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 twenty-first 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 emotions have with 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.
Table of Contents
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
Dr Emma Jones is a Senior Lecturer in Law and Teaching Director at The Open University Law School. Her research focuses on the role of emotion and wellbeing in legal education and the legal profession.