Can pictures help students to acquire skills of legal reasoning?

Clare Sandford-Couch

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper will explore the potential for research into whether an interdisciplinary approach incorporating visual imagery into the law classroom could help tackle a problem faced by many students at the start of a law degree. It will focus upon whether and how visual images may be of use in helping students to appreciate the concept and practices of legal reasoning. While law schools might see legal reasoning as a skill that students should be able to pick up, from reading cases and statutes, it is a concept with which many students struggle. Often students start their degree expecting to be taught and to learn ‘the law’, assuming that cases are decided by judges selecting from a system of an unchanging, constant set of legal ‘rules’; by applying the relevant rule to the case before them, they will be led inexorably to the ‘right’ decision. Many may then become disheartened at the realisation that the study of law is not a question of learning to memorise a body of legal rules. The paper will consider a number of examples from the visual arts to explore whether engaging in visual analysis may encourage students towards a clearer understanding of legal reasoning.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusIn preparation - May 2013
EventNorthumbria Research Conference - Northumbria University
Duration: 16 May 2013 → …


ConferenceNorthumbria Research Conference
Period16/05/13 → …
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