Singing justice words

In “Judges hand down the law with help from Bob Dylan,” Carol J. Williams explained that Bob Dylan is the most-often quoted lyracist in legal publications. Ms. Williams, who reports for the Los Angeles Times, focuses on the legal writings of Judge Robert S. Lasnik, but she also covers other jurists’ holdings and opinions and digs into the work of other legal scholars, too.

For example, Ms. Williams refers to the work of Professors Michael Perlin, “who has used Dylan lyrics as titles for at least 50 published law journal articles,” and Alex Long, “who has researched the penetration of political songwriting into the legal system.”

During a semester in 2007, Long combed legal databases to identify lyrics in court filings and scholarly publications, finding Dylan cited 186 times, far outpacing the rest of the top 10: the Beatles, 74; Bruce Springsteen, 69; Paul Simon, 59; Woody Guthrie, 43; the Rolling Stones, 39; the Grateful Dead, 32; Simon & Garfunkel, 30; Joni Mitchell, 28; and R.E.M., 27.

Read “Judges hand down the law with help from Bob Dylan” in the original.


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