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Journal of Legal Education




A central feature – if not the central feature – of legal scholarship today is analysis across divides.

It is surprising, then, how little has been written across the divide that separates administrative law and financial regulation. That is perhaps especially so, given the modest nature of the relevant divide: one that is intra- rather than interdisciplinary, one that operates within rather than across geographic boundaries, and one that involves no temporal dimension but operates entirely within current-day law.

For all the proximity in their interests, targets of study, and even analytical tools, however, scholars of administrative law and of financial regulation (including securities regulation, in particular) have shown strikingly little interest in one another: scholars of each discipline rarely read one another, cite one another, or even talk to one another.

To engage this peculiar lacuna in the legal literature, this brief essay proceeds in four stages. First, I review the history of the divide, as well as recent efforts to bridge it. Second, I outline core characteristics of the divide: the two fields’ distinct motivations, divergent assumptions about the market, and particular limitations. With a clearer picture of the nature of the divide, I suggest some of the insights that might be gained from engagement across it. Finally, I conclude by acknowledging the challenges attendant to writing across the administrative law/financial regulation divide – while also highlighting the need to overcome those challenges.

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Association of American Law Schools

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