University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

Families, Law and Literature, University of Baltimore

online resource
posted on 2022-07-06, 16:22 authored by Post Discipline AdminPost Discipline Admin
The relationship between law and literature is founded on the notion that an understanding of stories­­ how they are constructed and told­­is beneficial to lawyers in their representation of clients. Clients' stories lie at the heart of a legal case and effective lawyering involves using these narratives to the client's best advantage. The most recent versions of law and literature courses include the teaching of close reading and reflective writing skills­­tools utilized in narrative studies. These methods have the potential to enrich and enliven the attorney­client relationship with empathetic understanding, promote ethical decision making, develop in the student a professional voice and identity, and advance strategies for legal and dvocacy. The process of close reading and reflective writing enlarges the imagination and expands possiblilities of perception both with respect to oneself and to others. In doing so, it creates for law students a way to think abouth themselves in relation to their clients and their clients' predcaments in fresh ways. This course will involve the study of narrative accounts of children and families (novels, memoirs and essays) using close reading and reflective writing methods to facilitate the examination of these texts as they relate to lawyering. In additon to class discussions of the assigned reading materials, students will practice in class reflective writing involving exercises based upon the reading material. Grades will depend upon the extent and quality of class participation, a brief midterm paper and a final paper. The instructor of this course has since left the University of Baltimore, but has discussed their experience of delivering this course; see Judith Beverly Moran, 'Families, Law and Literature: The Story of a Course on Storytelling', University of San Francisco Law Review, 49.1 (2015): This information has been collected for the Post-Discipline Online Syllabus Database. The database explores the use of literature by schools of professional education in North America. It forms part of a larger project titled Post-Discipline: Literature, Professionalism, and the Crisis of the Humanities, led by Dr Merve Emre with the assistance of Dr Hayley G. Toth. You can find more information about the project at Data was collected and accurate in 2021/22.


Subject Area


Geographic Region

South Atlantic

University or College

University of Baltimore

Funding Status


Endowment (according to NACUBO's U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change* in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20) ($1,000)


Annual Tuition and Mandatory Fees 2021-2022 ($) (Resident; Non-resident, where applicable)

33592; 49004

Course Title

Families, Law and Literature

Terminal Degree of Instructor(s)


Position of Instructor(s)

Professor of Law

Academic Year(s) Active

2015/16, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19, 2020/21, 2021/23

Primary Works on Reading List

Anthony G. Amsterdam and Jerome Bruner, Minding the Law; Jerome Bruner, Making Stories, Law, Literature, Life; Frank Conroy Stop-Time; Frank Conroy, ‘Father’ in Dogs Bark, but the Caravan Rolls On, Observations Then and Now; Francine Cournos, City of One; Tayari Jones, Silver Sparrow; Perri Klass, ‘Baby Talk’ in A Not Entirely Benign Procedure: Four Years As A Medical Student; Adrian Nicole Le Blanc, Random Family; Janet Malcolm, Iphigenia in Forest Hills: Anatomy of a Murder Trial; William Maxwell, So Long, See You Tomorrow; and Toni Morisson, The Bluest Eye.

Usage metrics

    Post-Discipline: Literature, Professionalism, and the Crisis of the Humanities



    Ref. manager