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Legal Education as Political Consciousness-Raising or Paving the Road to Hell
Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press
  • Richard F Devlin, FRSC, Dalhousie University
Document Type
Publication Date
  • law and gender,
  • legal pedagogy,
  • gender bias,
  • women in legal education

The Journal of Legal Education did all legal educators a great service when it published "Women in Legal Education-Pedagogy, Law, Theory, and Practice," a symposium that highlights feminist criticisms of, innovations in, and desiderata for legal education. The contributors challenge some of our deepest convictions about what it means to be a law teacher. Appropriately, all the contributors are women. It is they who have experienced most keenly-and have been harmed by the gendered nature of the legal educational process. The gendered nature of legal education is not, however, a "women's only" issue; it is not solely "their problem," "their burden." Male educators, as benefactors and agents of gender bias in legal education, must also confront the problem and acknowledge their responsibilities. They must interrogate their own presuppositions; they must re-vision their own pedagogy, scholarship, and administrative activities; they must practice affirmative action in their professional and personal lives. Gender bias can only be thoroughly eliminated through the critical self-conscious agency of its practitioners. What follows is a male teacher's reflection on his first year of teaching, on his aspiration to make the issue of gender a central concern, and on some of the dangers and opportunities involved in such an enterprise.

Citation Information
Richard Devlin, "Legal Education as Political Consciousness-Raising or Paving the Road to Hell" (1988) 38 J Leg Educ 213.