1st Edition

Critical Legal Education as a Subversive Activity

    248 Pages 1 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    248 Pages 1 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In an age when everyone aspires to teach critical thinking skills in the classroom, what does it mean to be a subversive law teacher? Who or what might a subversive law teacher seek to subvert – the authority of the law, the university, their own authority as teachers, perhaps? Are law students ripe for subversion, agents of, or impediments to, subversion? Do they learn to ask critical questions? Responding to the provocation in the classic book Teaching as a Subversive Activity, by Postman and Weingartner, the idea that teaching could, or even should, be subversive still holds true today, and its premise is particularly relevant in the context of legal education. We therefore draw on this classic book to discuss, in the present volume, the consideration of research into legal education as lifetime learning, as creating meaning, as transformative and as developing world-changing thinking within the legal context. The volume offers research into classroom experiences and theoretical and historical interrogations of what it means to teach law subversively. Primarily aimed at legal educators and doctoral students in law planning careers as academics, its insights speak directly to tensions in higher education more broadly.

    1. An Introduction to Subversive Legal Education
    2. A visceral view of subversion in legal education – teaching and research in unusual domains as a methodology
    3. Antithesis as Subversive Legal Education: Learning Justice Through Injustice in the Artwork of Sandro Botticelli
    4. Subversion and Perspectivism in Teaching Property Law
    5. Valuing our Differences: For the Sake of Adaptive Law Schools
    6. Re-Thinking Assessment in Law
    7. Can Law Schools Provide Students with a Subversive Legal Education in an Online Learning Environment?
    8. Hacking the Priestley
    9. Value and values in Higher Education: Some reflections from the UK on the subversive dimensions of Historical approaches in the study of Law
    10. Education for Citizenship and Social Justice: Students as Co-creators
    11. Unlearning Real Property Law
    12. The Place of Politics in Teaching International Law
    13. Challenging BigLaw: Questioning the Dominant Discourse in Law Student Employment Aspirations


    Helen Gibbon is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law & Justice at the University of New South Wales, Australia, where she is Director of the LLB Program.

    Ben Golder is a Professor (and a former Associate Dean of Education) in the Faculty of Law & Justice, UNSW, Australia. He teaches subjects on legal theory, law and social theory, public law, and the politics of human rights.

    Lucas Lixinski is a Professor in the Faculty of Law & Justice, UNSW, Australia.

    Marina Nehme is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law & Justice at UNSW, Australia, and a Fellow of the UNSW Scientia Education Academy.

    Prue Vines is Professor of Law in the Faculty of Law & Justice, UNSW, Australia, and an Emeritus Fellow of the UNSW Scientia Education Academy.