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Book Sections Year : 2019

In the Law School Classroom

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Emilie Biland


This chapter presents an observation-based study of the legal programs offered by two elite French institutions, Sciences Po Paris and the HEC business school. The study combined a general examination of the legal training of elites through documentary research and interviews with a novel methodological approach that applied ethnography to the analysis of legal education. Through combining these methods, the research was able to uncover the major theoretical, practical, and pedagogical orientations that emerge during the course of instruction. On the one hand, the two programs are quite differently situated, training students for disparate occupational trajectories with quite distinct institutional histories and situations. Despite these differences between the two sites, this study documented a shared underlying pedagogical message not easily identified using traditional research methods. The tacit message that is a key part of academic socialization across the locations of this study includes a normative process of acculturation to capitalist ideology through particular emphasis on business law and the figure of the business lawyer. Thus the analysis presented in this chapter contributes to a better understanding of legal education “in action.”
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hal-02959842 , version 1 (07-10-2020)



Emilie Biland, Liora Israël. In the Law School Classroom: Hidden Messages in French Elite Training. Meera Deo; Mindie Lazarus-Black; Elizabeth Mertz. Power, Legal Education, and Law School Cultures, Routledge, pp.73 - 104, 2019, 9780367199401. ⟨hal-02959842⟩
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