Monday, May 12, 2008
To look at LRW status issues from a different angle, see Mitch Nathanson's article on Dismantling the "Other": Understanding the Nature and Malleability of Groups in the Legal Writing Professorate's Quest for Equality, 13 Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute 79 (2007).
To provoke you to read Mitch's very helpful article, here's a quote from it:
"The traditional method of attack -- based upon rational, conscious thought, that urges members of the greater legal academy to initially recognize and then treat members of the legal writing professorate more fairly -- however noble in effort, is ultimately doomed to failure because of the unconscious reasons and causes underlying how we go about categorizing people. Once members of an in-group sense the presence of an out-group, they will, unconsciously and for reasons they themselves are not aware of, seek to justify their feelings of 'otherness' toward this group and will, without fail, find them. ... [I]t is more effective to convince the greater legal academy that the grouping of 'legal writing professors' does not exist at all, or at least no more than the groupings of 'contracts professors' or 'property law professors." And this change must take place on the subconscious level. It cannot take place anywhere else."
Fortunately, Mitch also offers some suggestions on how to create that change.