(2021) 55:3 The Law Teacher 364
25 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2020 Last revised: 8 Sep 2021
This article focusses on the role of humility in the law school. It argues in favour of a culture where humility is consciously cultivated in law students. Section I considers on the grading curve, a quintessentially North American attribute of almost all law schools. It analyses and theorises the curve and its effect in cultivating humility. It suggests that, while the curve can have a humbling effect, this effect is felt irregularly among law students and comes with significant and often discounted consequences. This article argues that a model where humility is more consciously cultivated could minimise these consequences. Section II provides such an alternative, arguing in favour of law professors showing humility and vulnerability. It depicts this alternative as both a partial antidote to the grading curve’s problems and a key starting point in inviting students to be vulnerable and constitutively challenging what it means to be a lawyer.
Keywords: Humility, legal education, assessment, vulnerability, grading curve
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