Call for Papers
What is it? Are we really doing it? What can it achieve? Where is it going?
3rd to 5th December 2017
Hosted by UNSW Law Legal Education Research Group

Legal education has developed enormously in recent years. An increase in law schools and law students, more education oriented regulation and an increased understanding of the professional nature of teaching have led to a growth in legal education publications.

This conference seeks to interrogate the purpose and the power of that body of scholarship. Is scholarship in legal education a subset of legal scholarship, or of educational scholarship, or is it sui generis? To whom is it speaking and what is it seeking to achieve – to convince legal academics to think differently about law, or about their practice as teachers of law, or simply to help them become more effective law teachers? Is it rigorous enough? Does it have practical value, and clear applicability in the legal classroom? Can anyone do it? Does being a law teacher give you instant access and insight into legal education scholarship? How do we know what goes on in law classrooms let alone the minds of law students as they make that slow transition to ‘thinking like a lawyer’?

We welcome a broad range of responses to the conference theme – from classroom experiences to theoretical and historical interrogations of what it means to be engaged in legal education scholarship. Papers can deal with a range of issues including:

– The history, present and future directions of legal education scholarship
– The theory and practice of legal education scholarship
– The politics of legal education scholarship
– Legal education scholarship and the nexus between teaching and research
– The relation between legal education scholarship and doctrinal, empirical and theoretical scholarship in law
– Methodological debates in legal education scholarship
– The status of the classroom – face-to-face, clinical and online – in legal education scholarship
– Legal education scholarship and the contemporary university (in Australia and internationally)
– The practicalities and ethics of student involvement in legal education scholarship – ‘students as partners’ or students as data-providers (or a mixture of both)?
– Scholarship on the use of technology in the law classroom
– Legal education, legal education scholarship and social justice in the 21st century
– The globalisation of legal knowledge, legal practice and legal education
– Legal education scholarship on international students

More broadly, we welcome any paper or poster proposal in the genre of legal education on any substantive area of law that makes an effort to think through the status of legal education scholarship. We particularly welcome doctoral, early career and junior scholars.
The call for papers for this Conference closes on 1 September 2017. There are two types of participation in the conference: conference papers and poster presentations. Please send conference paper abstracts of no more than 500 words to by 1 September 2017. If accepted, participants should plan to present papers of 20 minutes’ duration. Participants wishing to present a poster should send a 300 words description of their poster presentation by the same date. We plan to publish a selection of the conference papers in a special edition of a journal.

We are delighted to announce three keynote speakers of the conference:

Professor Carrie Menkel-Meadow, Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law, USA..

A founder of the dispute resolution field, Professor Menkel-Meadow came to UC Irvine School of Law from Georgetown University Law Center, where she is the A.B. Chettle, Jr. Professor of Dispute Resolution and Civil Procedure and Director of the Georgetown-Hewlett Program in Conflict Resolution and Legal Problem Solving. She has been the Faculty Director of Georgetown’s innovative partnership with 20 law schools from around the world, the Center for Transnational Legal Studies in London, in which faculty and students from participating programs study international and comparative law in a multi-national setting.

Professor Menkel-Meadow was a professor of law at UCLA for nearly 20 years, also serving as a professor in the Women’s Studies program, Acting Director of the Center for the Study of Women, and Co-Director of UCLA’s Center on Conflict Resolution. She has taught as a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Legal Theory at the University of Toronto, a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School, and as a clinical professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Professor Fiona Cownie, Pro Vice Chancellor (Education and Student Experience), Keele University, England.

Fiona Cownie’s research interests centre on legal education and the legal system. Her work covers all areas of legal education. It includes analysis of the ways in which law is taught, especially arguments about the importance of educational theory and philosophy to legal education. It also includes work on the purpose of the law school and on relationships between the academic study of law and vocational training as required by the legal professions.

Professor Cownie has also made a major contribution to debates about the academic staff who work in law schools; she has carried out extensive empirical research in this area, both in the U.K. and in Canada, and has written a monograph and a series of articles exploring different aspects of legal academic life, including work on women in the law school and values in law teaching, as well as on the everyday dress of law teachers. Recently, she has become interested in the history of law schools, and in particular of legal academics. She is the author of Legal Academics: culture and identities (Hart, 2004) and co-author of A Great and Noble Occupation: the history of the Society of Legal Scholars (Hart, 2009). Her latest research project is an extended study of the biographies of early women law professors in the U.K.

Professor Paul Marharg, Distinguished Professor of Practice, Osgoode Hall Law School,  York University, Canada.

Paul Maharg is a leading scholar in legal education whose work is focused on interdisciplinary educational innovation, the design of regulation in legal education, and the use of technology-enhanced learning. He joined Osgoode as Distinguished Professor of Practice in May 2017.  Since 2013, he has served as Professor of Law and Director of the Centre for Profession, Education and Regulation in Law (PEARL) at Australian National University College of Law as well as Professor of Law (part-time) at Nottingham Law School. He also currently holds Visiting Professorships at Hong Kong University Faculty of Law and Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law.

He has produced four books and two book series on legal education, and digital games & learning; and influential reports into the regulation of legal services education in England and Wales and other jurisdictions. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a UK Higher Education Academy (HEA) National Teaching Fellow and a Principal Fellow of the HEA, he has a PhD in Literature, Aesthetics and Philosophy (Edinburgh University); an LLB, Dip Ed and MA in English Literature and Language (Glasgow University); and a PGCE (Jordanhill College of Education).

The conference will be held at UNSW Law school. It is free but registration is required as numbers will be limited. Any inquiries can be directed to:

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