Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1999

Abstract

Perhaps because the field of legal writing has now matured enough so that we professors constitute a critical mass of experienced teachers and scholars, we find ourselves frequently embroiled in debates about legal writing scholarship. What is it? Can we do it? Should we do it? Should it be considered part and parcel of our responsibilities as members of the law school world? To help us better present our shared view that legal writing professors not only can but should produce scholarship, we sought first to take on the role of devil’s advocate, presenting all the rationales we have heard from our colleagues as to why they do not produce scholarship. We would then respond to them. Once listed, we found that the reasons given were frighteningly similar to statements made by many of our students when we, as writing professors, ask them to do research and write for our legal writing courses. We also found the statements were often echoed by doctrinal faculty members and deans who refuse to see legal writing professors as true members of the academy. In this article, we offer seven reasons typically used to justify why legal writing professors do not write, and our responses.


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