Category: Law

Law Schools are Failing Their Students

This is a brief excerpt from my book Legal Education, Privatization and the Market, about the role universities play in guiding young law students away from charity and towards private practice. 

A History of Law Schools: A Battle Between Law as a Science and Law as a Liberal Art

The history of law schools is a battle of ideas. Ideas over what the law is, how it should be taught and the kinds of student a law school should produce. Frequently, law schools have been the battleground of fierce intellectual rivalries, with rival schools of thought battling for supremacy.

The Real Socratic Method: Law Schools Fail to Understand Why Socrates Asked So Many Questions

In a true Socratic law school, I suggest, students would be instructed to ask questions to those in authority instead of answering them. Nothing and no one would be beyond a student’s questioning, especially by virtue of claims to authority or expertise alone.

Is law a social science? Lessons from a Canadian law school

From their very first lectures, law students are told not to equate legal ethics with morality, to ignore emotional responses to cases and to ignore any idea of reforming the law. Instead, they are taught legal positivism or ‘pure law’. Pure law is the teaching of law without the ‘baggage’ of the social sciences: without history, politics, ...

Law Schools in Canada: Writings of the First Toronto Law Dean W.P.M. Kennedy (2)

My purposes in this article are narrowed to two points : (i) a statement of the teaching of law subjects in Canadian Universities for purposes and aims other than those to which Dean Falconbridge has done full justice ; (ii) to outline the work with which I am most familiar, in the University of Toronto.

Thomas Jefferson: How Law Should be Part of a Broad Training in the Liberal Arts

I find it interesting sometimes to contrast the narrow, vocational-based education system we have today with the kind of education system envisaged in the late 1700s. Often, the aim back then was to receive a broad-education in what today we understand as the liberal arts and sciences, before advancing onto a broad education as to ...

Law as a social science: Toronto Law School and WPM Kennedy

In the process of writing my PhD, I have stumbled upon the writings of WPM Kennedy, the former Dean of Toronto Law School and writer of 'Law as a Social Science'. Writing in the 1930s, Kennedy believed that law should not be taught as a mere vocation or trade, but as a "fundamental social science." ...

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