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Roger C. Cramton, The Ordinary Religion of the Law School Classroom, 29 J. Legal Educ. 247 (1978).

Cramton, then Dean of Cornell law school, examined the “value system” implicit in modern legal education and the implications of the value system from a “moral and religious perspective.” He supports the thesis that the value system’s “essential ingredients” include, among other things, “an instrumental approach to law and lawyering” and “faith that man, by the application of his reason and the use of democratic processes, can make the world a better place.” Cramton, Ordinary Religion, at 248.

Several years ago (2006), Brian Tamanaha discussed his book Law as a Means to an End at the PrawfsBlawg. The light he sheds on Cramton’s article is worth a read.

Three years before Tamanaha’s book, Judge Edith Jones discussed problems confronting the American legal system in an address to the Federalist Society at Harvard Law School. Here’s an article discussing Judge Jones’ talk.