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Legal education fails students by not appreciating the rhetorical basis of legal reasoning and argumentation. I draw from Vico's "On the Study Methods of Our Time" and Llewellyn's legal realism; both argued that law and legal reasoning are exemplary sites of rhetoric. I suggest that contemporary cognitive studies of the metaphorical structure of human understanding and the initiatives of the "new legal realism" carry forward the insights of Vico and Llewellyn. This re-orientation corrects the shallow and instrumentalist outlook of most lawyers.

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UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-15.