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Embedding Compassion Pedagogy into Law Curricula as a Response to the Crisis Continuum

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paperpeer-review

Publication date5/04/2023
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventAssociation of Law Teachers Annual Conference 2023 - University of Westminster, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 17/04/202319/04/2023


ConferenceAssociation of Law Teachers Annual Conference 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


The change in the route to gaining a professional legal qualification alongside the continuum of crises experienced over the past decade, from the Covid-19 pandemic to the war in Ukraine to the constant economic crises, has provoked the imperative for law schools to re-evaluate their law programmes. One of the factors determining such re-evaluation points to supporting students’ progression as well as their development as future legal professionals.

The primary aim of this paper is to present the potential that the integration of compassion pedagogy has in delivering support for students’ progression. We draw upon core academic literature establishing the care theory and pedagogy of compassion to demonstrate that there are at least two core potential benefits in law programmes. First, a tutor’s care giving role in the teaching process can support students to achieve their educational goals. Second, compassion pedagogy also helps students to become better thinkers throughout the course of their studies so that they are equipped with the skills to make better judgments in their professional careers.

We then present a framework showcasing how one can appreciate the integration of different levels of compassion that can be utilised in law tutors’ interactions with students, inside and outside of class. We employ our previous research on student support systems to inform the development of the said framework and establish five key steps in integrating it: contact, assurance, dialogue, signposting, information and follow-up. The framework will then be assessed against broader prevailing considerations in legal education.