Cynical legal studies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Traditional methods and practices are deeply embedded in the majority of law schools and it is a safe prediction that many law teachers, students and practitioners yet again will respond cynically to any challenges presented by a post-modern ethics of law. Cynicism may be the perfect antidote preventing ‘burn-out’, which enables professionals to survive extremely stressful environments. Some might also defend it as being both intellectually healthy and respectable. The tradition of the Cynics dates back to the ancient world and, moreover, is not without philosophical justification. For the legal educator, the question remains as to whether cynicism amongst law students is to be encouraged or resisted. The Critical Legal Studies movement itself, while resisting dominant methodologies, ideologies and professional hegemony within orthodox legal studies, also contained the seeds of cynicism by supporting nihilist tendencies and refusing or failing to establish lasting alliances with more radical forms of legal practice.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducating for Justice
Subtitle of host publicationSocial Values and Legal Education
EditorsJeremy Cooper, Louise G Trubek
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780429858352
ISBN (Print)9781138311749, 9781855219670
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

© 1997. Reprinted 2018.


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