Images of Law School and Law Teaching in 'An Imperfect Spy'
Spencer Weber Waller
Loyola University of Chicago, School of Law - Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies
Brooklyn Law School
Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities, Vol. 8, No. 1, 1996
In this essay, we examine Carolyn Heilbrun's (writing as Amanda Cross) portrait of law and law teaching in "An Imprect Spy" in light of our own experience. Much of Heilburn's image of legal academia is unrecognizable not only to those familiar with that world, but even to those whose outsiders whose knowledge of law schools comes from mainstream media. Nevertheless, we conclude that Heilbrun, who presumably could have situated her mystery novel in any academic setting, believes that the fictional Schuyler Law School's aversion to change and its sexist atmosphere are shared with a broad range of law schools, all of which need to examine themselves more critically. For this belief, we are able to forgive the failings of the book as both a mystery and a novel and appreciate the author's efforts to satirize the pomposity and conservatism of law teachers who resist or disparage even modest innovations in class room and clinical legal education.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 22
Keywords: Amanda Cross, Carolyn Heilbrun, legal thrillers, mystery novels, novels, Imperfect Spy, legal education, clinical legal education, law and literature, feminist jurisprudence
Date posted: May 20, 2008