Sunday, December 30, 2007
Maksymilian Del Mar, a research student at the University of Edinburgh, has written an essay entitled Living Legal Scholarship that almost anyone who has ever undertaken a serious legal scholarship project might find re-affirming. It would be good to print out and keep handy to read during those times when you are many months (perhaps years) into a scholarship project and find yourself doubting the entire enterprise.
Here is Professor Del Mar's abstract:
"This paper offers a personal reflection on the value of legal scholarship. It is set in the context of the contemporary literature on the state of contemporary legal scholarship. The paper argues that the state of contemporary legal scholarship is too often evaluated on the exclusive basis of the style and content of legal scholarly works. The challenge that this paper seeks to meet is to provide a broader and richer platform upon which legal scholarship can and should be evaluated. That challenge is met by offering a brief account of the five responsibilities of legal scholarship (reading, writing, teaching, collegiality, and engagement). These five responsibilities are designed to provide a framework for imagining the institutional life of a legal scholar. The paper argues that it is that full life, rather than merely the scholarly output, that should necessarily be included in any assessment of the state of contemporary legal scholarship."