Interrogating Legal Pedagogy and Imagining a Better Way to Train Lawyers

February 18, 2022

The Virginia Law Review (VLR) Online is thrilled to host its annual Online Symposium, on February 18th, 2022, to discuss what works—and what doesn’t—with current legal pedagogy. The Symposium will explore whose interests legal pedagogy serves, whether legal pedagogy should involve more clinical or theoretical education, whether current legal pedagogy achieves the stated goals of law schools, the ways in which legal pedagogy exacerbates inequalities in the legal system, and the capacity for legal pedagogy to change.

Symposium Schedule

Link to Webinar for all events (excluding panels):

10:30-10:45- Introductions by VLR and Dean Goluboff

10:45-11:45- Paper Presentations

  • Gender Differences in Law School Classroom Participation: The Key Role of Social Context by Professors Shadel, Trawalter, and Verkerke. The professors undertook three studies to examine when and why women at an elite law school, the University of Virginia, speak in class and this paper summarizes their findings. 
  • The Gender Participation Gap and the Politics of Pedagogy by Professors Shadel and Coughlin. Professors Shadel and Coughlin sought to put the above piece, by Shadel, Trawalter, and Verkerke, into a broader context by detailing the history of cold-calling and law schools’ hostility towards women. 
  • Moving Law Teaching Beyond Opinions to Spark Students’ Legal Imaginations By Professors Keene and McMahon. Professors Keene and McMahon critique the case method for freezing students’ minds in the status quo and propose surrounding opinions with other materials (briefs, dissents, legal scholarship, etc.) to open up their legal imaginations. 
  • Feminist Legal History and Legal Pedagogy by Professor Monopoli, who suggests that the lack of feminist legal history in the curriculum, which would better ground student and faculty understanding of feminist legal theory, accounts for some of the lack of impact such theory has had on legal pedagogy and scholarship.

11:45-12:15- Professor Baldwin Clark Keynote Address

12:15-1:30- Lunch for registered guests

1:30-2:30- Panels

2:45- 3:45 pm- Q+A with the hosts of the podcast 5-4

4-4:30- Alec Karakatsanis Keynote Address

4:30-4:45- Closing and Thank Yous

Any questions should be directed to the Online Development Editor, Elizabeth Adler (