Dalhousie Law Journal


legal writing, legal scholarship, legal profession


A bit uncomfortable. That is how it feels to be among dear friends but labelled professionally as an outsider. I have a law degree, a bar membership, and a PhD in Jurisprudence and Social Policy. I am a professor in a women’s studies department at Concordia University. At conference receptions, people respond breathlessly, “But they don’t have a law school at Concordia!?,” as though I am hearing confession in a gas station, or something as heretical. I teach legal history, international law, feminist legal theory, and constitutional law to undergraduates who are not in law school and mostly don’t want to go to law school. Undergraduates who are not law students can read treaties, statutes, and cases—even Supreme Court cases. You can teach them about standards of review, division of powers, slippery slopes, reasonable men, and legal pluralism. They can independently generate the difference between primary and secondary rules. They can read law review articles.

A bit uncomfortable. That is how you might feel on hearing that undergraduates outside of law are reading law review articles. It might disturb the cozy feeling that we are writing for each other, and that we write for each other as transference for our field’s ideal audience—judges and legislators. The they who we imagine reading our law review articles are allied with the status quo and better still, poised next to the levers of power.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.