Power, Legal Education, and Law School Cultures  book cover
1st Edition

Power, Legal Education, and Law School Cultures

ISBN 9780367199401
Published October 14, 2019 by Routledge
316 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents


Mindie Lazarus-Black, Meera Deo, and Elizabeth Mertz

SECTION I: Legal Pedagogies in Context(s)

  1. Theory and Practice, Together at Last: A Heretical, Empirical Account of Canadian Legal Education
  2. David Sandomierski

  3. Teaching International Lawyers How to Think, Speak, and Act like U.S. Lawyers: Notes on Inchoate Power and the Imperial Process
  4. Mindie Lazarus-Black

  5. In the Law School Classroom: Hidden Messages in French Elite Training
  6. Émilie Biland & Liora Isra¿l

    SECTION II: Class and Market in Legal Education

  7. Legal Training as Socialization to State Power: An Ethnography of Law Classes for French Senior Civil Servants
  8. Rachel Vanneuville

  9. The Perennial (and Stubborn) Challenges of Affordability, Cost, and Access in Legal Education
  10. Stephen Daniels

  11. Market Creep: "Product" Talk in Legal Education
  12. Riaz Tejani

    SECTION III: Invisible Processes and Images in Legal Training

  13. Language, Culture, and the Culture of Language: International JD Students in the U.S. Law Schools
  14. Swethaa Ballakrishnen & Carole Silver

  15. How the Law School Admission Process Marginalizes Black Aspiring Lawyers
  16. Aaron Taylor

  17. The Culture of "raceXgender" Bias in Legal Academia
  18. Meera E. Deo

  19. Canaries in the Mines of the U.S. Legal Academy

Elizabeth Mertz


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