We Don’t Need Another IRAC: Identifying Global Legal Skills

Paper presented at the 2015 CLEA Conference in Glasgow

Helena Whalen-Bridge
National University of Singapore Faculty of Law

While many agree that there is a need to prepare law students to handle legal issues beyond national borders, there is also a contrary impulse to retain a focus on domestic law in order to prepare students for practice in their home jurisdiction. One way of addressing these apparently contrary impulses is to take a skills approach that articulates the analytical processes distinctively active in a more global context. Some of these skills could then be integrated into a variety of courses. However, skills in the global context should not merely replicate domestic conceptions of skills. This paper proposes that students develop abilities in comparative thinking and heuristic question framing, and reviews the advantages and disadvantages of a course in Comparative Advocacy designed to accomplish these goals.

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