William Twining (1958)  

Extract From
William Twining, Law in Context: Enlarging a Discipline (Oxford University Press 1997) pp 5-6

“Eventually after a long period of indecision and two terms standing in for my former tutor at Oxford, I obtained a fellowship to do postgraduate work at the University of Chicago, mainly under Karl Llewellyn….

The year in Chicago was a watershed. It began in 1957, shortly before the launch of the first Sputnik. Although I spent nearly half my time working with Karl Llewellyn,1

I was fully integrated into the Law School both socially and intellectually.2 This was toward the end of Edward Levi’s extraordinary Deanship; in addition to having built up a star-studded faculty, Chicago was the base for a pioneering clinical programme and for large scale interdisciplinary work in law and the social sciences.3 including what later became the Law and Economics movement. This last was spearheaded by Levi himself and Aaron Director, shortly to be joined by Ronald Coase and George Stigler.4 I immediately realized that Director’s political ideas were almost the reverse of my own and I refused to be pressured into taking his basic course on economic analysis. This was a political stand that was almost certainly a strategic mistake. One needs to study one’s opponents and a grounding in economics should be part of the equipment of most law teachers. After I had recovered from the initial culture shock and shed some of my Oxford arrogance, I realized that this was a more sophisticated, lively and demanding institution than I had even conceived as possible. The University of Chicago also provided an alternative model to Oxford of an institution of higher learning devoted to excellence.5

Conversion to the idea of the American Law School at its best and to the ideas of Karl Llewellyn at no stage involved a wholesale rejection of Oxford. It was, after all, largely a capacity to write English and to study on my own that enabled me to cope with the pace and the bewildering range of new ideas and experiences that Chicago offered.6 I was concerned to reconcile and build on Hart and Llewellyn rather than to choose between them. And Oxford rather than Chicago had taught me the importance of history. But this experience both exposed and provided for some key missing ingredients in my legal education up to then: the linking of law to the social sciences; a dialectical approach to every issue; a highly intellectualized but nevertheless realistic approach to legal practice and the law in action; and a demonstration of the interdependence of theory and practice; and a concern for justice.

In September, 1958 I went almost directly from Chicago to the University of Khartoum…..