Convenor: Professor Fiona Cownie, F.Cownie@law.keele.ac.uk
The Legal Education Subgroup includes scholars who have an interest in many different aspects of legal education, and who adopt a range of perspectives and methods in their research. Members’ current work includes research which draws on the disciplines of history, sociology and higher education, as well as socio-legal studies; some of their work involves empirical studies, while other work is purely library-based.
Members of the Legal Education Subgroup have collaborated to produce two edited collections of essays:
The Law School: Global Questions, Local Issues (1999, Ashgate).
This collection of essays on legal education addresses the following issues:
What is the position of the law school within the university at the end of the twentieth century? How do recent changes in public accountability affect law schools?
The relationship between law schools and practising lawyers is often uneasy. Are the differences between them irreconcilable? How does this relationship function in jurisdictions outside the UK? To what extent will the increasing globalization of the legal profession affect legal education?
Many law Schools appear to offer a liberal education to their students. Is the notion of a liberal education as unproblematic as it might seem? To what extent should the work of law teachers be informed by educational and psychological theory? Are law teachers espousing innovations in teaching methods which will transform legal education in the next century?
What type of person will become the lawyer of the third millennium? What personal and social characteristics will they possess? Does the law school experience produce lawyers who are unresponsive and insensitive to their clients’ needs? How different are the various competing discourses of legal method which are found in contemporary law schools?
Stakeholders in Legal Education (2009, Hart Publishing)
This collection examines the power relations which are played out in university law schools as a result of the different pressures exerted upon them by a range of different ‘stakeholders’. From students to governments, from lawyers to universities, a host of institutions and actors believe that law schools should take account of a vast number of (often conflicting) considerations when teaching their students, designing curricula, carrying out research and so on. How do law schools deal with these pressures? What should their response be to the ‘stakeholders’ who urge them to follow agendas emanating from outside the law school itself? To what extent should some of these agendas play a greater role in the thinking of law schools?
The Legal Education Subgroup welcomes new members who are active researchers in any aspect of legal education.