The Law School, the Market, and the New Knowledge Economy

33 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2009

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Date Written: September 25, 2009


This paper considers how recent changes in higher education are impacting on the discipline of law, causing the critical scholarly space to contract in favour of that which is market-based and applied. The charging of high fees has transformed the delicate relationship between student and teacher into one of ‘customer’ and ‘service provider’. Changes in pedagogy, modes of delivery and assessment have all contributed to the narrowing of the curriculum in a way that supports the market. The paper will briefly illustrate the way the transformation has occurred and consider its effect on legal education and the legal academy.

Keywords: Legal education, Knowledge economy, Neoliberal legal knowledge

JEL Classification: K10, K40

Suggested Citation

Thornton, Margaret, The Law School, the Market, and the New Knowledge Economy (September 25, 2009). CLPE Research Paper No. 23/09, Available at SSRN: or

Margaret Thornton (Contact Author)

ANU College of Law ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200

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