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Stories in Law School: An Essay on Language, Participation, and the Power of Legal Education

18 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2009  

Shauna Van Praagh

McGill University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 1992

Abstract

The themes of participation, silence, personal experience, and voice are found in the emerging discussion of narrative or storytelling in legal writing and law teaching, and I intend to focus on that discourse in this paper. The insertion of personal experience into the teaching and learning of law exposes perspectives that previously may have been suppressed. Yet, multiplicity and particularity may lead to paralysis. Unless some connection between personal narrative and institutional change is forged, students may be silenced by "too much" context, unable to find any common and powerful language with which to create standards and offer answers. Precise articulation of the link between personal and political in legal education is impossible in this limited space, but I hope to begin a search for criteria according to which the effectiveness of stories and personal perspectives in the law school classroom can be assessed.

Suggested Citation

Van Praagh, Shauna, Stories in Law School: An Essay on Language, Participation, and the Power of Legal Education (1992). Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1992. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1457411

Shauna Van Praagh (Contact Author)

McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )

3644 Peel Street
Montreal H3A 1W9, Quebec
Canada

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