Silencing Discipline in Legal Education
28 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2018 Last revised: 17 Jan 2019
Date Written: April 6, 2018
In current times, the production of critical legal knowledge has become constrained by a neoliberal education mindset that emphasizes economic performance and measured outcomes over critical thought. In this essay, I argue that academic freedom, in the sense of being free to speak, write, and teach critical knowledge, both in the intellectual sense and in the law practice sense, is being eroded. And, I urge my critically minded colleagues that are traditional law scholars (tenure-track or tenured) to consider the circumstances of law teachers who currently do not have the protections of tenure but who generate valuable knowledge, particularly in the realm of teaching critical common-law analysis and lawyering skills. Together, we should oppose further encroachments of neoliberal rationality into legal education. This is a matter of reform, but it is also a matter of protecting our voice.
Keywords: Legal Education, Legal Education History, Critical Race Theory, Feminist Legal Theory, Legal Skills Teachers, Academic Freedom
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