Legal scholarship matters.
Although it may take many different forms and reach a variety of audiences, writing by law professors influences the development of the law, educates students across the country, and advances knowledge about the legal system. As reflected in these pages, the Berkeley Law faculty is enormously prolific. The books and articles by my colleagues are in a wide array of fields and serve many different purposes.
Lawyers and legislators and judges constantly use legal scholarship in dealing with the most difficult issues that face them. Sometimes legal scholarship is descriptive, illuminating problems and helping to inform decisions. Sometimes it is normative, evaluating the law. Sometimes it is prescriptive, suggesting a better path for the future.
Many of our faculty are authors of leading casebooks and treatises in a wide variety of different areas of law. This is a way in which we teach students outside our own law school and even help to educate other professors and lawyers and judges about the law.
Legal scholarship can shape the direction of the law, but that is not the only measure of why law professors write. Universities exist to advance knowledge and understanding. Often that is what legal scholarship is about: exploring ideas about law and the legal system. Some legal scholarship is the equivalent to basic science in the foundation that it provides for knowledge.
The Berkeley Law faculty produce all of these kinds of scholarship. Every measure shows them to be among the most frequently cited and the most respected in their fields. In fact, a study by professors at St. Thomas Law School found that the Berkeley Law faculty is the sixth most frequently cited of all the law schools in the United States.
This publication lists what our faculty members have written in the last year. I hope you will enjoy seeing this and hope that you read and benefit from their scholarship. I think you’ll see why I am so proud to be dean of Berkeley Law.
Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law
University of California, Berkeley School of Law