I’ve spent the past week reading up on legal research methods. Life is all weird turns, isn’t it.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking on the following…
Is this a law thesis? It’s in the Law and Criminology department, so in a simple sense, yes. And in a broad sense it will fit into the socio-legal camp. But it’s not ‘about’ a particular law or legal aspect of things. It’s about how the academy relates to the wider world, with law as a particularly interesting lens. So it’s in part an education thesis too.
Along the way it will consider ‘what is law as an academic discipline?’ Hence the jurisprudence reading – how the law is understood having an influence on how it is taught, and how the institutional / intellectual boundaries are set and policed.
Early thoughts- the doctrinal approach certainly seems to set a limit on the role of the law school. Law is autonomous, distinct, and about what lawyers d0. It’s about producing lawyers, and so any ‘outreach’ is limited to the… interesting relationship between the academy and the professions. This position is perhaps bolstered by a pragmatic and economic approach to higher education- the role is to produce workers, so law is all about law work.
I’m off work this week, so will try to get a bit more reading done. Next area do look at is social science method and theory.
I’m working towards the first assessment point, the RF1, aiming at submitting for the end of May. In this form I have to outline my method and key reading, so I need to cover several areas. These areas need not be considered in great depth, but I do need to show an awareness of them and have a plan for how I will develop that depth. As well as thre RF1 form involves the Vitae RDF and filling in relevant sections of the RDF planner. And an ethics application. The glamour of the doctorate, forms and forms and forms…