Telling stories about the law school: autoethnography and legal education

Elaine Gregersen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Autoethnography is a contemporary qualitative approach to research and writing where the researcher uses their lived experience as data. Autoethnographers reflect deeply on, and make sense of, their own struggles as well as exploring cultural practices and beliefs. A diverse range of academic disciplines have embraced autoethnography as a research method. Legal education, however, rarely mentions autoethnography. This is a pivotal time. We have an opportunity to enhance the quality of legal education research, particularly where law teachers want to utilise creative, literary techniques and draw on personal experiences. This article provides the first comprehensive assessment of the practicalities and pitfalls of doing autoethnography in legal education research. It uses lived experience narrative, employing first-person present tense storytelling, to examine and extend discussions on major methodological issues faced by autoethnographers. Above all, however, this article challenges law teachers to develop robust and rigorous autoethnographic research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-256
Number of pages16
JournalThe Law Teacher
Issue number2
Early online date22 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2022


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