James B. White's The Lega/lmagination: Studies in the Nature of Legal Thought and Expression takes upon itself an immense task, namely, investigating and characterizing the position of lawyers and the legal mind in today's world. Not surprisingly, the characterization and criticism of such a book is no less difficult a task or responsibility than that undertaken by the book. In fact, the characterization and criticism of the book and the characterization and criticism in the book-both being acts of criticism-require the same attitude: constant fidelity to the data with which one has to work. In
describing and assessing the book, that requirement demands our constant attention to the book and its words, including its structure and their sequence. We must attend to the appearance of the book, how it makes its appearance and how its appearance changes for us, and to the way in which its words happen for us, how they occur to and prompt us-or fail to prompt us. In describing and assessing the lawyer and the legal mind, the requirement of constant fidelity demands our constant attention to what it is like to become a lawyer, what it was like before one became a lawyer, and what it is that one
becomes in becoming a lawyer. Since so much of becoming and beinga lawyer is learning and using the language of the law, we must attend to "the lawyer's use and experience of language". These are our "internal" data for characterizing and criticizing the book and its subject.
Thomas D. Eisele, "The Legal Imagination and Language: A Philosphical Criticism," 47 U. Colo. L. Rev. 1976