The goal of this Article is to introduce a comprehensive methodology for the analysis of visuals used for communication in legal works, by which I mean transactional and litigation documents, legal instruments, primary and secondary sources of law, and legal informational materials. The new methodology has the following steps drawn from visual rhetoric, visual literacy, and mise en scène studies: Immediate Visual Context, Analysis of Meaning, Taxonomy of Purpose and Function, Immediate Verbal Context, Visual Cultural Context, Mise en Scène and the Rhetorical Topic of Arrangement, Visual Rhetoric and the Ethical and Professional Propriety of the Work. My intent in this Article and the methodology it presents is to examine visual elements as visuals, not as a translation or alternative form of verbal communication. The approach of trying to translate visual works into verbal arguments or verbal elements of legal reasoning limits the scope and the effectiveness of the visual works, because communication through visuals employs a separate visual language, and not in a literal or verbal sense. The methodology proposed in this Article is a set of tools that can help verbally-oriented law-trained writers to become better readers, evaluators, and creators of visual communications in the law. Keywords: visual rhetoric, visual legal rhetoric, visual literacy, multimodal, multimodality, proactive, Proactive Law, visualization, Legal Design, visual context, verbal context, visual cultural context, visualization in contracts, cartoon contracts, comic book contracts, Mise en Scène, diagrammaticsDownload the article from SSRN at the link.
January 15, 2021
Murray on A New Methodology for the Analysis of Visuals in Legal Works @ukcollegeoflaw
Michael D. Murray, University of Kentucky College of Law, has published A New Methodology for the Analysis of Visuals in Legal Works. Here is the abstract.