The Moral Imagination and the Legal Life: Beyond Text in Legal Education, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Moral Imagination and the Legal Life

Beyond Text in Legal Education, 1st Edition

Edited by Zenon Bankowski, Maksymilian Del Mar


288 pages

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What role can resources that go beyond text play in the development of moral education in law schools and law firms? How can these resources - especially those from the visual and performing arts - nourish the imagination needed to confront the ethical complexities of particular situations? This book asks and answers these questions, thereby introducing radically new resources for law schools and law firms committed to fighting against the moral complacency that can all too often creep into the life of the law. The chapters in this volume build on the companion volume, The Arts and the Legal Academy, also published by Ashgate, which focuses on the role of non-textual resources in legal education generally. Concentrating in particular on the moral dimension of legal education, the contributors to this volume include a wide range of theorists and leading legal educators from the UK and the US.


’’Legal Education scholarship has grown and developed enormously in recent decades, and this text is a significant contribution to this continued development.’ SCOLAG Legal Journal The Moral Imagination and the Legal Life examines innovative ways to incorporate non-textual and non-legal materials such as visual art, literature, film, performing arts, and simulations into law school curricula. For those interested in how to deepen moral perception, this edited collection provides a wealth of new ideas and theoretical insights.’ Deborah L. Rhode, Stanford Law School, USA ’Together with its companion volume The Arts and the Legal Academy, this collection is essential reading for anyone concerned about legal education in these times when quantifiable student satisfaction often trumps the quality of teaching. Bankowski and his colleagues argue forcefully that there need not be a contradiction between the two: quality legal education conducted with imagination can be a deeply satisfying experience.’ Panu Minkkinen, University of Helsinki, Finland

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Zenon Bankowski and Maksymilian Del Mar; The space to see: law and the ethical imagination, Zenon Bankowski; The education of attention and encounter in the legal academy, Maksymilian Del Mar; On encountering life and learning with/out the text: reflections on Bankowski and Del Mar, Julian Webb; A university is not the world: and nor is its law school, Anthony Bradney; ’Associated life’: democratic professionalism and the moral imagination, Paul Maharg; Challenging the primacy of the text: the role of the visual in legal education, Clare Sandford-Couch; Twyla Tharp goes to law school: on the use of the visual and performing arts in professional education, Thomas Wm. Mayo; Truth in context: sketching a (new) historicist legal pedagogy, Randy Gordon; Performance, pedagogy and law: theatre of the oppressed in the law school classroom, Gillian Calder; 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. 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 / Public