The Rule of Law and Legal Education: Do They Still Connect?
Research Handbook on the Rule of Law (Eds) C May, a Winchester & C Gardner (Edward Elgar, 2017), Forthcoming
18 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2017 Last revised: 3 Mar 2017
Date Written: January 2, 2017
In this chapter my focus is not so much on the theoretical debates surrounding the rule of law but rather how it is implicated and treated in the developments of modern legal education and practice. I first analyse the changing legal world for which the salient period is the post-World War II to the present. We have the rise of the international and transnational institutions and the emergence of the modern, organization-based, and increasingly financialised, legal profession that plays a significant role in globalization. To provide the labour force for the profession the academy’s role has come to the fore and is now the main gateway to the legal profession. Even with its duality of roles as reproducer and gatekeeper, the academy is now more remote from the profession. This in part reflects a desire on the part of the legal academy to be a more academic and intellectual member of the academy than hitherto. The rise of sub-specialties within law marks this shift as does the increased number of law professors with PhDs, often in other disciplines. The increased tensions between the academy and the profession have fostered argument over both the content and structure of the law degree. One might almost ask if the issue is not so much the rule of law but the rule of lawyers. Finally I examine some of the challenges for legal education — such as the rise of legal technology — that will have enormous effects on legal practice and the rule of law, especially where it abuts access to justice.
Keywords: rule of law, legal profession, globalisation, technology, legal education, The Rule of Law and Legal Education: Do They Still Connect?
JEL Classification: I20, J44
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation