This Article therefore broadly explores semiotics through a lawyer’s lens, hopefully simplifying as much as possible much of the complex, divergent, and, frankly, sometimes baffling terminology used by those who explore semiotics. This Article will first continue below with a general definition of signs and the related notion of intentionality. It will then address the structure and concomitants of signs, the nature of speech acts that are of interest to lawyers, the sign classifications used in legal analysis and rhetoric, the role of signs in careful legal thought and good legal rhetoric, the unfolding of the signified and the fixation of meaning debate, the semiotics of speaker vs. reader meaning, and some brief reflections on semiotics and the First Amendment. Finally, this Article also provides an Appendix with further terms and concepts helpful to lawyers exploring semiotics.

I hope this Article’s broad overview of semiotics underscores the vital importance of semiotics in law and in legal education reform. I also hope this Article inspires readers and legal education reformers to explore the vast worlds of semiotics that elude the page constraints of a general overview.