Michael Townsend, Probability and Statistics in the Legal Curriculum: A Case Study in Disciplinary Aspects of Interdisciplinarity, 40 Duq. L. Rev. 447 (2002), https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/faculty-articles/811
This Article considers interdisciplinarity and the legal curriculum in the context of probability and statistics. Section D of Part II begins the discussion by sketching some multidisciplinary, pluridisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary approaches. Part III is the workhorse of this Article. The particular example used here is the well-known jury discrimination case of Castaneda v. Partida as described in Section A. This "case study" provides the basis for a crossdisciplinary experience that offers students an opportunity to think about law as a discipline. It is difficult for students to step back and look at law as a discipline when there is no "back." The idea of the type of crossdisciplinary education described here is not to make law students intelligent consumers of another discipline, but to provide students with another vantage point for thinking about law. That is, the perspectives given by another discipline can be used to reinforce law as a discipline. This is what is meant by the phrase "disciplinary aspects of interdisciplinarity" appearing in the title. Studying the various mathematical techniques described in Sections B and C provides the vantage point here. As will be seen in Section D, students can be asked to think about the individual disciplinary components of law and their relationship, as well as the evolution of law as a discipline. Moreover, students can be asked to think about specific legal doctrine such as the nature of the prima facie case, legal reasoning, and the presumption of innocence in the disciplinary framework.
This Article concludes with some brief observations on the importance of thinking about law as a discipline.