The Utopian Law School and the Fate of the University


Event Dates: 17 – 21 June 2013 Various Venues
Birkbeck Main Building
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX

The Birkbeck School of Law presents:

Law on Trial 2013: Legal Utopias: The Future of Law and Legal Education

Against a background of profound changes in higher education policy, and in the year in which the Legal Education and Training Review (LETR) will report its findings to its sponsoring regulators in May 2013, the School of Law at Birkbeck places legal education on trial in this week of free lectures and workshops.

With roundtable discussions featuring distinguished legal academics, novelists, journalists and political activists, who explore the influence of legal education and legal educators on the wider cultural and social landscape, this is a trial not to be missed!

Take part as we debate the future of the School of Law, positioned in a climate where both publicly funded and privately sourced legal education providers battle with high fees and an ever expanding competitive market. Have your say over access to legal education as our panels explore whether legal academics should confront challenges of widening participation by developing a culture of pro bono – offering legal education freely outside their universities/colleges.

Monday 17 June 2013

The Utopian Law School and the Fate of the University

Chair: Professor Adam Gearey (Birkbeck)

Is there an alternative to debt and privatised education? Does a law school do any more than produce skilled operatives to grease the wheels of capital? This first panel of 2013’s Law on Trial intends to ask some critical questions about the perilous state of British Universities and the possibility of imagining alternatives. To what extent can a Law School address the wider community and its legal needs? Is a university simply a business turning a profit from its human capital? How can thinking about law be made part of an education in politics or ‘critical’ humanities? Equally important is the history of thinking differently about education- from the Anti-University of London, to the student protests of the 1960s and the Occupied spaces of present day. If the task of the utopian or critical law school is more than its own survival – how can these traditions of hope and dissent make any sense to us now?

Speakers for this session include:

Dr. Maia Pal, Department of International Relations, University of Sussex

Professor Jane Holder, Faculty of Laws, UCL

Professor Thomas Docherty, Professor of English and of Comparative Literature, University of Warwick


Dr Maia Pal’s images:

<<back to the Law on Trial 2013 page>>

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