New "Do Lawyers Think, and If So, How?" with Professor Frederick Schauer

Professor Frederick Schauer examined whether thinking like a lawyer is unique to the legal profession at an alumni luncheon on April 30. Schauer is a David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law.


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  1. At 08:02 he is wrong but he is employing an old lawyer's maxim : Bullshit baffles brains! Legal reasoning IS to reasoning as multivariable calculus is to poetry in that all are forms of expression used to communicate ideas, as are Estonian and Chinese.
    He reveals his sophmoronic ignorance by confusing the expressions multivariate and multivariable but he is playing on the ignorance of his audience to NOT know the correct denotation of the mathematical discipline.
    So in sum, as an advocate, this guy has blown his own credibility. A lawyer's credibility is his only stock in trade and without it he is just another blabbering fool, cannon fodder, for the Socratic inquiries described by The Dialogues of Plato.
    So, just as an aside, it takes more intelligence and skill to be a journeyman bricklayer than it does to be a practicing attorney. That's why there are so few plumbers and bricklayers and so many lawyers.

  2. If you've ever been the starving single mother it's hard to respect anyone who could suggest it be a good idea to make her situation even harder. I found these videos because my husband kept everything after our 10 year marriage and I would be a LOT better off financially if I was a widow. Instead I have to keep going to court to defend myself against him. He has a lawyer and don't even have the resources to enforce child support. I understand that the court wants to make money, but single moms shouldn't be targeted and exploited for this purpose. Life is already a difficult enough struggle for us.

  3. The erosion of stare decisis was overlooked here and will become more salient in the next decade.

  4. Damn government! Freaking nanny state telling us we can't eat other people.

    But I have to make a serious comment. (Well, I feel compelled.) It seems to me that in the minds of judges (or of many judges) that were a poor starving widow with five children to sue Exxon-Mobil for not delivering fuel it had promised to deliver, Exxon-Mobil ought to win. And they tend to go with that. 

  5. Lawyerness or Judgness? In the legal profession, we do have a way with language. However, when law professors makeup words just to fit into a speech, it concerns me.

  6. This speech is very meta. He speaks a lot of what a speech is about while himself giving a speech.