August 19, 2008

Why Lawyers Should Read Shakespeare

Michael P. Maslanka, the managing partner of Ford & Harrison in Dallas, has this article on Law.com about why lawyers should read Shakespeare. The article begins:

Why do students still read Shakespeare? A conspiracy of finger-wagging, we-know-what's-best-for-you high school English teachers? No. It's his empathetic powers, making people see ourselves as we are -- rationalizations not permitted.

Shakespeare has much to teach lawyers. Eschewing Judge Judy, his questions are penetrating: How should judges go about judging? Does the rule of law matter? Are mercy and justice mutually exclusive, or are they complementary?

The article goes on to discuss Shakespeare's play, Measure for Measure.

1 comment:

HPL said...

The article you refer to (which does not allow comments) does have one flaw: it twice mentions Venice as the play's setting - but according to Shakespeare the play is set in Vienna (Austria). Possibly the author mixed it up with the Merchant of Venice, another Shakespeare play where a (fake) judge is of importance (remember: "Thou shalt have justice, more than thou desirest"). Being a judge myself, living in Vienna, and
quoting Shakespeare extensively in a blog on electronic communications law, I thought I should set the record straight