As further discussed below, Bob Bickel’s insistence on an interdisci-
plinary focus on law, and on a consideration of policy issues that relate to
legal issues, creates a broader perspective for Bob that allows for a richer
understanding of justice issues that may be intertwined with legal issues.
There is one other pertinent “field,” of a different type, that provides an-
other window into Bob’s views of law and justice. It is the field that Bob has
most recently entered: Social Justice Advocacy, which is a curricular con-
centration at Stetson University College of Law rather than a single course.
This focus of Bob’s energies emphasizes that social justice is often pro-
vided through law; that lawyers and law students therefore need to be sen-
sitive to injustice, and to take on the critically important task of promoting
justice; and that there are particular lawyering competencies, and partic-
ular understandings of legal process, that lawyers and law students must
study and practice to become more effective advocates of social justice.
With these snapshots of Bob Bickel’s views on law and social justice, we
may sketch a fuller, more integrated picture of these views. Since Bob’s
views on these matters are similar to mine, what follows is a picture that
incorporates my views as well as his. The discussion is not intended to be
in depth, nor is it intended to be deeply philosophical, nor does it critique
the work of scholars in the field. Rather, what follows is a brief, personal
account that is consistent with Bob’s views as well as my own.
III. The Fundamental Questions
It is important to begin with the fundamental questions: What is law? What
is its purpose and role in a constitutional democracy? What is the relation-
ship between law and justice? The third question, of course, necessarily
invokes yet another question: What is justice? It is also important to revert
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