There is a myth that lingers around legal education in many democracies. That myth would have us believe that law students are admitted and then succeed based on raw merit, and that law schools are neutral settings in which professors (also selected and promoted based on merit) use their expertise to train those students to become lawyers. Based on original, empirical research, this book investigates this myth from myriad perspectives, diverse settings, and in different nations, revealing that hierarchies of power and cultural norms shape and maintain inequities in legal education.
Embedded within law school cultures are assumptions that also stymie efforts at reform. The book examines hidden pedagogical messages, showing how presumptions about theory’s relation to practice are refracted through the obfuscating lens of curricula. The contributors also tackle questions of class and market as they affect law training.
Finally, this collection examines how structural barriers replicate injustice even within institutions representing themselves as democratic and open, revealing common dynamics across cultural and institutional forms. The chapters speak to similar issues and to one another about the influence of context, images of law and lawyers, the political economy of legal education, and the agency of students and faculty.
Mindie Lazarus-Black, Meera Deo, and Elizabeth Mertz
SECTION I: Legal Pedagogies in Context(s)
Émilie Biland & Liora Israёl
SECTION II: Class and Market in Legal Education
SECTION III: Invisible Processes and Images in Legal Training
Swethaa Ballakrishnen & Carole Silver
Meera E. Deo
Emerging Legal Educationis 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.
Meera E. Deois 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 Mertzis 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.