Over the past six months or so, amongst much else I've been involved in putting together a couple of book series. This post is about the first: Emerging Legal Learning (ELL), published by Ashgate Publishing and co-edited with Caroline Maughan, Visiting Fellow, Bristol Law School, and Elizabeth Mertz, Professor, Wisconsin-Madison Law School and the American Bar Foundation. More information in the ELL Flyer, and more below the fold on why the series is needed.
As a new legal academic interested in legal education in the early 1990s, and coming from the disciplines of Literature and Education, I was struck by how little literature there was on the topic. Many of the forms of normal academic discourse weren't visible — there were no book series, festschriften, Research Companions or collections of distinguished papers,eg — and where there were for example journals (and not many of them), these tended to print miscellaneous collections of articles. The idea of having special issues of journals focus on current debates was rare — possibly because debates themselves were rare, the language of dissent often expressing a reluctance to enter into the discourse that other disciplines took for granted ('it is submitted that…'). And the work that was published was heavily biased towards the home jurisdiction. It seemed that Scottish and English legal educators, for instance, were rarely talking to their colleagues across Hadrian's Wall, let alone in the US or in the Netherlands.
I've often though I'd like to be part of a book series project, not just to encourage others to enter the debates but to see develop a line of substantial argument about the nature and effectiveness of legal education and its place in our working and our personal lives. Well, the chance has come at last. Caroline, Beth and I have persuaded Ashgate to commit to the project outlined in the flyer — kudos to them for taking on this series, and to our patient and ever-positive editor in particular, Alison Kirk, without whom the series would not have come into being.
We're currently looking for book proposals. The first book in the series, Affect and Legal Education. Emotion in Learning and Teaching the Law, edited by Caroline and me (more of this in a later post) will be published later this year. We have a number of other proposals we're considering at the moment. If you have an idea for a publication, or you're already planning or writing a book on legal education, please do get in touch with me to discuss. We're looking for international authorship, too, so if you're reading this in Canada, US, Australia or New Zealand, this is a great opportunity to contribute to the international scholarship of the field. We reckon that most texts will be from Common Law jurisdictions but we're open to publishing texts from Civilian & mixed jurisdictions too.
Over to you!