Carel Stolker: Rethinking the Law School: Education, Research, Outreach and Governance

Publication Date01 Sep 2016
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6478.2016.00765.x
AuthorAnthony Bradney
RET HIN KIN G THE L AW SC HOO L: ED UCA TIO N, R ESE ARC H,
OUTREACH AND GOVERNANCE by CAREL STOLKER
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015, 472 pp., £27.99)
Researching into university legal education in the common law world has a
long history which is still in the making. This is illustrated by the various
specialist journals that are devoted to the subject. The Journal of Legal
Education in the United States of America was founded in 1948. In the United
Kingdom, The Law Teacher, now styled the The Law Teacher: The Inter-
national Journal of Legal Education, was started in 1967. In Australia, the
Legal Education Review was founded in 1989. Finally in Canada, the
Canadian Legal Education Annual Review was first published in 2007. In the
United Kingdom both the Annual Conference of the Society of Legal Scholars
and the Socio-Legal Studies Association's Annual Conference have long had
multiple sessions devoted to research into university legal education. Again in
the United Kingdom, the study of legal education has its own specialist
association in the United Kingdom, the Legal Education Research Network.
1
Monographs, collections of essays, and articles in general journals are regularly
and frequently published. The most recent national review of research quality
in the United Kingdom commented, probably correctly, that `the methodo-
logical rigour and significance exhibited by some . .. outputs [about university
legal education] was uneven.'
2
Nevertheless, there can be little doubt about the
subject's status as a sub-discipline within legal studies in the United Kingdom.
3
The same is true of the subject in many other common law jurisdictions.
In the civil law world the status of the study of university legal education
seems to be less certain. Even here, however, recent publications suggest an
increasing interest in the subject. Jan Smits, The Mind and Method of the
Legal Academic, Christophe Jamin's La Cuisine du Droit: L'E
Âcole de Droit
de Science Po: une experimentation francËaise, and Bart van Klink and Bald
de Vries's edited collection, Academic Learning i n Law: Theoretical
Positions, Teaching Experiments and Learning Experiences (2016) are
amongst work that is indicative of this change,
4
as is Carel Stolker's new
book, Rethinking the Law School.
There are a number of things that make Stolker's book stand out from
other work on university legal education. First, it is a serious attempt to do
479
1 Legal Education Research Network, at .
2Research Excellence Framework 2014: Overview report by Main Panel C and Sub-
panels 16 to 26 Subpanel 20: Law (2015) 71.
3 See, further, A. Bradney, `The Rise and Rise of Legal Education' (1997) 4 Web J.
Current Legal Issues. See, also, L. Taylor, `Legal Education ± A Discipline?' (2002)
1J. of Commonwealth Law and Legal Education 127.
4 J. Smits, The Mind and Method of the Legal Academic (2012); C. Jamin, La Cuisine
du Droit: L'E
Âcole de Droit de Science Po: une experimentation francËaise (2013); B.
van Klink and B. de Vries (eds.), Academic Learning in Law: Theoretical Positions,
Teaching Experiments and Learning Experiences (2016).
ß2016 The Author. Journal of Law and Society ß2016 Cardiff University Law School

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