Casual Legal Studies

  • Casual legal studies: art during law school, 1990 supplement, cover

    Casual legal studies: art during law school, 1990 supplement, cover

    “Casual Legal Studies” was a play on “critical legal studies,” a movement of leftist legal academics and students.

  • Luke Winthrop Cole, 1989 Harvard Law School yearbook

    Luke Winthrop Cole, 1989 Harvard Law School yearbook

    Cole went on to establish the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation’s Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment.

  • Casual legal studies: art during law school, 1990 supplement, p.21

    Casual legal studies: art during law school, 1990 supplement, p.21

    Aoki and Cole’s comic pokes fun at and criticizes many aspects of HLS, including administrators, legal theory, and classmates.

  • Keith Aoki, 1990 Harvard Law School yearbook

    Keith Aoki, 1990 Harvard Law School yearbook

    Aoki went on to teach at a number of law schools, and specialized in the intersection of critical race theory and the law.

Casual legal studies: art during law school, 1990 supplement

Luke Cole & K.A.
Cambridge: HL$, Inc. Press, 1990
HOLLIS 2191559

Keith Aoki (1955-2011, J.D. 1990) created this graphic depiction of life as a student at Harvard Law School (HLS), and published it under the name HL$, Inc. in 1989 and 1990. The 1990 supplement includes a guest comic by Luke Winthrop Cole (1962-2009, J.D. 1989). The comic pokes fun at the formalized institutional environment of HLS, the conservatism of administrators, and the “over-mystification” of legal reasoning and critical theory. It observes class divides, sycophantic and pretentious classmates, and other aspects of HLS life seen through the eyes of a “normative chameleon” trying to fit in. As students, both Cole and Aoki served on the editorial board for the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, in addition to participating in other student organizations.

The title “Casual Legal Studies” was a play on “critical legal studies,” a movement of leftist legal academics and students that developed in the late 1970s and 1980s. Learn about HLS faculty contributions to critical legal studies here.