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Critical Legal Theory


About this Guide

This is a guide for researchers interested in researching critical legal theory, specifically critical legal studies, feminist legal theory, and critical race theory. These theoretical approaches react against and build on the work of classic legal theory which is described in its own research guide.

As an introduction to legal theory this guide lists encyclopedias for brief overviews of legal theory and general overview books. It also includes methodology resources including Sage Research Methods, which is a central reference resource, and handbooks.

This guide then goes into more detail about three specific topics: critical legal studies, feminist legal theory, and critical race theory. Each has a brief definition and a list of key resources, including relevant books that provide an introduction to the topic, methodological overview, history, or scholarly application. There are also lists of journals focusing on social justice, gender inequity, race, and general theory, many of which overlap in scope. Searching within specific journals by title is a narrow approach, so researchers can also refer to article resources for relevant legal databases. 

This guide also contains resources related to critical judgments, which are rewritten legal judgments from a specific critical perspective.

For information about critical disability theory and queer legal theory see the Lakehead Guide on Critical Legal Theories. This guide also includes lists of relevant podcasts.

Book a Research Help Appointment

Research help is available for students, faculty, and staff of TMU with legal research questions.

For one-on-one assistance in refining a legal research topic, finding legal information, and using databases and other resources, book a research appointment. Currently, all Law Library research help appointments are being conducted virtually through Zoom. Email the law librarians or book a time directly in their calendars during office hours:

John Papadopoulos is available at, with bookable office hours
Lisa Levesque is available at, with bookable office hours
Sara Klein is available at, with bookable office hours

Email: for general inquiries, please email for assistance with accessing or using legal information resources and one of the Law Library staff will respond to you.

For the most recent service information during COVID-19, see the updates for students, instructors, and researchers.

Creative Commons License

This guide has been created by the Toronto Metropolitan University Library and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution International 4.0 License unless otherwise marked.

Creative Commons Attribution License

Guide Last Updated

Date Updated: August 16th, 2023