This is a session at ANU College of Law that I’m attending & liveblogging — see here for full details. It was organised by Tony Foley & colleagues, and the keynote speaker is Judith Wegner from North Carolina, who in legal educational circles needs no introduction, talking on ‘Developing Professional Judgment in Future Lawyers — A US Perspective’.
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I’ve accepted a position as a part-time professor in Nottingham Law School, starting this month, and concurrent with my position at ANU. I’ll be working on research and publication projects with staff in the Centre for Legal Education (CLE) where there’s synergy with the projects that I’ll be setting up in the Centre at ANU, in the field of regulation, technology-enhanced learning and educational design. Why work with CLE …?
First, the quality of the work on a number of important subjects. They’re doing fine research on work-based learning and regulation (Jane Ching, my colleague on LETR [see her research record here]); they are working with centres in Europe on regulatory and other activities (headed up by Dean Andrea Nollent), and the Centre is involved in innovative PBL-style initiatives (Rebecca Huxley-Binns, Reader in Legal Education). Rebecca has already published a chapter in a book I co-edited with Caroline Maughan, Affect and Legal Education, and is working on on similar publications; and of course Jane and I will be working on regulation projects and publications. Janice Denoncourt was published, on legal education & film, in the recent EJLT BILETA special edition. In addition, all this fits well with plans at the ANU Centre for research and publications.
Second, and on purely practical grounds, it makes sense for research centres doing similar work to collaborate and share, not just theoretical but developmental projects as well (and coming from a Pragmatist, Deweyan perspective, I try to integrate these two where I can). There is so much that needs to be done to improve legal education, and centres internationally need to support each other in this crucial work. I’ve argued this since the 1990s, and my experience at the Glasgow Graduate School of Law confirmed the necessity for and value of such collaborative work.
Third, and perhaps most important, centres need to focus not just on their own jurisdictions, but also take account of global perspectives in legal education. This makes sense on a purely practical level, too; and it involves the necessity for and urgency of change in legal education. But there is more to it than that. My argument needs a little unpacking — it appears in part in a recent article on change and innovation in legal education, in the International Journal of the Legal Profession), and in compressed form below the fold…
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