28 December 2021

BOOK: Susan BARTIE & David SANDORMIERSKY (Eds), American Legal Education Abroad. Critical Histories (New York: University Press, 2021). ISBN 9781479803583

(Source: NYUP)


A critical history of the Americanization of legal education in fourteen countries.

The second half of the twentieth century witnessed the export of American power—both hard and soft—throughout the world. What role did US cultural and economic imperialism play in legal education? American Legal Education Abroad offers an unprecedented and surprising picture of the history of legal education in thirteen countries beyond the United States. Each study in this book represents a critical history of the Americanization of legal education, re-examining prevailing narratives of exportation, transplantation, and imperialism. Collectively, these studies challenge the conventional wisdom that American ideas and practices have dominated globally. American Legal Education Abroad begins with a foundational history by leading Harvard Law School historian Bruce Kimball, who explains the factors that created a transportable American legal model, and the book concludes with reflections from Susan Carle and Bob Gordon, whose observations on recent disruptions within US law schools suggest that their influence within the global order of legal education may soon fall into further decline. This book should be considered an invaluable resource for anyone in the fields of law, legal history, socio-legal studies, law and society, legal education, comparative law, colonial and postcolonial legal studies, globalisation and law, and intellectual and cultural history.


Susan Bartie is Lecturer in Law at the University of Tasmania. She has won a number of awards and prizes including a Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence for her PhD, a Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning from the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training (national award) for her teaching and she was awarded a British Chevening Scholarship to complete a Masters in Law at the University of Cambridge.Her recent book, Free Hands and Minds – Pioneering Legal Scholars, reveals the central ideas that underpinned the birth of modern Australian university legal education.

David Sandomierski is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law at Western University. He holds an SJD from the University of Toronto, where his doctoral dissertation received the Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal. He also holds degrees in civil and common law from McGill University, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the McGill Law Journal. In 2008-09 he served as law clerk to the Chief Justice of Canada, Beverley McLachlin. His recent book, Aspiration and Reality in Legal Education, examines the relationship between realism and formalism, and theory and practice, in contemporary legal education.



Part 1: Foundation Stories

1. The Proliferation and Transformation of Harvard’s Case Method in the United States, 1870s–1990s. Bruce A. Kimball

2. How America Did (and Didn’t) Influence English Legal Education, circa 1870–1965. David Sugarman

Part 2: Americanization—Critical Histories

3. American Influences, Canadian Realities: How “American” Is Canadian Legal

Education? Philip Girard

4. Functionalism, Legal Process, and the Transformation (and Subordination) of Australian Law Schools. Susan Bartie

5. Conservatives, Nationalists, and American Romantics Debating Legal Education in Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana. John Harrington and Ambreena Manji

6. Transplantation and Domestication of American Models of Legal Education in Nigeria. J. Jarpa Dawuni and Rebecca Emiene Badejogbin

7. Model, System, or Node? Understanding Legal Education Reform in Twentieth-century China and Beyond. Jedidiah J. Kroncke

8. Transplants in Estonian Legal Education: Influences from the US Legal System. Irene Kull, Merike Ristikivi, and Aleksei Kelli

9. “The Turn to the West”: American Legal Education and Educational Reforms in the Swedish Welfare State, 1950–2000. Kjell Å Modéer

10. The American Case Method and New Japanese Legal Education. Yoshiharu Matsuura

11. Legal Education in France Turns Its Attention to the Harvard Model. Jean-Louis Halpérin

12. American Moment(s): When, How, and Why Did Israeli Law Faculties Come to Resemble Elite US Law Schools? Pnina Lahav

13. Catalytic Agents? Lon Fuller, James Milner, and the Lawyer as Social Architect, 1950–1969. David Sandomierski

14. Legal Teaching and the Reconceptualizing of the State: Global Law and New Legal Education Loci. José Garcez Ghirardi

15. Socratic Method, Philippine-style: To Unhave or Uphold? Emily Sanchez Salcedo

Part 3: US Perspectives

16. Rethinking Assumptions about the Global Influence of US Legal Education. Susan D. Carle

17. The Harvard Models in Their Native Habitat and Abroad: Reflections. Robert W. Gordon

More information with the publisher.

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