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46 St. Louis U. L.J. 655 (2002)


The first-year introductory course in property law is about all that is left of the traditional black-box curriculum. It is where beginning law students cope with and despair of the arcana of English common law; where, with more detachment than, say, in the torts course, analysis of appellate opinions is what "thinking like a lawyer" means, with no more than peripheral and begrudging attention to modem legislation and administrative law; where legal reasoning is a stretching exercise and initiatory discipline. And, incidentally, surviving bravely the rude invasion of teachers of public law, it is where a teaching lawyer can point out that most lawyers spend most of their time in their law offices. Property is probably the only legal setting left where Washington, D.C., can be regarded as a foreign capital.

As part of this modem trend due, no doubt, to the fact that accreditors now require schools to teach ethics, compilers of casebooks are beginning to raise moral issues in their discussion notes. We are attempting to mix ethical analysis with traditional property-law distinctions and with bits of invitations to jurisprudence and legal anthropology. There is even a movement now to encourage Property teachers to attend to "professional responsibility" in traditional law courses with what is coming to be called the "pervasive method."


Reprinted with permission of the St. Louis University Law Journal © 2002 St. Louis University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri.



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