, see Tristan Layle Duncan, Narrative Jurisprudence: The Remystification of the Law, 7 J. Law and Religion 105 (1989); Ann M. Couglin, Regulating the Self: Autobiographical Performances in Outsider Scholarship, 81 Va. L. Rev. 1229 (1995); Mark Tushnet, The Degradation of Constitutional Discourse, 81 Geo. L.J. 251 (1992); Daniel A. Farber and Suzanna Sherry, Telling Stories out of School: An Essay on Legal Narratives, 45 Stan. L. Rev. 807 (1993); Richard Posner, Law and Literature: A Misunderstood Relation (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988). Posner's book was widely reviewed but critically disclaimed. For a comprehensive rebuttal to Posner's approach to law and literature, see James Boyd White, What Can a Lawyer Learn From Literature? (Book Review), 102 Harv. L. Rev. 2014 (1989)(a sustained theoretical and scholarly response to Posner's work).

There are two journals that focus on law and humanities and law and literature but neither journal has devoted much attention to narrative and story-telling. The Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities was first published in 1988 and the Cardozo Studies in Law and Literature in 1989. The appearance of these journals signal the evolution of law and literature as a field of academic study but neither serves as an effective vehicle for the story and narrative perspective in legal education.

The Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities, by way of a "Note from the Editors" in its first issue celebrates the re-emergence of the humanities as a significant "voice" in the study of law. Note from the Editors, 1 Yale J. L. & Human. v (1988). The Editors suggest (by implication) that the humanities have made their way into legal studies as part of an interdisciplinary movement that is "sweeping away the division of law and the humanities." The purpose of the humanities perspective in law, if we follow the celebratory theme of the Editors of the Journal of Law and the Humanities, is to study "the connections between the words we use and the world that we make," "the socio-cultural narratives that shape legal meaning," and "the formation, boundaries, and persistent intervention of legal culture in various spheres of life."

The contemporary narrative and story-telling perspective in law and legal scholarship has been most thoroughly explored in the work of James Boyd White. See The Legal Imagination: Studies in the Nature of Legal Thought and Expression (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1973); When Words Lose Their Meaning: Constitutions and Reconstitutions of Language, Character, and Community (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984); Heracles' Bow: Essays on the Rhetoric and Poetics of the Law (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985); Justice as Translation: An Essay in Cultural and Legal Criticism Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990); Acts of Hope: Creating Authority in Literature, Law, and Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994). For an introduction to White's work, see "A Way of Reading," in James Boyd White, When Words Lose Their Meaning: Constitutions and Reconstitutions of Language, Character, and Community 3-23 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984).

Thomas Shaffer (drawing on the work of his colleague, theologian Stanley Hauerwas) has focused on narrative as a way to re-vision the pedagogy of lawyer ethics. Shaffer's work includes: Faith and the Professions (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1988); The Legal Ethics of Belonging, 49 Ohio St. L. J. 703 (1988); The Legal Ethics of Radical Individualism, 65 Tex. L. Rev. 963 (1987); On Being a Professional Elder, 62 Notre Dame Law. 624 (1987); The Profession as a Moral Teacher, 18 St. Mary's L. J. 195 (1986); The Ethics of Dissent and Friendship in the American Professions, 88 W. Va. L. Rev. 623 (1986); Christian Lawyer Stories and American Legal Ethics, 33 Mercer L. Rev. 877 (1982); Henry Knox and the Moral Theology of Law Firms, 38 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 347 (1981); The Moral Theology of Atticus Finch, 42 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 181 (1981); Stanley Hauerwas and Thomas L. Shaffer, Hope in the Life of Thomas More, 54 Notre Dame Law. 569 (1979). Shaffer's narrative-oriented legal ethics teaching materials are collected in American Legal Ethics: Text, Readings, and Discussion Topics (New York: Matthew Bender, 1985). For Shaffer's earlier work, see: On Being a Christian and a Lawyer (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1981).

For an introduction to Shaffer's views on narrative, see: The Moral Theology of Atticus Finch, 42 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 181 (1981)(Exploring the moral lessons that can be drawn from Harper Lee's, To Kill a Mockingbird); Henry Knox and the Moral Theology of Law Firms, 38 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 347 (1981); and Christian Lawyer Stories and American Legal Ethics, 33 Mercer L. Rev. 877 (1982).

For critiques and assessments of Shaffer's perspective, see John D. Ayer, Narrative in the Moral Theology of Tom Shaffer (Review Essay), 40 J. Legal Educ. 173 (1990); James R. Elkins, The Reconstruction of Legal Ethics as Ethics (Essay Review), 35 J. Legal Educ. 274 (1986). Ayer argues that while Thomas Shaffer's choice of stories in recent writings are "tolerably diverse," they are basically "middle-brow." The protagonists in Shaffer's stories tend, Ayer argues, to be a "mainline bunch." (182). Ayer goes on to complain that Shaffer's accounts of his protagonists tend toward "excess admiration." (184). Ayer doesn't find Shaffer's work totally devoid of critical perspective, but argues that, with a notable exception, it lacks a "sufficient sense of irony" in his narrative writings. (184). My own view of Shaffer's work is less critical. I confess to having what Ayer would call "excess admiration" for Shaffer's essays of the past decade that use narrative to focus our philosophical (and theological) concerns about the legal profession.

For readers who seek application of the narrative perspective to practical aspects of the lawyering enterprise, see: Kathryn Holmes Snedaker, Storytelling in Opening Statements: Framing the Argumentation of the Trial, 10 Amer. J. Trial Advocacy 15 (1986); Dennis Kurzon, How Lawyers Tell Their Tales: Narrative Aspects of a Lawyer's Brief, 14 Poetics 467 (1985); Douglas W. Maynard, Narratives and Narrative Structure in Plea Bargaining, 22 Law & Soc. Rev. 449 (1988); William M. O'Barr & John M. Conley, Litigant Satisfaction Versus Legal Adequacy in Small Claims Court Narratives, 19 Law & Soc. Rev. 661 (1985); Thomas Shaffer and James R. Elkins, Legal Interviewing and Counseling 22-45 (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing, 1987).

For an effort to put stories to work to understand the deeper meaning of lawyering, see: James R. Elkins, Pathologizing Professional Life: Psycho-Literary Case Stories, 18 Vt. L. Rev. 581-643 (1994).

For law teachers looking to use narrative in the classroom, instructive commentary can be found in Alison Grey Anderson, Lawyering in the Classroom: An Address to First Year Students, 10 Nova L. J. 271 (1986). On the use of stories in the education of lawyers, see: James Boyd White, What Can a Lawyer Learn from Literature? (Book Review), 102 Harv. L. Rev. 2014 (1989); L.H. LaRue, Teaching Legal Ethics by Negative Example: John Dean's Blind Ambition, 10 Legal Stud. F. 315 (1986); "Literature Touches a Lawyer's Task," Insight, October 3, 1988.

For an account of legal education, drawing on student stories of their legal education experience, see: James R. Elkins, Writing Our Lives: Making Introspective Writing a Part of Legal Education, 29 Willamette Law Review 41-68 (1993); The Quest for Meaning: Narrative Accounts of Legal Education, 38 J. Legal Educ. 577 (1988); Rites of Passage: Law Students "Telling Their Lives", 35 J. Legal Educ. 27 (1985); Worlds of Silence: Women in Law School, 8 Amer. Legal Stud. F. 1-161 (1984)(James R. Elkins ed.); Becoming a Lawyer: The Transformations of Self During Legal Education, 66 Soundings 450 (1983); Coping Strategies in Legal Education, 16 L. Tchr. 195 (1982).
James C. Foster, a political scientist at Oregon State, has written a number of exemplary accounts of legal education drawing on extensive interviews with students trying to come to grips with the meaning of their legal educations. See James C. Foster, Antigones in the Bar: Women Lawyers as Reluctant Adversaries, 10 Legal Stud. F. 287 (1986); Legal Education and the Production of Lawyers to (Re)Produce Liberal Capitalism, 9 Legal Stud. F. 179 (1985); The "Cooling Out" of Law Students, 3 Law & Pol. Quart. 243 (1981) (reprinted in Richard A. L. Gambitta, Marlynn L. May & James C. Foster (eds.), Governing Through Courts (Beverly Hills, California: Sage, 1981).

Some of the most striking and evocative story-telling being done in legal education is that of Patricia Williams: The Obliging Shell: An Informal Essay on Formal Equal Opportunity, 87 Mich. L. Rev. 2128 (1989); On Being the Object of Property, 14 Signs 5 (1988); Spirit- Murdering the Messenger: The Discourse of Fingerpointing as the Law's Response to Racism, 42 U. Miami L. Rev. 127 (1987); On Being Invisible, 4 Harv. Blackletter J. 16 (1987); Alchemical Notes: Reconstructing Ideals from Deconstructed Rights, 22 Harv. Civ. Rts.-Civ. L. Rev. 401 (1987); Grandmother Sophie, 3 Harv. Blackletter J. 79 (1986). Williams' early work is collected in Patricia Williams, The Alchemy of Race and Rights (1991).

Feminists have generally found the narrative perspective an ally. See generally, Kathryn Abrams, Hearing the Call of Stories, 79 Calif. L. Rev. 971 (1991). On narrative and gender, see the searing story meditations of Marie Ashe, Zig-Zag Stitching and the Seamless Web, 13 Nova L. Rev. 355 (1989).

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