Library Blog

Literature (and Poetry) & Law

Writing in a notebook

Law and literature, according to Black’s Law Dictionary, is:

1. Traditionally, the study of how lawyers and legal institutions are depicted in literature; esp., the examination of law-related fiction as sociological evidence of how a given culture, at a given time, views law. — Also termed law in literature. 2. More modernly, the application of literary theory to legal texts, focusing esp. on lawyers' rhetoric, logic, and style, as well as legal syntax and semantics. — Also termed law as literature. 3. The field or movement in which scholars devote themselves to this study or application. 4. The body of work produced by these scholars.

This month’s book display is about literature and law in a less formal way. We have included poems about lawyers, poems by lawyers, a list of best fictional lawyers, and lists of author-lawyers. We hope that this display motivates you to think about writing, even legal writing, in a critical and creative way.

If you have questions about writing at RWU Law, your best resource is Professor Kishbaugh, Associate Director of Academic Success & Professor of Writing. His most recent article applies his background in poetry to legal writing!

If you want to see more poetry and the law, check out this website, Supreme Court Haiku Reporter. The bog author creates haiku from Supreme Court opinions!

Library Blog