Lawyers, law schools and social change–defining the challenges of academic legal education in the late modernity

Hedwig van Rossum*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This article argues that due to their position and task in society, legal professionals are confronted with specific difficulties connected to contemporary circumstances. To outline these circumstances, this article draws on the work of Ulrich Beck and Zygmunt Bauman and places both theories within the late modernity. Lawyers need to be able to deal with the difficulties late modernity poses and are therefore in need of appropriate knowledge and skills. Law schools should offer relevant schooling so that their students are equipped to deal with the difficulties confronting them in late modernity’s society. This article offers a first inquiry into the challenges that lawyers currently face, alongside anticipating alteration of academic law school programs by clarifying the challenges caused by two societal processes in late modernity, namely (1) the increase of technological possibilities and, simultaneously, the demystification of science; and (2) globalization. These processes lead to a complex society ruled by uncertainty that faces the challenge of allocating responsibility. In addition, some initial suggestions are presented regarding the conceivable adjustments to academic legal education in late modernity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-260
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of the Legal Profession
Volume25
Issue number3
Early online date13 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2018

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