The Death of the Law?, conceived in 1985, and delivered at Cornell the next year, addressed the two intellectual movements that had emerged in the legal academy during the previous decade. Part of the challenge confronting me then was to find a common element in these two movements, one so seemingly different from the other-one proclaiming "law is efficiency," the other that "law is politics," one belonging to the right, the other to the left; one accepting the traditional conception of the scholar's role, the other more radical and disruptive in its challenge. However, the principal thrust of the lecture, perhaps signified by the title itself, was negative, for it turned out that what law and economics and critical legal studies shared in common was a hostile stance toward a conception of law that was confidently embraced by the bar in the 1960s. They rejected what I was prepared to defend-a view of the law as an expression of public values.
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