Symposium Series #4
Posted on April 2nd, 2020

Musings on Disrupting Hierarchies in Legal Education

Elaine D. Ingulli, Professor of Business Law, Emerita, Stockton University

As far back as I can remember, my deepest instincts have been anti-hierarchical. Yet I struggled to find a way to contribute to this symposium. The call for papers, while prompting writers to address important hierarchies, is so focused on the schooling of lawyers that it overlooks the legal education of future CEOs (undergraduate and MBA business law classes), police and probation officers (criminal justice programs), social workers (family law) and the press (communications), not to mention the constitutional law courses taught in most political science departments around the country. It is this narrow view of legal education, perhaps attributable to the lower status of undergraduate teaching, that motivated me to write what is a rather personal essay. In it, I locate myself on a map of hierarchies—class, race, gender, ethnicity, academic ability—in an attempt to tease hierarchy apart from separation and marginalization. Does separation always mean hierarchy? Or should we, and can we, create conditions that allow for separation without hierarchy? And, what do we mean by hierarchies in legal education?

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