Educating for the past, the present or the future?

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


Richard Susskind posits an ‘Evolution of Legal Service’ 1 – from bespoke legal
services to standardisation allowing for scalability, and finally to ‘externalization’, where commodities are offered online for fee, for free or via commons, 2 as perspective moves from ‘task-based’ to ‘outcomes-based’. 3 If Susskind’s ‘Evolution of Legal Service’ 4 is already taking place in the legal industry, it has not yet commenced in any real way in legal education. What if it did? What could it look like, and how would it disrupt accepted ways of doing things? 5 What might be sacrificed along the way? This chapter will use Susskind’s framework in an attempt to catalyse such thinking in the context of Australian legal education – by pushing existing boundaries, challenging existing perceptions, exploring what might be possible, and inevitably raising more questions than can yet be answered. It will begin with a lightning review of change and disruption taking place generally and in the legal sector, disruption already encountered by legal graduates now who are likely to face even further change in future. Using a recent US decision as a case study, it will explore how ethical obligations are changing as a result, imperatives which also challenge whether legal curriculum is fit for purpose in the 21st century. What is now required to develop professionals with legal knowledge and skills, who agree to be bound by accepted ethical frameworks, and who act effectively as legally literate leaders, advocates and defenders of rights responsive to society’s needs? What might this mean for legal academics and educational institutions? The chapter will conclude with a challenge to re-vision legal education, and to engage with the new opportunities this presents.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImperatives for Legal Education Research
Subtitle of host publicationThen, Now and Tomorrow
EditorsBen Golder, Marina Nehme, Alex Steel, Prue Vines
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-429-42607-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-38780-5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

Publication series

NameEmerging Legal Education
PublisherRoutledge - Taylor & Francis


  • legal education
  • innovation
  • future of legal profession


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