COMM 346

Rhetoric and the Law

For most of recorded history, the study of law and the study of rhetoric were linked. The professionalization and specialization of legal education in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries severed a connection that had persisted for two thousand years. Over the past few decades, rhetorical scholars in communication departments and scholars in other academic disciplines (including political science, literary studies, and the law itself) have begun to forge a new link among the law, legal advocacy, and rhetoric, and this course introduces students to this relatively new interdisciplinary movement. The course concentrates on three intersecting themes: the law as language, the law as argument, and the law as constitutive rhetoric.

Prerequisites: COMM 240 recommended.