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We don't need another IRAC: identifying global legal skills

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 September 2014

Helena Whalen-Bridge
Associate Professor, National University of Singapore Faculty of Law. Email:
E-mail address:


For some time now, there has been a perceived need to prepare law students to handle legal issues beyond national borders. Much has been written on how globalisation should shape legal education, but no clear direction has emerged. 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.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

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