Professor Cheffins' lecture offers a path-breaking examination of potential trajectories for legal scholarship. Considerable attention is devoted to academic writing on law, but little has been said about the process by which the relevant literature evolves. This lecture focuses directly on the evolution of legal scholarship. It identifies five potential trajectories, revolving around concepts such as 'progress', 'paradigms', the marketplace for ideas, intellectual cycles, and fads and fashions. Professor Cheffins offers a summary of each trajectory and then tests the propositions he has advanced by means of a case study dealing with corporate law. He argues that scholarly trends in law develop in a manner that is at least partially consistent with each of the trajectories he identifies, but acknowledges that none captures fully the dynamics at work.
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