Imperatives for Legal Education Research: Then, Now and Tomorrow, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Imperatives for Legal Education Research

Then, Now and Tomorrow, 1st Edition

Edited by Ben Golder, Marina Nehme, Alex Steel, Pru Vines


272 pages

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Hardback: 9781138387805
pub: 2019-09-15
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In the last few decades university teaching has been recognised as an activity which can be studied and improved through educational scholarship. In some disciplines this is now well established. It remains emergent in legal education. The field is rich with questions to be answered, issues to be raised.

This book provides the first overall review of legal education scholarship. The chapters outline the history of legal education research and provide a detailed analysis of the trends in areas of publication. Beyond this, the book suggests a typology for further conceptualising the field and a series of suggested paths for future research. The book originated from the 2017 UNSW conference "Research in Legal Education: State of the Art?" It features internationally respected authors who bring their perspectives on how legal education – as a field of research – should be conceptualised. The collection is arranged into three themes. First, a historical view is taken of the emergence of legal education scholarship and its roots that predate modern educational theory. Secondly, the book provides overviews of the extant field of publications, highlighting areas of interest and neglect, and delineating the trends in current publication. Thirdly, the book provides a set of suggested typologies for describing legal education research and a series of essays for future directions which both critique current approaches and provide inspiration for future directions.

The State of Legal Education Research represents an authoritative introduction to the field, a set of conceptual tools with which to describe it, and inspiration for researchers to expand and grow research into legal education.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1 Legal Education Research as an Imperative

Ben Golder, Marina Nehme, Alex Steel and Prue Vines*

Chapter 2 The histories of legal education scholarship

Fiona Cownie



Chapter 3 Theoretical Legal Education Research: Engaging neoliberalism

Peter Burdon

Chapter 4 The Poverty of Pessimism

David Dixon

Chapter 5 Empirical Legal Education Research: Empirical research in Australia

Alex Steel

Chapter 6 Practical Legal Education Research: A meta-survey of teaching and learning in practice-based education

Kristoffer Greaves

Chapter 7 Towards a Taxonomy of Legal Education Research

Kate Galloway*, Melissa Castan and Alex Steel


8 Who Controls University Legal Education in UK

Anthony Bradney

Chapter 9 A virtuous journey through the regulation minefield

Sally Kift

Chapter 10 Trends in Legal Education Reform

Julian Webb

Chapter 11 Thinking or Acting Like A Lawyer? What We Don’t know about Legal Education and are Afraid to Ask

Carrie Menkel-Meadow

Chapter 12 Equipping the Legally Literate Leaders of Tomorrow

Tania Leiman

Chapter 13 Prometheus, Sisyphus, Themis: Three futures for legal education research

Paul Maharg

About the Editors

Ben Golder is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales, Australia. He is the Law Faculty Associate Dean (Education). Ben teaches courses on law and social theory, on public law, and on the politics of human rights. His current research is into contemporary critiques of human rights discourse

Marina Nehme is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales and a fellow of the UNSW Scientia Education Academy. Her teaching excellence has been recognized at the national and institutional level. She was formerly the Law Faculty Director of Learning and Teaching. Marina’s research interests are in in corporate law, regulatory sanction and legal education.

Alex Steel is a Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales, Australia and a fellow of the UNSW Scientia Education Academy. His teaching excellence has been recognized at the institutional and national level. He was formerly the Law Faculty Associate Dean (Education) and is Acting UNSW Pro Vice Chancellor Education. His research interests are in the pedagogy and regulation of legal education, curriculum design and assessment practices, student wellbeing and teacher development.

Prue Vines is Professor of Law at the University of New South Wales, Australia and a fellow of the UNSW Scientia Education Academy. Her teaching excellence has been recognized at the institutional level. She is the Director of First Year Studies and incoming Law Faculty Associate Dean (Education). Prue’s research is in tort law, particularly the impact of apologies on civil liability, Indigenous issues in succession law, and legal education, in particular the first year at university and student wellbeing.

About the Series

Emerging Legal Education

Emerging Legal Education

Emerging Legal Education is a forum for analysing the discourse of legal education and creating innovative ways of learning the law. The series focuses on research, theory and practice within legal education, drawing attention to historical, interdisciplinary and international characteristics, and is based upon imaginative and sophisticated educational thinking. The series takes a broad view of theory and practice. Series books are written for an international audience and are sensitive to the diversity of contexts in which law is taught, learned and practised.

Series Editors

Meera E. Deo is Associate Professor of Law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, California. She has held visiting positions at Berkeley Law and UCLA School of Law. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from UCLA and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. Her nationally recognized, mixed-method empirical research is focused on institutional diversity, affirmative action, and solutions to intersectional (race/gender) bias.

Paul Maharg is Distinguished Professor of Practice - Legal Education at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto. Prior to that he was Professor of Law in the Australian National University College of Law, Canberra, and is now an Honorary Professor there. He is a Fellow of the RSA (2009), was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship (2011), and is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2015). He holds the positions of part-time Professor of Law at Nottingham Trent University Law School, and Visiting Professorships in the Faculties of Law at Hong Kong University and Chinese University of Hong Kong.


Elizabeth Mertz is John and Rylla Bosshard Professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School and Senior Research Faculty at the American Bar Foundation; in addition to her JD, she holds a PhD in Anthropology, and specializes in linguistic as well as legal anthropology. In recent years she has spent time as a Visiting Fellow in the Law and Public Affairs Program and a Visiting Professor in the Anthropology Department at Princeton University.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General