This seminar explores the jurisprudential, philosophical, and practical lessons that students of the law can draw from the life and works of William Shakespeare. We will consider some key characteristics of the law in Shakespeare’s time, how Shakespeare’s personal experiences shaped his understanding of the law, how our interpretation of Shakespeare’s work raises questions of originalism similar to those we encounter in the law, how his plays portray the law, lawyers, those who enforce the law, and those who sit in judgment, what his plays have to teach us about the art of persuasion and argument, what his plays tell us about individual responsibility within a social structure, how the plays explore the effect of mental illness on that responsibility, and how the plays help us think and talk about difficult issues like misogyny, racism, homophobia, and anti-Semitism. Reading assignments in this course will be heavy and energetic engagement in classroom discussions will be expected. Students will be required to prepare four five-page papers in the course of the term. Final grades will be based on the quality of classroom discussion and the quality of the papers.