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University of Nevada, Las Vegas -- William S. Boyd School of Law

Dispute Resolution and Arbitration

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The Trouble With Categories: What Theory Can Teach Us About The Doctrine-Skills Divide, Linda H. Edwards Jan 2014

The Trouble With Categories: What Theory Can Teach Us About The Doctrine-Skills Divide, Linda H. Edwards

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We might not need another article decrying the doctrine/skills dichotomy. That conversation seems increasingly old and tired. But like it or not, in conversations about the urgent need to reform legal education, the dichotomy’s entailments confront us at every turn. Is there something more to be said? Perhaps surprisingly, yes. We teach our students to examine language carefully, to question received categories, and to understand legal questions in light of their history and theory. Yet when we talk about the doctrine/skills divide, we seem to forget our own instruction.

This article does not exactly take sides in the typical skills …