Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Source Publication

Golder, B., Nehme, M., Steel, A., & Vines, P. (Eds.). (2019). Imperatives for Legal Education Research: Then, Now and Tomorrow (1st ed.). Routledge.


In almost every jurisdiction regulatory review of legal education has become more complex. It has not been matched by concomitant increase in the sophistication and complexity of the empirical research base, nor in the organisation of that research. As we pointed out in the LETR Report (2013), there are significant gaps in legal educational research. There is little co-ordination of research initiatives between academy and regulatory bodies on a sustained basis. There is little organisation by the academy of the increasing volume of research that it produces on legal education: a significant lack of longitudinal studies, very few ongoing and sustained data studies, almost no systematic reviews of literature. Such lack of organisation and the thin historical awareness that it gives rise to, I argue, constitutes a bar to the development of a rich legal educational research paradigm, and seriously affects our ability to generate, curate and argue from evidence-based data. In this chapter, I explore reasons for the situation, and on a practical level discuss initiatives that seek to improve the situation. Finally, I draw an iconography of approaches to legal education research that constitute three rival futures for the state of legal education research.

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