Working Papers

Educational Background and Stratification in the Legal Academy

Invasion of the Body Snatchers… or More of the Same?


Since the 1960s, law schools have seen an influx of faculty with graduate training and research presences in fields outside the law – primarily in the social sciences, statistics, and the humanities, but also in biology and medicine – which has brought “interdisciplinarity” into law schools, in the form of scholarship under the banners of “law and [ ]” or “critical [ ] studies.” As their names suggest, these lines of inquiry either seek to extend traditional legal scholarship with complementary insights from external disciplines or else seek to question (if not overturn) traditional legal scholarship based on such insights. The rise of interdisciplinarity has been discussed in depth, with some scholars arguing that the rise of interdisciplinarity has strengthened the legal academy by broadening legal curricula and legal scholarship beyond traditional disciplinary law, while others aver that the rise of interdisciplinarity has reduced the autonomy of law in the university by introducing “alien” ideologies and practices.