Monday, July 29, 2013
Posted by Jeff Lipshaw
There is now a sequel to Memo to Lawyers: How Not to "Retire and Teach." That was a short essay I wrote in 2006 and 2007 about the odd experience of being somebody who practiced for twenty-six years and only then set out to join a law school faculty as a tenure track professor.
This summer I've been working on the look back - Version 1.0 predates the "Great Retrenchment. I've reflected on that change as well as examples of my earlier naivete or "I didn't know what I didn't know" in "Retire and Teach" Six Years On, a draft of which is now up on SSRN. Here's the abstract:
This is a follow up to a 2007 essay I wrote about what it might take for a well-seasoned practitioner to join a law school faculty as a tenure track professor. Having now wended my way up (or down) that track for six years plus, my intended audience this time includes the original one, those seasoned veterans of the law practice trenches who may think but should never utter out loud the words “I would like to retire and teach,” but now also my colleagues in academia who are facing what looks to be the greatest reshuffling of the system in our generation. Much of what I said in the earlier essay still holds. This essay, however, includes (a) a more nuanced look at the strange hybrid creature that is the scholarly output of academic lawyers; (b) a more respectful appreciation of what it takes to become a good teacher, with some notes about what worked for me, and (c) an attempt to reconcile the interests in scholarship and the interest in teaching after the “Great Retrenchment” of the legal profession and legal education, with some brief thoughts about the opportunities that may bring for the aging but not ossifying academic aspirant.
I suppose I ought to dedicate it to the Chief Justice because it gave me a chance to talk about the influence of Immanuel Kant on evidentiary approaches in 18th century Bulgaria.
Photo credit (John Roberts): newyorker.com