Beyond the First Year: A Brief Look at Ways to Use Implicit Reasoning and Implicit Communication

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Much work has been and continues to be done to recognize the effectiveness of metaphors to express legal reasoning. Students can enhance their understanding of the use of implicit reasoning by studying the use of metaphors in case law. Ideally, by better understanding the cognitive effect of metaphors on our understanding, students will gain another tool for recognizing and understanding judicial reasoning. An upper level class can focus on the use of metaphor in case law by examining the many instances of such use, from doctrinal metaphors including the First Amendment as a "market place of ideas" to the corporation as a person. Following a discussion of the prevalence of metaphors in legal reasoning, students may be assigned to find examples of such use in cases. After a thorough study of metaphors in judicial opinions, students can take on the task of incorporating metaphors in their own writing.

Recommended Citation

The Second Draft (The Legal Writing Institute), Fall 2009, at 11