West Law Report

Hamdan v Rumsfeld: The legal academy goes to practice

Posted in Hamdan v Rumsfeld, Harvard Law Review (Article) by mrkooenglish on May 20, 2008

In the paper (Harvard Law Review, Vol 120, Nov 2006) (.pdf) (59 pages), Professor Neal Kumar Katyal discusses:

Like any excluded group, practitioners have begun disparaging the theoreticians in return. We are witnessing one of the most significant developments in the history of American law: the majority of professors on many law faculties are now specializing in areas that are of no obvious relevance to their students’ activities upon graduation.

This Comment uses Hamdan to illustrate why the disparagement of theory is partially wrong. By examining the litigation of the case, it demonstrates some of the benefits of theory to practice. This Comment oscillates, with any luck instructively, between Hamdan’s implications for legal education and its implications for the law.

Part I discusses how broad theoretical research sheds light on the litigants’ strategic moves. Part II explains the implications of the Hamdan decision. Part III looks to the future of both the bar and the academy.

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