Learning Critical Legal Theory Across the Curriculum: An Innovative Course in Applied Feminism

5 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2014 Last revised: 28 May 2015

See all articles by Michele E. Gilman

Michele E. Gilman

University of Baltimore - School of Law

Date Written: Spring 2014


In law schools, we are so accustomed to a single professor teaching each substantive class that we rarely question this method of teaching. Imagine instead a class taught by fourteen professors, each of whom teaches for one week to share their substantive expertise through the lens of critical legal theory. At the University of Baltimore School of Law, we offer such a course, entitled Special Topics in Applied Feminism. Throughout the semester, students are exposed to feminist legal perspectives on a wide range of substantive topics, including tax law, international law, immigration law, employment law, and many others.

The course is sponsored and organized by our Center on Applied Feminism, which seeks to apply feminist legal theory to real-world problems in order to promote gender equality. The Center's activities range from sponsoring an annual conference to advocating for law reform to advising students on career choices. We sought to add an academic component for students that harnessed the talent of our colleagues outside their usual substantive course silos. We have offered the course every other year since 2010. Based on this experience and the responses of students, we recommend that more law schools offer collaborative courses.

Keywords: legal education, methods of teaching, critical legal theory, feminist legal theory, gender equality, law reform, career choices, collaborative courses

JEL Classification: K19, K39, I21, I29, L89

Suggested Citation

Gilman, Michele E., Learning Critical Legal Theory Across the Curriculum: An Innovative Course in Applied Feminism (Spring 2014). Law Teacher, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 5-7, Spring 2014; University of Baltimore School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2506087 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2506087

Michele E. Gilman (Contact Author)

University of Baltimore - School of Law ( email )

1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States

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