Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Those Who Lie With Dogs May Get Fleas, But They Stay Out of Jail.

One of the exercises that I use at the start of the Legal Environment class is to have the class list various characteristics of law. Then, we compare our list of characteristics to academic "definitions" of law in order to develop an overall sense for law without really defining it.  One of the definitions of law that we use refers to law, in part, as "the government controlling the conduct" of people. I consider this statement generally true but I am uncomfortable with the crude connotation created by the word "control."  I think a fuller understanding of law is better presented as the concept of law "shaping" or encouraging conduct.  The analogy that I use is that of a border collie sheepdog herding its sheep to a place of safety.  With hard work, energy and enthusiasm, the working dog constantly directs the sheep away from danger and ultimately to a place of safety.

Does this makes sense or am I "out there?"

We watch this video:

This one is fun, too - especially for those of us old enough to remember the original video game "Pong.":

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