Law is a liberal art. Unfortunately, this fact is often forgotten by legal educators, legal practitioners, and citizens. This collective amnesia does not just pose a problem of proper academic categorization. Our inattention to law’s character as a liberal art of law has a profound effect on the full realization of the rule of law in contemporary constitutional democracies. Reclaiming law as a liberal art is critically important, and this effort should be at the center of our approach to legal education.

In this short essay, I begin by providing a brief overview of what I mean by saying that law is a liberal art. Then, I contrast my position with competing views of law that currently hold sway in the academy. Next, I offer a cautionary tale about the risk of overly intellectualizing one’s commitment to treat law as a liberal art. Finally, I conclude by urging the importance of recognizing law as a liberal art to gird our pedagogical approaches to teaching our students.