Law schools are failing both their staff and students by requiring them to prize reason and rationality and to suppress or ignore emotions. Despite innovations in terms of both content and teaching techniques, there is little evidence that emotions are effectively acknowledged or utilised within legal education. Instead law schools are clinging to an out-dated and erroneous perception of emotions as, at best, irrational, and at worst dangerous. In contrast to this, educational and scientific developments have demonstrated that emotions are a fundamental, inescapable part of learning, teaching and skills development. Harnessing these emotions will therefore have a transformative effect on legal education and enable it to adapt to the needs and demands of the 21st century.
This book provides a theoretical overview of the role played by emotions in all aspects of the life of the law school. It explores the relationship between emotions and key traditional and contemporary approaches to legal education, the ways in which emotions can be conceptualised, their interaction with the politics and policies of legal education and their role within teaching and learning. The book also considers the importance of emotional wellbeing for both law students and legal academics
Overall, this book argues for a more holistic form of legal education in which emotions play a valuable (and valued) role. This requires a new vision for law schools, in which emotions are acknowledged and embedded at all levels, institutional and personal.
1. Introduction: Passions and prejudices in the law school; 2. Chapter 1: Enmity and exclusion within legal education; 3. Chapter 2: A broadening scope, or reason revisited?; 4. Chapter 3: Emotions as a transformative force; 5. Chapter 4: Siting emotions within the politics and policies of academia; 6. Chapter 5: Embracing emotions within learning; 7. Chapter 6: Healthy, wealthy and wise? Law student wellbeing; 8. Chapter 7: Creating an emotionally-engaged legal academy; 9. Conclusion: Feeling our way towards transformation
This series consists of high-quality monographs that explore best practice in the teaching of all areas of law, whilst addressing wider questions about legal education more generally. With contributions from respected academics around the world, this series explores innovative thinking and practice within the context of a generally conservative branch of academia, with the aim of promoting discussion as to how best to teach the various aspects of the law degree and ensure the ongoing validity of the law degree as a whole. Individual books within the series will focus on specific areas of law and will discuss questions such as: could there be more variety in teaching methods and curriculum design? What is the role for more practical courses? Should students be offered law degrees with specialisations, or with an emphasis on the role of law in society?
The books in this series will be of great interest to academics, researchers and postgraduates in the fields of law and education, as well as teachers of law who may be interested in reviving curricula and need a prompt in that direction. In addition, the legal profession, and in particular those who regulate entry into the profession, will find much to interest them within the series.