University Of Tasmania

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Studying women legal scholars: the challenges of life history

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 18:54 authored by Susan BartieSusan Bartie
Biographies of prominent women often advance inquiries that lead to easy and uninteresting conclusions that their subject should be celebrated or ignored. In contrast, this article argues for more life histories of women legal scholars that bring out the complexity of their lives. It suggests three ways to execute this work that guard against the making of simple binary conclusions. First, it argues that these studies should be open inquiries that present a range of views of their subject, from both the past and present, and encourage audiences to form their own judgments. This approach will help both reader and scholar to recognise their biases. Second, it makes a case for treating legal scholars differently from pure educators, scholars or lawyers. It suggests that their unique role should inform the work’s central inquiries. Finally, it argues that unearthing a subject’s attitude towards feminism and feminist legal scholarship can be done in ways that strengthen the work’s contribution to the history of the discipline.


Publication title

International Journal of The Legal Profession








Faculty of Law



Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Justice and the law not elsewhere classified

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