This article considers the contributions that court-centered legal history makes to legal education and especially to practical legal education. It argues that such legal history brings the insights of historical realism to the challenge of understanding legal doctrines and principles and that it thereby illuminates the work of courts and the nature of judicial decisionmaking in ways that are particularly helpful to both practicing lawyers and sitting judges. By identifying and exploring the paradoxes that result from melding historical and formalistic analyses, legal history deepens the insight into the practical operations of the legal system and suggests for advocates and judges the likely rigidities and elasticities that mark various rules, doctrines, and principles. Similarly, and of particular importance for younger lawyers facing a world of accelerating social and economic change, legal history deepens understanding of reasons why legal rules, practices, procedures, and institutions themselves inevitably change over time and how they continually adapt to new social contexts and pressures. Such understanding will prove essential to successful legal practice in the dynamic and radically changing world of the twenty-first century.
64 Jrnl of Leg. Ed. 2