Document Type


Publication Title

Georgia Law Review

Publication Date

Summer 1996


This Essay first draws on the work of British psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott to define "play" and to describe its function in psychological development. It then explains the intense need for play during law school and the virtual impossibility of satisfying that need. Finally, it describes the happier prospects for play after law school, at least for some. The Essay concludes that, while the practice of law at its best is play, learning what you need to begin practice is not. "Play" rooted in "not-play" is one of the first paradoxes of practice, however, and paradox is what makes practice play.