Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy: A Polemic Against the System : a Critical Edition
In 1983 Harvard law professor Duncan Kennedy self-published a biting critique of the law school system called Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy. This controversial booklet was reviewed in several major law journals—unprecedented for a self-published work—and influenced a generation of law students and teachers.
In this well-known critique, Duncan Kennedy argues that legal education reinforces class, race, and gender inequality in our society. However, Kennedy proposes a radical egalitarian alternative vision of what legal education should become, and a strategy, starting from the anarchist idea of workplace organizing, for struggle in that direction. Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy is comprehensive, covering everything about law school from the first day to moot court to job placement to life after law school. Kennedy's book remains one of the most cited works on American legal education.
The visually striking original text is reprinted here, making it available to a new generation. The text is buttressed by commentaries by five prominent legal scholars who consider its meaning for today, as well as by an introduction and afterword by the author that describes the context in which Kennedy wrote the book, including a brief history of critical legal studies.