The Arts and the Legal Academy: Beyond Text in Legal Education, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Arts and the Legal Academy

Beyond Text in Legal Education, 1st Edition

Edited by Zenon Bankowski, Maksymilian Del Mar, Paul Maharg


248 pages

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In Western culture, law is dominated by textual representation. Lawyers, academics and law students live and work in a textual world where the written word is law and law is interpreted largely within written and printed discourse. Is it possible, however, to understand and learn law differently? Could modes of knowing, feeling, memory and expectation commonly present in the Arts enable a deeper understanding of law's discourse and practice? If so, how might that work for students, lawyers and academics in the classroom, and in continuing professional development? Bringing together scholars, legal practitioners internationally from the fields of legal education, legal theory, theatre, architecture, visual and movement arts, this book is evidence of how the Arts can powerfully revitalize the theory and practice of legal education. Through discussion of theory and practice in the humanities and Arts, linked to practical examples of radical interventions, the chapters reveal how the Arts can transform educational practice and our view of its place in legal practice. Available in enhanced electronic format, the book complements The Moral Imagination and the Legal Life, also published by Ashgate.


’…will make an important addition to law libraries and scholarly bookshelves around the world in law schools, education departments and beyond. The book serves to deepen our understanding of legal education…’ SCOLAG Legal Journal ’If you want to find ways of developing a distinctive law degree, and one which will engage you and your students creatively as well as analytically, this book may be just what you need. It suggests how to use the arts in a radical challenge to traditional text-based approaches and may well surprise you.’ Nigel Duncan, City University London, UK '… a wide variety of perspectives, ideas, and possibilities. … Many readers will welcome this book’s invitation to tap into skills and abilities that go beyond text to train attorneys. … There are many gems here.' Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD ’…much food for thought…This book challenges text-based legal educators and legal-education reformers to pay attention to other ways human beings gain knowledge, solve problems, and communicate…There are many gems here.’ Association of Legal Writing Directors

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Zenon Bankowski, Maksymilian Del Mar and Paul Maharg; Part I General and Interdisciplinary Perspectives: Connectionism, moral cognition and collaborative problem solving, Andy Clark; Losing the plot: moving beyond text in educational practice, Anne Pirrie and James Benedict Brown; Physical literacy in legal education: understanding physical bodily experiences in the dance environment to inform thinking processes within legal education, Sophia Lycouris and Wendy Timmons. Part II The Arts and Law Schools: Playing games with law, Suzanne Bouclin, Gillian Calder and Sharon Cowan; From interpretive imagination to contingency in law: an argument for moving beyond text, Elaine Webster; Analysis and the arts, Nancy B. Rapoport; Mapping the lawscape: spatial law and the body, Andreas Philippopoulos- Mihalopoulos; The moving experience of legal education, Gary Watt; The battle of the precedents: reforming legal education in Mexico using computer assisted visualization, Panagia Voyatzis and Burkhard Schafer. Part III The Arts and Legal Professionals: Is ’beyond text’ now within reach? Making a case for infusing the arts into the law firm experience, Valerie Fitch; Were you with me? Creativity, dialogue and self-expression in legal process narratives, Miriam Aziz; ’You are here’: learning law, practice and professionalism in the academy, Karen Barton, John Garvey and Paul Maharg; Beyond the text: critique and creativity, Bruce Anderson and Kim Morgan; Index.

About the Editors

Zenon Bańkowski is Emeritus Professor of Legal Theory at the School of Law, University of Edinburgh and a community mediator. He was Principal Investigator of the AHRC Beyond Text in Legal Education Project, based at the School of Law, University of Edinburgh. Paul Maharg is Professor of Law at the Australian National University, and Professor of Law at Nottingham Law School. He has published extensively in the areas of legal education and legal critique. He has worked with regulators, law firms and law schools in England, Scotland, Canada, USA, Hong Kong and Australia. Maksymilian Del Mar is Reader in Legal Theory at the Department of Law, Queen Mary, University of London. He has a PhD in Law from the University of Edinburgh, and a PhD in Social Science from the University of Lausanne. He is Co-Convenor of the Legal Theory and Legal History Research Group at Queen Mary.

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
LAW / Public